Healing Long Covid Part 4: The Gut, Energy, PEM, and fasting

Healing Long Covid Part 4: The Gut, Energy, PEM, and fasting


The gut is one of the first things to go in long covid and signals a spiral into fatigue, PEM, and mast cell activation. We can heal this!

Table of contents

Understanding the Basics: What Can Go Wrong with Your Gut?

When it comes to gut health, there are three primary issues to be aware of:

  1. Dysbiosis: This refers to an imbalance in your gut's microbiome, where there's an excess of harmful bacteria and/or a deficiency of beneficial ones.
  2. Increased intestinal permeability (also known as "leaky gut"): Your gut lining is incredibly thin, just one cell thick, in fact. This lining is responsible for controlling what enters your bloodstream through tight junctions. However, when these junctions falter, unwanted substances like toxins and debris can slip through, triggering immune responses.
  3. Inflammation: This is a result of the immune response that can wreak havoc on the gut's protective layers, including mucus. If left unchecked, this inflammation can spread beyond the gut, affecting other organs and even the brain, often leading to a sensation commonly known as "brain fog".

To maintain the balance between these three factors, we need to focus on the microbiome, the small intestine, and bile.

Unraveling the Microbiome

Your microbiome is a bustling community of approximately 39 trillion organisms. It generates as many nutrients as you consume through your diet and is home to more cells than the rest of your body. Did you know that 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine is produced in the gut?

Here's a fun fact: Scientists have discovered that if a shy mouse receives a microbiome transplant from a curious mouse, the shy mouse starts to exhibit curious behavior. Similarly, an anxious mouse that receives a microbiome from a relaxed human will start to appear more relaxed.

An imbalance in the microbiome, or dysbiosis, can lead to leaky gut, inflammation, and ultimately, a deficiency of necessary nutrients, neurotransmitters, and hormones. This imbalance can affect every system in your body.

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