Let me preface everything by saying this is not medical advice. This is simply my story and my view on what helped me. My Long Covid issues started around the Delta wave, although I believe the compounding damage was mainly caused by the Alpha wave, while I continued to push through it by working out and running. This matches the pattern of a high number of athletes getting long-haul covid, especially during the first wave.
As the long haul continued, and I deteriorated, I was sure I'd lose my job. I was very lucky that I had savings and that allowed me not to overstress (something that would have definitely exacerbated the problems(magnesium)). I was able to take some leave and go hard into research and experimentation. As hard as the long COVID would let me. I credit water fasting for giving me the reprieves necessary to do the required research. After doing a 5 day water fast I regained a little bit of energy that allowed me to do my first 3-day dry fast. This was a milestone because it got rid of the daily migraines which were bad enough that I considered my life over. I need to add that I've been a water faster for well over 10 years at this point. I always thought that I had water fasting in my back pocket for anything life would throw at me. Turns out 1. Fasting is harder when you have LC, and 2. Water fasting is nowhere near powerful enough to truly heal from LC
I have been fully recovered for quite some time now. I do seem to catch covid with each new wave, and a few months ago I felt some symptoms relapsing after a new infection. I'm happy to say that I was able to halt the progression and fully reverse it quite quickly. It included the methods in the Scorch Protocol, and then a quick dry fast was able to get me back to 100%. I do believe that once you have LC you are genetically predisposed to catching it again. I believe it has to do with our bodies not being able to create a proper antibody response to the nucleocapsid of the virus. Having the necessary tools in hand for future infections is key. I would also like to make a point that most long hauler recovery stories I've seen included some form of fasting, but without dry fasting I find it hard to believe that they recovered with only water fasting. It leads me to believe that most people recovering with small fasts had a much easier LC infection, and/or were too eager to claim themselves healed after a short duration of being symptom free. Anyways, I hope that you've also clued in at this point, how important fasting is to LC recovery.
Here's my story. I'd like to start with a description of my main symptoms during the height of the long haul.
Fatigue: Always tired. Shortness of breath: Usually at night, and after eating. Think of MCAS. Joint pain: Random pains in joints, lots of pain in jaw/teeth. Chest pain: Discomfort in the chest, sometimes described as a "heavy" feeling. Brain fog: Difficulty concentrating, feeling "spaced out", or struggling with memory. Couldn't focus on a computer for longer than 15-30 minutes. Muscle Twitches: twitches in legs and eyes. Loss of taste and smell: Always had an amazing sense of taste, was a very drastic change. Sleep disturbances: Insomnia, very hard to sleep, even melatonin didn't help. Headaches/Migraines: Daily, the main symptom that caused suicidal thoughts. Digestive issues: Diarrhea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, etc. included were moments of DPDR.
Mentally and emotionally I was drained. I remember being angered very often. The smallest things would drive me crazy. I felt unheard by everyone around me. Having even your family question your illness is an unparalleled depression and I feel for anyone in this situation (many). Why was I the only one who seemed to have had long covid? However, as of now, I am quite aware that the numbers are much bigger, even if the severities are all over the place.
Discovery and Research
It was around October 2021. I was part of a Facebook group called Tom's Autophagy Protocol for Long Covid. The group was started as an attempt to figure out autophagy inducers to mimic fasting's autophagy cellular repair mechanisms. The group has grown quite popular, but over the last few years, it's quite obvious that it has provided almost no help to people. Doing intermittent fasting may help some symptoms, but if you are anywhere between moderate and severe long hauling, you'll quickly notice that half-assed fasts will not heal you.
It really sickens me when we have recovery stories that downplay this fact. It's so common to see someone say they were healed but then when questioned deeper they really only had mild long COVID symptoms and they resolved within a few months. The annoying cries of 'TIME healed me' are another annoyance. Time did not heal you. Time is a layman's term given to Autophagy by people who don't understand the concept - Think about it. I digress. Someone in the Facebook group dropped "dry fasting" when I mentioned how a 5-day water fast helped me improve a little bit. I thought he was crazy. How could you not drink water? Do you have a death wish? Little did I know that he had actually sent me on a journey to heal myself (the craziest thing is that I don't think he's even done long dry fasts himself). He recommended a book, which I bought for the hell of it. What followed was deep diving into research papers, testimonials, and self-experimentation that started the Dry Fasting Club. The site’s goal is to give everyone the tools to dry fast safely, filled with experiments, data, studies, protocols, and testimonials.
The Dry Fasting Experience:
Obviously, dry fasting is the most extreme version of fasting. You don't eat or drink. One can make a good argument that fasting is the most powerful way to improve your long covid, whereas dry fasting would be the super-saiyan version.
The TLDR version of what I did. I approached it cautiously and read as many books as possible. I started tracking all my data that I could get a hand on during my fasts and during the refeeds. Weight, urine markers for dehydration, urine pH, ketones, blood sugar, blood pressure, HR, and symptom tracking. Every time I dry fasted I found new revelations and started sharing them on the dry fasting club website. Eventually, I nailed down my ideal foods and medication, as well as timings, etc. Since then I have been able to enjoy life again, in the exact same way as before. In fact, I also recomped my body during this and looked and felt healthier than before covid. Each person will have a slightly modified version of their ideal protocol for this. But there is definitely a generic approach for the beginning segments that anyone can follow. I recommend a book called Dry Fasting, 20 Questions and Answers. There's also a book on healing Lyme's disease called Starving to Heal that I recommend for dry fasting motivation. Just keep in mind that most of the dry fasting refeeds are not built for Long Covid sufferers, so you should focus on more of a low carb and lower glycemic index refeed.
Supplements and Medications:
During the long covid journey, I tried all the main supplements that you see on this sub daily. I distilled them into a few key ones that I believe target most of the possible deficiencies and synergize very well with fasting.
Supplements: Fish oil, magnesium citrate, glycinate, potassium chloride, vitamin d+k2, zinc glycinate, bee pollen, nutritional yeast, l-lysine, berberine, vitamin C, Iodine, NAC.
Honorable mention to use in specific situations and min-maxing: Greens drink, Mg Threonate, Kefir, NMN, Resveratrol, Nicotine, DLPA, L-tryptophan, melatonin, l-theanine, Psilocybin (there are ways to use these but they'd require a hell of a write up as well, in the case of psilocybin think of it as a shortcut to breathing meditations and curing trauma/regulating vagus nerve and parasympathetic. A nervous system reset)
Medications: Ivermectin - it really played a key role in relapse inhibition after getting through the initial detox symptoms. There's a lot of mechanisms here that help, but I think many people don't handle the herxheimer reactions or parasitic die-off well and quit too early. It's blood glucose lowering mechanism, GABA agonist mechanisms, anti-parasitic, and potential ACE-2 inhibitor mechanisms seem to have always got me out of relapses very quickly in my most severe and experimental days.
Although there are many medications that you've been prescribed and may need to take, the overall goal is to really boil it down into necessities and to get you off of all the meds. As I dry fasted more, each consecutive one allowed me to eliminate more and more supplements and medications.
Diet: Carnivore, low carb, low histamine, Keto.
Although I experimented with a few diets they mainly focused on low-carb as many have noticed that high-carb diets would trigger relapses and a lot of negative downstream effects. In fact, as the disease progressed I noticed I had to keep limiting my food more and more. However, since fasting I now can eat everything again. A side note; dry fasting stimulates stem cells and a few mechanisms that require additional glucose in the refeed. So the pre and post-diet would still be low carb, but timing a window right after the fast would require some carbs in it.
Challenges & Side Effects:
There were so many challenges over the last 2 years. Even though I would improve with every fast, I kept making small mistakes, or pushing myself in the worst moments causing relapses and sometimes damage that would take me back. Overdoing it was one of them, not treating viral reactivation was another. Doing incorrect dry fasting refeeds, or not prepping correctly would also waste my time. Looking back I could have done the 2 years in 6 months if I would go into it with the knowledge I now have. There is no doubt, and no need to sugarcoat it. The mentality and determination required to buckle down and get through fasting are tough. It's not for everyone. The idea that nothing good ever comes easy, comes to mind. The keto flu is always an issue in the beginning, and weaning off of caffeine is horrible. Nevertheless, I would do it all over again if I had to.
Results & Current Health Status:
Within the first months of starting dry fasting, I recovered enough to where I could function 50% better. The first thing that disappeared was the migraines. I was so grateful. With each fast, I improved, but it was up to me to not overdo the improvements so that I could pace and get to the next fast for another boost in improvement. Currently, I have a protocol I use if I think I may have been reinfected, and it holds strong. I've been around other COVID-19-positive people and had mild or no symptoms. However, I'm acutely aware that even without symptoms covid can cause damage in the background. With microclotting being one of the worst imo.
Beyond recovering from the long haul, I am fitter than I was before covid. There is still some PTSD when it comes to running long distances, and I'd be a fool to pretend that I know I'm 100% cured. I'm well aware there's a chance the virus is simply latent at this point. That this protocol basically brought my body up to par to hold it in remission (indefinitely, or until another reinfection). I believe this is the case for most of the recovered stories, especially the ones who only needed 'positive thoughts' and 'time'.
Words of Caution
Emphasizing that this journey is anecdotal, as well as anyone I've talked with or worked with to heal their LC. It may not work for everyone as health matters are deeply individual and vary widely between people.
I recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before making any changes to one's health regimen. I also am aware that fasting can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so I would like to highlight the importance of individual research and understanding potential risks.---
I really look forward to finding people who are serious about drying fasting to heal. I believe that it's vital that long haulers heal so that we can all advocate for a better system. All of us have been red-pilled into understanding the ridiculousness and gaslighting of the medical system. I hope to find some friends who will continue researching and experimenting with dry fasting until it's finally picked up and studied extensively.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read):
Had severe long covid. Found dry fasting. Perfected it and believe it's the most powerful tool in defeating long covid, even though there are a few other critical pillars to make the journey faster and easier such as the Carnivore Diet, Psilocybin, Breathing Exercises, Nicotine Patches, Cold Therapy, and addressing deficiencies. If you're interested in how I structured all of it please see the scorch protocol google drive link here