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Quick Read:

  • COVID-19 can cause a post-viral syndrome similar to ME/CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • The Cell Danger Response as a theoretical framework

  • Symptoms of Post-Covid Syndrome

  • Prevention Strategies

With COVID cases increasing in many States,  I just wanted to make you aware of the phenomena that we are just now seeing on the front lines. There have been concerning reports of ongoing viral-like symptoms that last for weeks or months after the initial illness. Many who have gotten even seemingly mild cases of COVID are reporting ongoing fatigue, malaise, sinusitis, and myalgias.

More detail to follow but first, we need to put it in context:

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is an illness that was first observed in the 1950s in a London hospital. A similar outbreak occurred in the 1980s.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 2.5 million Americans have ME-CFS. Most report that the illness started with an episode of a cold virus, mono, or the flu, and symptoms may include fatigue, brain fog, deconditioning, excessive sleep, and depression. Unfortunately, these symptoms are all too common among many of our chronically ill patients who are struggling with Mold and/or Lyme Illness.

The medical establishment has traditionally dismissed ME/CFS as being psychosomatic. Recently, however, the ‘The Cell Danger Response’ (CDR), proposed by Dr. Robert Navieaux MD, Ph.D., gives us a theoretical framework for CFS and all chronic illnesses.



 The above image was used with the permission of Veronica Mead, MD at https://chronicillnesstraumastudies.com/cell-danger-response-disease/

His theory states that when cells perceive an outside threat, they go into a ‘hibernation mode’ until the threat is gone. This explains why we have fatigue when we get a cold. All of our energy must be preserved when our immune system is fighting the virus. That means all non-essential functions like higher brain function, digestion, detoxification, etc. are put on hold until our bodies beat the virus. So this process works great for acute illness but becomes problematic when the body incorrectly perceives a perpetual threat.  Similar to how a car could get stuck in first gear, the immune system gets stuck in a hyperactive mode. Because of this specific cells and organs may get stuck in a low state of metabolism, whereby organs such as the thyroid and adrenals may not work properly.  To learn more about the Cell Danger Response, see this video.

Imagine having cold symptoms that last for months or even years. This is what chronic fatigue feels like.

Viruses are notorious for initiating chronic fatigue. A similar post-viral illness was observed in the last SARS epidemic in 2003. It was characterized by “persistent fatigue, diffuse myalgia, weakness, depression, and non-restorative sleep” and may have represented as many as 40% of those who survived.

While the prevalence of post-viral syndrome remains to be seen with COVID-19, we are concerned with the increasing reports of relapsing viral symptoms after many weeks or months after initially contracting COVID-19.  See this video link below for more details.



It is beyond the scope of this topic here but I wanted to emphasize how critical it is to support your immune system at this time, especially for those of you who are already dealing with chronic illness and have a compromised immune system.

The way to do this is to support your immune system. In addition to taking the essential immune supports like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc, we suggest taking an anti-viral and immune-modulating cocktail* that we mentioned in our previous blog. Again, I would like to reemphasize the importance of this simple intervention to prevent COVID-19:

  • Andrographis is a bitter herb that prevents the attachment of COVID-19  to the mucous membrane and lung tissues. See the study links below.

  • Cistus Incanus is an herb that has many critical antimicrobial properties.

  • Licorice root–strong activity against SARS-2

  • Propolis tincture exerts powerful anti-coronavirus effects.

*This protocol becomes much more powerful when made into a liposomal tincture. For more information, please contact our office.

Symptoms of Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome:

  • Post-exertional malaise

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Brain fog

  • Intermittent fevers

  • Feeling wobbly or unsteady

  • Headaches of new-onset

  • Difficulty in sustaining an upright posture for long periods

  • Muscular aches and pains

  • Sore throats and tender glands

  • Problems with temperature control

General Management:

  • Rest

  • Healthy diet

  • Stress Management

  • Prioritize sleep

  • Basic Nutritional Support: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc

We hope this article underscores the importance of supporting your immune system now. If you are taking blood pressure medicines, overweight, or over the age of 60, you are at higher risk. If you are already struggling with chronic health conditions, make sure you are working with your practitioner. For questions or more information, please contact Martin Van Lear, FNP-C email: martin@treeoflighthealth.com


  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-could-cause-secondary-illnesses-including-chronic/

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21435231/

  3. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24632783-400-could-the-coronavirus-trigger-post-viral-fatigue-syndromes/

  4. https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/21/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-keys-understanding-post-covid-syndrome/

  5. https://meassociation.org.uk/2020/04/covid-19-and-post-viral-fatigue-syndrome-by-dr-charles-shepherd-30-april-2020/

  6. https://meassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/MEA-PVF-and-PVFS-Following-Coronavirus-Infection-30.04.20.pdf

  7. https://naviauxlab.ucsd.edu/science-item/healing-and-recovery/

  8. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bCcEwStxdg

  9. https://chronicillnhttps://neilnathanmd.com/esstraumastudies.com/cell-danger-response-disease/

  10. https://neilnathanmd.com/

  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9931305

Links to Andrographis studies:

  1. Broad-spectrum antiviral properties of andrographolide.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27896563

  2. Antiviral properties of ent-labdene diterpenes of Andrographis paniculata nees, inhibitors of herpes simplex virus type 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16372376

  3. Antiviral and Immunostimulant Activities of Andrographis paniculata https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1978301916300766

  4. Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology of Andrographis paniculata and Its Major Bioactive Phytoconstituent Andrographolide  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/846740/

  5. Inhibition of proprotein convertases-1, -7 and furin by diterpines of Andrographis paniculata and their succinoyl esters. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9931305″

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