GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We are now two and half years into the pandemic and we're beginning to learn more about the affects of long COVID. It's a condition that is becoming a real challenge to many who have recovered from the COVID-19 virus.
The most common symptoms of long COVID include:
- chronic fatigue
- loss of smell or taste
- memory loss
- brain fog
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
Dr. Bruce Patterson says he's found a new way to treat long COVID, and it changed the life of one Michigan man.
Bruce Byl is like nearly 7 million Americans. He suffered from long COVID. His symptoms included insomnia, fatigue and shortness of breath.
But there was one symptom he found the most debilitating.
"The brain fog was just terrible. I would have to write down why I was going to the hardware store because I might get there and not remember why I was there," he said. "Or I might be driving the car and not remember where I was going. I mean, it was that bad."
And nearly a year after his COVID infection, Bruce wasn't getting any better.
"I was scared to death. I thought guys this the way my life is gonna end?"
Bruce wasn't alone. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 Americans who get COVID suffer from long hauler symptoms. It's a phenomenon physicians are still trying to understand.
Dr. Bruce Patterson is a former Medical Director at Stanford University School of Medicine and believes he may have found the main cause: Inflammation already in the body before a COVID-19 infection.
"The fact is, the underlying inflammation of the blood vessels is what's going on in long COVID in causing the majority of the symptoms," Patterson said.
Dr. Patterson created a blood test that uses biomarkers to diagnose patients.
"And we looked at over 150 different biomarkers, and found with the help of AI, a signature that says, this is long COVID."
He's using artificial intelligence or AI to narrow down what is causing the inflammation, whether it's undiagnosed heart disease, fibromyalgia or another inflammatory disease.
"We actually treat the cause. And so when we're done with treatment, after six to 12 weeks, they don't come back, because we've treated the underlying cause of long COVID," he said.
Dr. Patterson's protocol has been approved for use in the UK and is currently under peer review and review by the FDA.
"We now have 24,000 long hauler patients, the largest cohort in the world that we're diagnosing and treating because we have the tools to do that."
And Bruce Byl is one of those patients.
"The guy literally gave me my life back," he said.
Bruce did a blood test and had it analyzed through Dr. Patterson's online Chronic COVID Treatment Center.
He then had a virtual visit with his Primary Care Doctor and Dr. Patterson to hear the results. The artificial intelligence algorithm found Bruce had undiagnosed vascular inflammation. Dr. Patterson recommended several FDA approved medications for cardiovascular disease to treat the inflammation.
Bruce Byl says it worked.
"And after about a week, maybe 10 days of being on this medical protocol, I started feeling better, and I then continued to feel better."
And after just a few months, Bruce had his pre-COVID life back.
The blood test is available to anyone and will treat most long COVID symptoms associated with inflammation. Insurance coverage varies depending on your individual policy.
If you think you have the symptoms of long COVID contact The Chronic COVID Treatment Center and follow the instructions on how to start the process of analyzing your condition through a blood test.
13 On Your Side Health Reporter Valerie Lego
Val has been reporting on health and medical stories in West Michigan for 16 years. She is an 18-time Emmy Award Winner. Her health reporting credentials include fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Association of Health Care Journalists
Contact me: vallego@13OnYourSide.com
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