What is Long COVID?
In the beginning, health professionals ignored long COVID suffers. A patient would turn up to the GP's surgery with all kinds of ailments. Then the patient blamed COVID. They claimed not to have recovered. But the doctor would brush it off. Maybe the GP would prescribe something to mask the symptom.
Weeks would go by, and still, the sickness persisted. Symptoms would come and go and seem to move around the body. It didn't matter if COVID hospitalised you or if you made a rapid recovery. Long-term symptoms could continue.
“I finally found a GP who took me seriously last Saturday when I was at the point of crying talking to her, just understanding that people’s symptoms are real and diverse.” Andres 
It's no wonder why health professionals were confused at first. There didn't seem to be a logical explanation.
Today, we have acknowledgement - post-COVID-19 syndrome. It is commonly known as long COVID or long Haulers that presents symptoms caused by COVID-19. Those symptoms can last for weeks or months or going on for a year after recovering from the initial viral infection.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) defines long Covid as symptoms lasting for more than 12 weeks. Although health professionals recognise long covid as symptoms lasting longer than three weeks.
What are some of the long-term effects of COVID-19?
COVID can affect your whole body. As a result, long COVID symptoms can manifest in many ways. They can also change and come and go over time.
Over the last year, there have been multiple surveys, reports, studies to clarify the symptoms of long COVID. It is a big help for health professionals. By having data, they can confidently make a diagnosis.
Today, we have a better idea of the symptoms. Typical symptoms include respiratory issues, heart and cardiovascular problems, including low oxygen levels or blood clots, an inflamed brain, liver and kidneys and gut damage.
Those are the commonly affected areas, nevertheless, many suffer from fatigue, aches and pains, depression and anxiety, cognitive impairment or brain fog, and many more.
Now you can see why doctors didn't get it at first. People were presenting what looked like random symptoms. In hindsight, the damage to the body makes sense when we realise that SARS-CoV-2 can attack 72 different tissues.
Long COVID is a result of...
...damage caused by SARS-CoV-2. That is for certain. Albeit, well-intentioned experts stick some kind of syndrome onto long COVID. Post-intensive care syndrome, post-viral fatigue syndrome, Post-traumatic stress disorder, autoimmune, and other post-viral syndromes.
On the other hand, functional medicine would look at the root cause. What damage the virus did and how to fix it.
Then we discover SARS-CoV-2 depletes your batteries. Your tiny energy production organs living in your cells called mitochondria are damaged and killed by the virus.
Plus, we believe you haven't irradicated the virus from your body. Actually, it wouldn't make sense for you to have done so. From scientific understanding, the virome in your body contains trillions of viruses. If we looked hard enough, I'm sure that SARS-CoV-2 would be amongst your virome.
To begin to treat long COVID, you'll need to tackle the causes. Repair and strengthen your body.