COVID-19 and Hair Loss

COVID-19 and Hair Loss

Hi all! I hope everyone that is reading this is doing as well as they can be in this crazy world.

I am over here living in what I feel is still a broken body due to COVID-19. It has been a 10 month roller coaster ride and I want to get off. I do realize that I do not have it as bad as others, but I am not back to 100% of my normal self yet.

COVID-19 is new and here to stay. There are many others like me who have gotten it and have been left with some unfortunate after-effects. Hair loss is one of them and I wanted to talk about it in this post.

COVID-19’s aftermath(in some)

All viruses can cause lingering issues after people recover from them. The difference with COVID-19 is that it seems to happen more frequently.

The term, “long haulers,” is given to people who have had the new virus and have continuously experienced symptoms for at least four weeks. There are many different symptoms that people experience as COVID-19 long haulers. These include the following:

  1. Elevated temperatures.
  2. Skin conditions- Rashes, a mottled appearance, swelling, dryness and more.
  3. Nausea and/or stomach pain.
  4. Diarrhea.
  5. GERD.
  6. Persistent loss of taste and/or smell.
  7. Weight loss.
  8. Allergy-like symptoms- This may include congestion, post nasal drip, itchy throat, itchy nose and itchy eyes.
  9. Ear issues- This includes ear aches, fullness, tinnitus and ear infections.
  10. Shortness of breath.
  11. Chest pain/aching.
  12. Fatigue.
  13. Hair loss (what this post is about!).

There are even more symptoms that long-haulers say they experience.

If you are reading this and you were just diagnosed or have not had it yet, remember that not all people have after-effects. Many people get through their infection with the virus just fine and are not left with any lingering symptoms.

There are currently a few theories as to why some people are left with these symptoms after having COVID-19 but no straight answers. Luckily, it is being studied more recently as many people are reporting that they are long-haulers.

While no official treatments exist currently for post-COVID issues, there are supplements and medications that can be taken that may help. There are support groups and even post-COVID clinics that can be of help.

Cause of hair loss after a COVID-19 infection

Hair loss post-COVID does not happen to everyone, thankfully. To those it does happen to, it can be very alarming and devastating.

Alyssa Milano, the actress, detailed her experience with hair loss after having COVID-19. She even put up videos of lots of hair coming out when brushing it. This may have been alarming to viewers and fans but it is the reality that some people face or have faced.

The exact name for post-COVID hair loss is called, telogen effluvium. Telogen is the name of one of the growth phases our hair goes through. It is when our hairs are resting instead of growing and it lasts for 2-4 months. Then the hairs fall out.

People who get hair loss a couple of months after having COVID-19 may be surprised by it and not connect the two right away. They are indeed connected though.

Telogen effluvium occurs because of stress to the body. COVID-19 puts our bodies through a lot (some more than others) so it is not too hard to believe that it may cause some hair loss.

Other things that can cause this type of hair loss include other illnesses, pregnancy, severe weight loss, medications and mental stress.

What can be done about post-COVID hair loss

Like with other types of hair loss, there are various ways to go about dealing with it. The following are some options that one may have when losing hair from telogen effluvium:

  1. Wait for the hair to grow back in- With telogen effluvium, the hair will usually grow back over time. It may be a good idea to wait a while if you can stand it. You may be able to get your hair cut/styled in such way that attention is not drawn to the loss that is happening.
  2. Shave it all off- This is an option if it is going to be falling out anyway and you do not mind not having any hair for a while.
  3. Wear wigs- There are so many wig options out there to choose from. You could experiment with them while you are dealing with hair loss.
  4. Minoxidil (or Rogaine)- This is a hair growth treatment that comes in liquid and foam form. One must be aware though that it comes with side effects such as itching and swelling.
  5. Fixing nutritional deficiencies- If the hair loss is associated with one’s diet, trying to get that sorted out may help.
  6. Changing or reducing medications- If a medication (s) is causing the hair loss, one can talk to their doctor about switching to a different one or reducing the dosage level if possible.
  7. Mental health help- If mental health is causing the hair loss, it is important to get help for it. This could be in the form of counseling and/or medication.
  8. Taking supplements- There are supplements out their that are said to help with hair growth. Be aware of any side effects they may have and the fact that it they may not work at all.
  9. Essential oils(possibly)- There are some essential oils that may help with hair growth. They need to be diluted and one can do this easily by putting a few drops in with their shampoo/conditioner.

Did I have the hair loss side effect?

Unfortunately….I did.

In mid-May (two months after getting COVID-19), I ended up losing hair in my temple area. It was pretty devastating to say the least.

I was lucky that the hair loss was not as bad as what other people have had to go through after having COVID-19 but it was definitely noticeable. At the time of Googling it, I came across the hair loss as possibly being due to hyperthyroid (that can happen after a virus) but now I know that it is a post-viral thing.

I knew that putting Rogaine on the area was an option that many have had success with but I was too worried about the irritation I would probably get from it. This prompted me to just roll on diluted rosemary essential oil to the areas twice a day with the idea that it most likely was not going to yield any spectacular results.

I am happy to say that a lot of hair has grown back in that area and it looks just like it used to. If it was the rosemary oil or time, who knows. I am not complaining.

In conclusion, hair loss can happen

Hair loss may be something you deal with after having COVID-19. Just know that there are some things you can do for it and that you are not alone.

Keep staying safe everyone! Brighter days will be ahead.

Some sources-

https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/telogen-effluvium-a-to-z

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/long-haul-covid-19-may-be-a-public-health-crisis-after-the-pandemic#What-does-the-future-hold?

https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/common-supplements-might-reduce-covid-severity

Thanks for reading!

#covid19 #hairloss #hairgrowth #longhaulers #symptoms #postviral #viriology

Melatonin: Not Just For Sleep?!

Melatonin: Not Just For Sleep?!

Melatonin is one of those popular supplements that can be found in a lot of stores. It is known as something that helps put people to sleep at night.

One might be surprised to find out that there may be other benefits that taking melatonin has. In this post, I will be discussing these possible additional effects.

What melatonin is

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by our own bodies. It comes from the pineal gland which is in the epithalamus of the brain.

This hormone is made in response to darkness and helps to regulate our sleep cycles. Sometimes people may not make enough of it and finds that supplementing with it helps them. Others find that supplementation with it does not help them fall asleep.

Melatonin is sold in tablets, gummies, syrups and capsules. The strength of the doses ranges from 1-60 mg.

There may be side effects when supplementing with melatonin. They are as follows:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea

What melatonin may also do for us

There are said to be some benefits that melatonin has besides sleeping ones. They are as follows:

  • Provide antioxidant effects: It may be comparable to the antioxidant level of vitamin C.
  • May have neuroprotective effects
  • Cancer prevention
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • May treat acid reflux
  • May ease pain (ex. migraines and menstrual cramps)
  • May have anti-inflammatory effects when it comes to swelling, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and ulcerative colitis.
  • May help PCOS symptoms: Some evidence suggests that melatonin helps with menstrual irregularity, infertility, testosterone levels and hirsutism.
  • May boost the immune system.

Melatonin and COVID-19

For quite a few months now, there have been some blurbs about melatonin possibly being a preventative and/or treatment for COVID-19. This, like the other alleged benefits, are lacking evidence behind them.

How melatonin came into play for COVID-19 was when scientists noticed that melatonin users had seemingly lower odds of getting the virus. The scientists eventually came to find that they are 28% less likely to test positive for it.

It was also found that melatonin could possibly prevent severe disease and the development of becoming  a long-hauler.

There is currently a trial going on with melatonin as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The catch is that the dosage is very high- way more than what people would take in their daily lives.

My experiences with melatonin

I have tried supplementing with melatonin multiple times in my life.

There were phases I went through where I was not sleeping well for whatever reason. During these times I decided to take 1-4 mg tablets of it around 30 minutes before I wanted to go to bed.

Recently, I decided to try taking it everyday for PCOS/hormonal reasons. This is due to me having read about it in the  Period Power Manual as helping with PMS. For this, I was taking 2 mg before bed.

I can honestly say that every time I have taken melatonin, I have gotten bad side effects. It has not mattered the brand or dosage of them. Taking them makes me unable to stay asleep for long periods of time, gives me stomach cramps and makes me angry the next day.

Because of these bad effects that I get, I am unfortunately not going to be taking it at all anymore. The only reason why I would take it is if it is in indeed found to be a useful treatment for COVID-19. In that circumstance though, I would only take it for a short amount of time to kill off the virus.

Yes, melatonin may help with other things

It may or may not be a well known fact that melatonin could have benefits aside from helping with sleep. There needs to be more studies done on it though.

If you are considering taking it, do your research first.

Have you taken melatonin before? What was your experience?

Thanks for reading!

Some sources-

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.biospace.com/article/study-suggests-link-between-sleep-supplement-and-covid-19/

http://medicine.buffalo.edu/news_and_events/news/2020/11/jacobs-melatonin-covid-12126.html

#melatonin #sleep #womenshealth #health #supplements #covid19

My Current Supplement Stack

My Current Supplement Stack

I have taken supplements for quite a few years now. The specific ones I take seems to change every now and again though. Because I am a COVID-19 “long-hauler,” I have taken advice from others suffering the same issues and changed up my supplement stack.

In this post, I wanted to share with you what I am currently taking and why.

My current supplement stack

Morning-

  • Ginger capsule- 600 mg
  • Vitamin B12- 500mcg
  • Vitamin D3- 2000 IU
  • Vitamin C- 500 mg
  • NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine)- 600 mg
  • Oil of Oregano- 150 mg
  • 10 strain probiotic
  • Pepcid
  • Turmeric “hot toddy”
  • 1 cup of grape juice

Afternoon-

  • Turmeric “hot toddy”
  • Vitamin D3- 2000 IU
  • Oil of Oregano- 150 mg
  • Red raspberry leaf tea (two cups)
  • Green tea ( two cups)

Evening-

  • Ginger capsule- 600 mg
  • Vitamin B12- 500 mcg
  • Vitamin B6- 50 mg
  • Vitamin D3- 2000 IU
  • Vitamin C- 500 mg
  • NAC- 600 mg
  • Oil of Oregano- 150 mg
  • Pepcid
  • CoQ10- 100 mg
  • Red raspberry leaf tea (1-2 cups)
  • Zinc- 46 mg

In addition to supplements above, I also take anti-nausea treatments as needed.

Why I take these supplements

The following is the reasoning behind the supplements I am currently taking:

  • Ginger- This is said to have anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting effects. It also helps with GI distress.
  • Turmeric- This is said to have anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting effects. It also helps with GI distress and
  • Vitamin B12- May help with nerve damage, homocysteine levels, depression and energy production.
  • Vitamin D3- Good for the immune system and our bones.
  • Vitamin C- Good for the immune system.
  • Vitamin B6- Good for the nervous system, nausea and PMS.
  • NAC- May help with lung issues, homocysteine levels, flu symptoms severity and chest pain.
  • Oil of oregano- May serve as an antiviral.
  • Probiotic- Helps the gut and immune system.
  • CoQ10- Helps with heart issues, energy levels and chest pain.
  • Zinc- May help with the immune system.
  • Pepcid- Helps with GERD
  • Red raspberry leaf tea- Good for the immune system, balancing hormones and the easing of sore throats.
  • Green tea- Provides antioxidants, may help the immune system and may lower blood pressure.
  • Grape juice- Prevents stomach viruses.

It may look like a lot

I know many people looking at this may think I take a ton of supplements and I guess it is kind of true. Just know there are people who take way more than this though (like my husband).

I am hoping that these help me and keep me healthier than I would be without them.

Are any of you taking supplements? If so, which ones?

Thanks for reading!

#supplements #health #immunesystem #covidlonghaulers #covid19 #wellness #sick #diet

New Workout Routine

New Workout Routine

It is time for me to switch up my workout routine again!

Okay, I actually have done half a week of the new routine already but I wanted to post it anyways. I wore my fitness watch so I could put down the number of calories I burned (estimated).

Without further ado….here are my workouts!

Upper body days ( two times per week)

Circuit (3X)-

  1. Eight minutes of cardio
  2. Chest press
  3. Chest flyes
  4. Bent over rows
  5. Back flyes
  6. Overhead presses
  7. Lateral raises
  8. Hammer curls
  9. Triceps kickbacks
  10. Regular pushups
  11. Triceps pushups

After doing the eight minutes of cardio, I then move through the weighlifting exercises with very minimal rest. Each circuit is done three times through.

First workout burned 337 calories and I had a max heart rate of 171.

Lower body days (two times a week)

Circuit (3X)-

  1. Eight minutes of cardio
  2. Regular squats
  3. Regular deadlifts
  4. Reverse lunges
  5. Stiff legged deadlifts
  6. Legs-together squats
  7. Plie squats
  8. Bridges
  9. Pilates leg lifts

This is done just like the upper body workout is.

First workout done burned 315 calories and my maximum heart rate was 164.

Cardio and abs days (two days per week)

For cardio, I have been doing a combination of different calisthenics with a lot more burpees being the change from my last workout routine. After I get done, I do two sets of ab moves (bicycle crunches and pike crunches).

First workout done burned 309 calories and my maximum heart rate was 152.

These calorie numbers look low, don’t they?

I thought I would be burning more calories than this due to the amount of effort that I felt was going into them. I have to remember though that I am not a large person so my numbers will be lower.

I still love doing these workouts despite the calories burned and I know that they will do a lot of good for my body.

What is your workout routine looking like these days?

Thanks for reading!

#homeworkouts #fitness #health #womenshealth #weightlifting #cardio

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

These past couple of months, my husband and I have been enjoying making a chicken soup that provides lots of health related benefits for us. Today I am going to share it with you all!

Lots of healthy goodies!

My husband has IBS so we try to make things that do not make his symptoms worse. He is also very sensitive to salt so we have to take that into consideration too.

All of the ingredients are very healthy and nourishing. The following is a list of some of them and their benefits:

  • Lemongrass- Lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress
  • Ginger- Anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress, immune system boosting
  • Turmeric- Anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting, pain relief, helps with GI distress
  • Cayenne pepper– Helps with GI distress/digestive health, pain relief, clearing congestion
  • Cumin- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Coriander- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Cilantro leaves- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Carrots- Higher in carbs than other vegetables but still provide lots of vitamin A and are great for the immune system.
  • Bell peppers- high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, immune system boosting, high in antioxidants
  • Mushrooms- These are higher up on the FODMAP scale but if you one can handle them, they are worth eating (if you like the taste that is). They contain good sources of vitamin D, selenium and are great for the immune system.

Why are there no onions and garlic in the soup?

We do love onions but it unfortunately causes my husband to have what he calls, “dumping syndrome.”

He gets the shits. Other people with IBS can probably relate.

In terms of garlic-he is allergic to it. So, we definitely can not use that in the food we both want to eat.

If you like these two things, feel free to add them into the soup if you choose to make it! I am sure it will be absolutely delicious.

The recipe

Nothing about the seasonings is that exact because quite frankly, we really do not keep track of how much of what we put into it. We go by taste alone.

Here it is:

Ingredients-

  • 6-8 pounds of chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 3 liters of unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 16 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2.5 cans of coconut milk
  • Seasonings- ginger powder, lemongrass powder (or paste), turmeric, garlic, cumin, coriander, cilantro (leaves), cayenne powder, onion powder and potassium salt (has less sodium).

Directions-

  1. Cook cut up chicken pieces in some oil. Set aside.
  2. Put the chicken stock, veggies and seasonings to taste into a large pot. Heat on low heat for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Serve with more cilantro on top, rice, naan or whatever you want!

This makes a good amount of soup so it can be frozen if you are not going to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.

Customize it any way you like!

Stay healthy everyone

We should all be putting healthy foods into our bodies at least once in a while- especially with this pandemic going on. This soup is just another one of the many meal ideas out there that will provide you with some great nutrients.

Thanks for reading!

#cooking #nutrition #soup #diet #health #covid19 #familylife #herbs