My Post-COVID19 Chills- Did Vitamin B12 or Time Help?

My Post-COVID19 Chills- Did Vitamin B12 or Time Help?

As I stated in another post, I am 100% sure that I had COVID-19 back in early March. Since then I have been a “long-hauler” where I have suffered from many symptoms that pop up here and there.

The feeling of chills or shivers (with no fever) coming over my body has been pretty constant up until late July. Is it the vitamin B12 I began taking or has time been kind to me in that regard?

A little about vitamin B12

This is a vitamin that gets talked about a lot. Supplementing with it is touted as helping with the following health issues:

  1. B12 Deficiency- They say that many people are deficient in this vitamin. It may cause symptoms such as weakness, numbness/tingling, problems walking, fatigue, memory problems, shortness of breath, GI issues, moodiness, anemia and tinnitus. A whole host of things!
  2. Homocysteine levels: High levels in the blood may cause issues such as heart disease and strokes.
  3. Canker sores
  4. Nerve pain/damage
  5. Eczema
  6. Low cardiovascular endurance
  7. Depression
  8. Fatigue
  9. Chronic fatigue syndrome

The dosages range from 1-10,000 mcg depending on age and what one is trying to treat. Supplementing with the vitamin is said to be well tolerated in general but there have been some reports of nausea when high doses are taken.

B12 is sold by various brands in the forms of tablets, softgels, skin patches, powders, liquid drops and gummies. One may also be able to get B12 through injections and IV infusions.

Annoying chills

Having chills with no fever always seemed weird to me. Not only that but was incredibly annoying. I kept asking myself, “what are you doing, body?”

People on the long-hauler support groups would talk about having a fizzy and vibration-type feeling in their body. Vitamin B12 was something they claimed helped them. I have no idea if the chills/shivers I used to get a lot of are the same thing that they were/are talking about, but I decided to start taking B12 anyways.

I bought a bottle of 1000 mcg B12 tablets on Amazon in July. Since then I have been taking one a day. A lot of people have said that they felt an energy boost after taking the vitamin, but I really have not noticed that.

It was late July that my chills started to wear off which was shortly after starting the vitamin B12 tablets. At that point I was really close to five months since my initial illness. That seems like a point in recovery where a lot of COVID-19 long haulers start to have big improvements.

Since vitamin B12 is said to help with nerve issues, I wonder if that had something to do with the chills/shivers that would come over my body. If so, supplementing with the vitamin could be the cause of them lessening.

I am still not sure which one helped. Or has it been both?

In short, being a long hauler sucks

Yes, it really does.

It is shrouded in mystery. We really do not have a clue what is going on with our bodies-we just know we do not feel like ourselves anymore.

These obnoxious symptoms come and go for reasons that are not totally clear to us.

I am so glad that these chills have lessened considerably. Will they come back with a vengeance? I hope not, but time will tell.

Are you or someone you know a COVID-19 long hauler? What have your/their experiences been?

Thanks for reading!

#covid19  #health   #longhaulers   #symptoms   #supplements

Am I COVID-19 “Long Hauler”?

Am I COVID-19 “Long Hauler”?

I think so, yes.

Looking at what has been going on with me since March, I am pretty sure that I have had COVID-19 and am suffering some long-term issues from it.

I wanted to talk about it all in this post.

I was sick in March

Around the time that I first started hearing about this new virus, I ended up sick. It was after my husband and son had been sick for about six days. Their symptoms included coughs and high fevers.

My symptoms when I got sick were chills with no fever, slightly tickly throat with post-nasal drainage, loss of appetite, reduced ability to taste, fatigue, stuffy nose and a racing heart in the mornings on the last two days of my illness. I was sick for a total of five days.

My husband’s manager was a confirmed positive in February, so that means he was exposed to the virus. Since we were unable to get tests at that time, we are only presuming that we were positive for it.

What else could it have been?

Two good weeks and then hell

For two weeks after getting sick, I was happy that I beat the virus. At that time I did not know that I could still have lingering issues from it so I thought my life would go on as normal.

In April, all hell broke loose.

I became very angry, irritable and majorly depressed. This was scary to me because I felt completely out of control. I could not sleep anymore. All I did at night was pace around crying and screaming.

I had no idea what was going on with me. People were telling me it was all due to the pandemic news I was reading and that I was working myself up too much over it. That could have been part of it but it felt like something more was happening to me.

I felt like I was literally going crazy.

Then came the physical symptoms: April through June

About a week after the extreme mental issues happened, I started experiencing physical issues. Here is a list of them:

  1. Chest pressure/tightness
  2. Occasional shortness of breath
  3. Racing heart
  4. Heart palpitations
  5. Off balanced feeling
  6. Lightheadedness
  7. Lots of chills without fevers
  8. Headaches
  9. Two bouts of pink eye
  10. Dry and gritty feeling eyes (not Pink eye)
  11. Leg restlessness at night
  12. Occasional night sweats
  13. Tickly throat with drainage
  14. Neck/gland aches
  15. Rashes
  16. Burning feeling on the skin of my arms
  17. Two ear infections/earaches
  18. Tinnitus
  19. Runny nose

All of this was in addition to the mental issues I was having. Not fun at all! I was sure that I was still infected and it scared the crap out of me.

I talked to my doctor about all these things and whether I should get a COVID-19 test done. He said it was probably all related to anxiety and depression then proceeded to offer me a prescription for Celexa (an antidepressant).

I know my body and this was not all due to my mental health. Something bad was going on and I did not know how to make it stop.

It was around June that I read about COVID-19 “long haulers.” These are people that were positive for COVID-19 or presumably so and are still experiencing symptoms after they are supposed to be recovered. Their experiences sounded just like mine.

I still did not know what was going on with me but at least I was not alone in the struggle.

I began to read more about other people’s experiences and took some of their advice. This included me starting to add vitamin B12 into my daily supplement intake.

Mental and Physical symptoms: July to now

My mental health issues went away by early July for whatever reason. I do not know if it was the increase of vitamin D3 or what, but I am definitely not going to complain!

In mid-July, I also noticed that some of the physical symptoms from April-June were going away. Some remain though and they are as follows:

  1. Occasional chest aches- Heat packs help a lot with this.
  2. Occasional shortness of breath
  3. Occasional heart palpitations
  4. Occasional tickly throat with drainage
  5. Tinnitus

I also added more supplements to my daily intake in late July. These include NAC and COQ10. The NAC supplement is actually helping with the occasional chest aches and shortness of breath. I take 1200 mg of it as I type this, but I think I will bump it up to 1800 mg soon.

What I have learned and next steps

I have continued to read a lot about post-covid issues and have even joined the support group on Slack.

One of the things that I learned is that I should have given my body a chance to recover. I did the crazy thing of pushing myself to exercise throughout this whole time (even while I was in the active infection stage). If I had known to wait, maybe I would not have suffered for this long.

Another thing I have learned is that I am not crazy. My body is just confused by this new virus that invaded it and is going a little haywire right now.

Due to the organ damage that has been happening to people who have had COVID-19, I am thinking about talking to my doctor about all of this again. My hope is that he will get me a referral to see some specialists and also get blood work done. I plan on updating this blog with whatever I find out in regards to any damage that I have to my body.

You are not alone either

If anyone reading this is going through post-COVID issues, know that you are not alone. You are not crazy either. We are in this together! This is a great resource to check out: https://thislifeofmine575878161.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/492cf-2020survivorcorpscovid-1927longhauler27symptomssurveyreport28revisedjuly2529.pdf

I would recommend joining the long haulers Slack discussion group as well as the long haulers subreddit. Both have been very helpful for me.

There is so much we do not know about this virus yet, but we are going to get there eventually. Now that so many people are speaking up about the issues they are dealing with after “recovering,” there are medical scientists looking into things more. Hopefully, there will be treatment options for both the active infection phase and the post-infection phase soon.

Do you or someone you know have or have had COVID-19?

Thanks for reading!

#covid19  #postviral  #covid19longhaulers  #physicalhealth  #mentalhealth  #medicalresearch

dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

It is important in these times to get your body as healthy as possible. This means getting in nutrients, sleeping well, taking care of your mental health and exercising.

One of the things I keep reading about lately is vitamin D and the role it can play in our health. I have been interested in getting my levels of this vitamin up due to what I have learned.

Recently, I tried an app on my phone that will help me with increasing my vitamin D intake and I wanted to do a review on it.

Why I think I need vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” by many. This is because there is an abundance of it in the sun.

An immense amount of people are low in this vitamin due to not being in the sun very much, there not being very many foods that have a lot in it and some people just don’t absorb it very well for whatever reason.

While many people can absorb more of it by choosing to sit outside for a while everyday, those with darker skin are still often deficient because the melanin blocks it. Since I am a black woman with dark skin, I may be deficient because of that.

Another reason for me thinking I need to focus on getting more vitamin D is because I do not consume the food that contains good amounts of it (ex. mushrooms).

What vitamin D may be able to do for me (and you!)

My main goal right now is to get my immune system in tip-top shape. Vitamin D has shown evidence that it might help with that.

There has been quite a lot about it possibly playing a role in the severity of COVID19 infections. Researchers are saying that getting our vitamin D levels up can make the virus less severe if one catches it.

Vitamin D also shows evidence at helping with PCOS and PMS. Regular supplementation with the vitamin might treat the underlying metabolic issues that come along with PCOS as well as reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms. Those are two areas I definitely need help with!

Of course there are scientists that completely disagree with vitamin D having benefits but for now I will be continuing my quest to improve my levels.

The dminder app

I happened to come across an app called, “dminder” on a forum. The people were mentioning how helpful it was so I decided to look into it.

The dminder, is an app that helps you get your vitamin D levels up or maintain them. It is able to do this by tracking the sun wherever you are at as well as taking into account the supplements you consume.

To get started with it after installing, it has you set up a profile. This includes putting in your weight, height, age, skin pigment, gender and how much vitamin D you typically get each day in supplements. From this, it sets a daily goal for you.

Each day you are to record how much vitamin D you got in through supplements and your time in the sun. With the latter you can either input a prior time in the sun or start a timer.

When you are putting in sun sessions or starting them, you are to also input what you are wearing as well as how much the the sun is out in the sky. This important for the app to get the best estimate on the level of vitamin D you have gotten.

The app provides a sunscreen reminder feature. It will keep telling you when it is time to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.

The home screen on the app is specific to your location and will show when vitamin D is available through the sun during the day. It also gives reminders about when your opportunity is coming to an end.

There is a free version and a premium version of the app. The premium version costs $2.00 and includes history reports.

My review of the dminder app

I love this app and I am so glad I stumbled across it!

The science behind getting vitamin D from the sun is really interesting to me. I learned how easy it can be to get my levels up by being outside.

Before I started using this app, I had already been taking vitamin D supplements. It was eye opening to me to see what they estimated I should be getting based on my information I put into my profile.

I had only been taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day and not sitting in the sun at all. The app says I need at least 5,000 day! I have now started to take 4000 IUs per day in gummy form and being outside for an hour, weather permitting.

Great brand!

In terms of PCOS and PMS, I have not noticed anything yet. I will continue to keep track of how I feel each day in my health journal so I can see if things change in those areas in a few months.

I would recommend this app

If you are interested in increasing your vitamin D levels, this app is definitely for you! It is really easy to use.

In these times, it is important stay healthy. Since vitamin D shows some ability to help our bodies out in various ways, it is worth considering getting more of it (in my opinion).

Do you supplement with vitamin D and/or get out in the sun a lot? let me know!

The dminder app: http://dminder.ontometrics.com/index.html

#vitamind #health #supplements #sun #immunesystem #nutrients #nutrition #covid19

Cayenne Pepper: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

Cayenne Pepper: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

We all have our favorite seasonings/spices that we like to use in our cooking. Not only do they provide the flavors that we want, but they can also contain health benefits!

Cayenne pepper has been a staple in our kitchen for a while now. I only recently discovered the ways that it can be good for our bodies.

This post is just an overview on what makes it great and how I use it.

The what and why of cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper originates from South America. It has been used in food and traditional medicine for 9,000 years!

It contains capsaicin which is a phytochemical. This has been studied for its health benefits. It also has vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, choline, beta carotene and zeaxanthin.

The alleged health benefits of cayenne pepper are as follows:

  • Controls hunger
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Helps in weight control
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Prevents and treats ulcers
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps with pain
  • Reduces bad cholesterol levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Breaks up congestion
  • Soothes sore throats

Cayenne pepper can be bought in the forms of powder, capsules, alcohol extract, syrups, spray (self-defense) and capsaicin cream. Too much of it consumed by mouth or topically can cause discomfort so you need to be mindful of that.

I love cayenne pepper!

It is great that one of my favorite spices might be healthy for me. This has made me increase my usage of it quite a bit lately.

The boosting of my immune system is important to me due to the virus. With the possibility that cayenne pepper can help in that area, I will continue to use it every day for the foreseeable future.

I currently put generous amounts in my food and green tea. It does not upset my stomach at all which is wonderful.

I would recommend it to other people

Even if scientists can’t give definitive answers as to whether cayenne pepper does the things I listed, it does not hurt to add it into your diet (unless you use too much or get it into sensitive areas on your body, haha!) and daily life.

Here are some things you can do with cayenne pepper:

Do any of you like cayenne pepper? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Some sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477151/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/cayenne-pepper

https://www.encyclopedia.com/places/latin-america-and-caribbean/south-american-political-geography/cayenne

#cayennepepper   #immunesystem   #covid19   #health   #supplements   #diet   #nutrition

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

This pandemic has left me extremely nervous and anxious due to the severity of the virus. Because of this, I want to make sure that my immune system is in tip-top shape.

If you want to boost your immune system too…read on! This post may give you some ideas.

The supplements I take daily

I have done a lot of reading on supplements and herbs that show some ability to help strengthen the immune system. This is something I started doing around the time I opened my home daycare business (kids are full of germs!).

I began taking three supplements that I thought would help me get sick less and I have recently increased that amount.

Here is what I take currently and how much:

  1. Ginger capsules (Nature’s Way brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,100 mg
  2.  Colostrum capsules (Jarrow’s brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,000 mg
  3.  Probiotics (Align brand)- One per day
  4. Vitamin C with rosehips (NOW brand)- One per day for a total of 1 gram (see my post on rosehips: Are Rosehips Beneficial For Us? Let’s See What The Studies Say!)
  5. Vitamin D3 (Smart For Life brand)- Two gummies per day for a total of 2,000 IU
  6. Oil of Oregano (Puritan’s Pride brand)- Three soft-gels per day for total of 450 mg (see my post on oil of oregano: Boosting Immunity: Oil of Oregano)
  7. Melatonin- 2 mg in the evening
  8. Turmeric powder- Four teaspoons a day ( see my post on turmeric use: I Hopped on the Turmeric Trend and Here Is Why!)
  9. Green tea- Four cups a day
  10. Cayenne pepper- Not sure the exact amount but I shake a lot on my food and tea.
  11. Broccoli (my favorite thing to eat believe it or not!)- Full of vitamin C. I have two servings or more per day.
  12. Zinc lozenges- Six per day
  13. Garlic- In powder form, on my food (lots!)

These things are not guaranteed to help but so far, they are not hurting me. I am going to keep taking them indefinitely.

The things I do daily

Peppermint infused water to breath in

Supplements and nutrition are not the only things that could potentially strengthen our immune systems.

Here is a list of things that I do each day for my health:

  1. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  2. If the weather is nice, I go into my backyard for one hour to soak up even more vitamin D
  3. Hot water breathing- I heat up water until it is boiling, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it and then breath the steam in. I do this once in the evening while listening to one of my favorite podcasts.
  4. Exercise- I exercise six times a week.

What I want to add into my day

I am really interested in the benefits that I could gain from doing meditation during the day. My thought is that some stress relieving mental exercises early in the day would be helpful for me.

Being extremely stressed, worried, anxious, depressed etc. all the time can do some damage to our immune systems. It is important to me that I reduce the negative emotions I feel on a daily basis.

I want us all to be as healthy as possible

I hate this virus! I want everyone (including me) to kick its butt if it gets near! That means being able to fight it off well enough that we do not end up with a severe form of it or to just not get it at all.

I hope that what I am doing will help me in some sort of way. If you choose to take/do anything on one of my lists, I hope it helps you too.

What are you doing right now for your immune system during this pandemic? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#stayathome   #covid19   #immunesystem   #supplements  #health  #wegotthis