How to Reduce Headaches Linked With Long COVID
Hi Everyone! It seems that one of the significant late neurological manifestations from having COVID-19 is intense headaches with chronic pain that is resistant to easily accessible pain medications.
According to many studies, Long COVID headaches were observed in women over 39; half had never experienced headaches before COVID-19, and those with a history of headaches reported worsening pain after COVID-19. People with Long COVID migraine state that they have them 2-5 times a week, which is debilitating!
If you have Long COVID and disabling headaches are among your symptoms, this post may relieve you greatly.
Long COVID Symptoms
Most people recovered from COVID-19 and continued their regular lives, but symptoms have debilitated many.
There were more vulnerable people, after all, since if somebody had an existing inflammatory disease, they were at high risk. Many people have silent inflammation running, which can be surprising!
Headaches were one of the most common symptoms that ran alongside COVID-19; for some, they never went away and got worse. If you have Long COVID, migraines may not be your only symptom. Some of our members who had Long COVID have stated (in the Testimonials) that they used to have:
• Chronic stress
• Joint pain
• Muscle pain
• High blood pressure
• No energy
• Loss of taste/smell
• Brain fog
• Memory issues
• Less focus and concentration
• Worsened existing conditions
• Continual viruses
• Stomach cramps
• Skin rashes
With inflammation implicating Long COVID and Long COVID causing more inflammation, which causes the immune system to be dysregulated, this would explain why Long COVID symptoms went away for our members.
By reducing inflammation and boosting immunity through improving gut health, liver health, anti-inflammatory movement, stress reduction, other neuroplasticity exercises, and better quality consistent sleep, they can live a regular life again.
It also explains why Long COVID symptoms persist if you are not on an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.
How is Inflammation Connected to Long COVID Migraines?
Numerous studies show an increase in inflammatory markers in Long COVID patients, as shown here: Interleukin 1, Interleukin 6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) cytokines are associated with Long COVID.
Cytokines are a protein that increases inflammation as part of the innate immune response. Levels can increase to incredibly high levels after having COVID-19. These are all powerful pro-inflammatory agents!
This is why migraines may not be the only symptom you suffer from. In fact, migraines are often reported alongside chronic inflammation conditions.
Chronic inflammation and immunological alterations with cytokine storms running all the time like this will do that!
It will switch on anything hereditary, leaving you at risk of developing chronic conditions like autoimmune diseases and picking up viruses quickly. You may enjoy reading How to Recover from Virus Infections, Can Food Poisoning Cause Inflammation? and How to Boost Your Immunity to Fight Viruses.
Why Are Your Migraines Different Than Before COVID?
Through studies, people who have Long COVID migraines state that they are different from any headaches that they have had previously.
Since most people with migraines already have elevated inflammation, any further inflammation can cause changes since chronic inflammation stimulates pain-causing nerves and other processes that can affect migraines.
People also report that stress and anxiety have increased due to the challenges of having more migraines. Trying to navigate daily activities, life, work, school, social occasions, holidays, vacations, and relationships when you don’t know when an attack will occur has a considerable physical and mental impact.
One migraine a week would be challenging, but a Long COVID migraine causes up to five a week, it states in one study. 3 out of 4 reported spending time alone in a dark room without noise for 6+ hours on each attack and then dealing with the after-effects.
Stress and anxiety promote a never-ending cycle of inflammation.
Stress induces many changes in the brain and body, like increasing gut permeability and a leaky gut, reshapes gut composition and triggers pathogenic bacteria, activates our immune system, and increases inflammation, increasing neuroinflammation.
This will alter the gut-brain axis because of the bidirectional link between the gut and the brain. Briefly, what goes on in the gut goes on in the brain and vice versa. (If you think about how you get butterflies in your tummy or need to go to the bathroom before speaking in public or before an event, this is the brain-gut connection).
It would be no surprise to feel low and anxious when you have a debilitating condition, but gut bacteria imbalance and inflammation actually increase the chances of depression & anxiety (neuroinflammation).
Some gut bacteria actually encourage dysregulated eating!
Stressful times can also influence your diet and lifestyle choices, which affects gut health and increases inflammation. Have you seen the Live Masterclass on Emotional Eating recently?
Let’s not forget how sleep quality changes during stressful times. Gut imbalances mean less serotonin production, too, which is the precursor to melatonin, which enhances sleep (and happiness!). There are so many reasons to reduce inflammation through gut health!
These articles may interest you: Weight Loss and The Link to Sleep & What Happens if You Don’t Sleep Well?
Why Migraine Meds Don’t Work
Firstly, medications have saved millions of lives!
It has been recognized, though, that severe headaches are one of the major debilitating symptoms of Long COVID that are resistant to over-the-counter pain medication.
Ultimately, medications can cause damage to our gut health by reducing good bacteria and increasing harmful bacteria, like antibacterial resistance genes, for instance.
The gut lining may also become perforated, and pathogens can leak into the bloodstream.
Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are given for migraines drive inflammation through gut dysbiosis.
You may want to read: NSAIDs, Gut Health & Inflammation & Painkillers Not Helping your Headaches?
Diarrhea that our members said they used to have (without the condition of IBD) can be because of the medication they were taking, for instance. They reported an increase in taking anti-inflammatory drugs with Long COVID migraines due to the occurrence, length of time, and pain intensity but have not had much relief.
This is because NSAIDs increase gut imbalance. For one, the pathogenic Clostridium difficile bacteria grows. This causes diarrhea. It lives in our gut under the control of beneficial gut bacteria, but a gut imbalance encourages its growth.
Plus, certain headaches are resistant to medication, like Refractory migraine.
How Do You Treat Migraines?
Understanding gut health and brain health will help you with Long COVID migraines and many other disorders. Eat Burn Sleep’s health education will empower you because you will get to know how your body works in an easy way.
Second-nature choices occur the more you learn and the more you do for your health with our tools on this platform.
In time, you don’t need to reach for painkillers; you have reduced stress in your mind and body, better body composition, and good quality sleep, for instance. In time, life will be less challenging, and you can plan and be spontaneous.
Your migraines may just be reduced considerably in a matter of days. Our member Jewel reported relief on day 1 of being on the program after three weeks of continual headaches (check out the COVID testimonials). Members indeed feel the instant changes in many ways, but I would allow for longer and start the Six Week Reset for a next-level health reboot.
Taking charge of your health through health education and taking control where you can is key.
Members, access the personalized advice for Long Covid Recovery here and Migraines are in the same section.
I am wishing you good health and a good day!