Covid plus Concussion: Dysautonomia
Recently, I caught the inevitable Covid 19 Virus, probably whatever the newest sneaky variant is. The regular cold/flu-like symptoms were nasty yet manageable, but for me, the bonus Covid unique symptoms are the scary part :ie. brain fog, severe fatigue, dizzy spells and racing heart rate.
It's no secret that both vaccines and infections cause an immune response. And this response can temporarily flare concussion symptoms.
But then, along comes CoVID 19, a unique inflammatory infection which is speculated to attack the autonomic nervous system itself . So whoa, double hit ! Hello dysautonomia!
Dysautonomia is dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which normally likes to run smooth, steady and balanced. The ANS regulates involuntary functions such as heart rate, breathing and digestion. The mechanism for this regulation is blood flow.
Suddenly with concussion or possibly COVID 19, the autonomic nervous system doesn't work as it should. This abnormality in blood flow can cause symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, higher heart rate, severe fatigue, brain fog, memory problems, and even stomach upset. *
So what can we do? That’s where Yoga and exercise come in.
Concussion specific Yoga classes are designed to deal with dysautonomia. We work on breath control, mindful movement, anxiety management, body and heart rate awareness, and gradual cardio vascular exercise under symptomatic threshold.
I plan to use that same approach with my body as it heals from COVID 19. I also know it’s super important to stay calm, not ruminate on my dysautonomia symptoms and allow time to heal from the inflammation. I will follow an anti-inflammatory diet, supplements and sleep suggestions as I did for concussion.
And most certainly, I will be spending a lot of time on my Yoga mat. Will I see you there?
*If you think you may have dysautonomia, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.