Supplements are a common sight, both on the shelves of pharmacies and in our homes. People take supplements to help them feel better the morning after a night out. People take supplements to boost their vitamin D levels when there’s little sunlight. And people take supplements as they get older.
Now, it seems, one particularly supplement may be able to treat long Covid.
Specifically, a probiotic.
A study published in the journal Gut Microbes has found that boosting healthy bacteria in the gut can help treat the condition that affects over one million people living in the UK.
The study found that complete remission was achieved by 78 out of the 147 participants, a 53.1 percent success rate.
Furthermore, it was found that the probiotic was having an effect on symptoms as early as five days into the treatment plan.
As well as this there was also significant reduction in the viral load, suggesting the participants may be less likely to suffer from long Covid.
On long Covid, as mentioned, it is a condition that affects over one million patients in the UK and many more around the world.
Working out how to treat it will be a significant medicinal challenge post-pandemic.
The NHS recommends patients should speak to their GP if they’re still suffering the aftereffects of COVID-19 four weeks after infection.
Blood tests, blood pressure, heart rate and a chest X-ray may be taken to establish if a person has Long-Covid or another condition.
At the moment there are very few concrete treatments for long Covid.
Some people’s symptoms go away after a few weeks or a few months, some are still experiencing symptoms nearly two years after they first caught the condition.
The British Heart Foundation has some guidance on managing your symptoms.
It said, with regard to fatigue and breathlessness, it is advisable to pace yourself and to try and break tasks which feel difficult down into smaller bites.
Furthermore, it is recommended that people continue to do things that make them feel breathless as “If you stop using your muscles, they’ll get weaker, which can make you more breathless when you try to use them”.
More information and guidance is on the BHF website; if you have any concerns about long Covid, consult with your GP.