Post Viral Syndrome – Case Study

On Feb 15th I was running a high temperature, definitely coming down with something and the next day I had a seizure (my first one ever). I was sent to hospital and stayed there for several days. This post record some interesting observations both as a ME/CFS person and a person with an unknown virus (not COVID-19) that echo some aspects reported for COVID-19.

Onset

I happened to be wearing a watch (Cheap $18 watch from China) that records my pulse and blood pressure every hour. This is what was recorded. Impressive changes

Tests

The symptoms presented like sepsis, so I was placed on multiple high dosage antibiotics. Testing found nothing (Flu, bacteria, and even a spinal tap to check for meningitis). Many CRT and MRI scans. Nothing was found so the most likely cause was a viral infection of unknown type.

The fever lasted for about 3 days. I was given beta blockers, heparin etc.

Blood Sugar

It was measured by the ambulance crew and was at the high end of the normal range. For the next three days it was quite high outside of the normal range. On day 4 it returned to the middle of the normal range.

This is significant for COVID-19, because people with high blood sugar (diabetes) have a higher fatality rate. I suspect that the same increase of blood pressure pushes things still higher to the lethal range in some.

My Glucose levels — it was below 100 when the ambulance picked me up

C-Reactive Protein

If your examine my post on another blog on symptoms, you will see that high values of c reactive protein are associated with higher death rates for Covid-19 [PubMed]

C Reative Protein levels

Blood Pressure and Pulse

These stayed high and were still abnormally high at discharge. I started on supplements proven in studies to lower blood pressure, and they helped quickly but BP stayed erratic (jumping from normal to high for 2 hrs and then back), just less so over time.

A reader referred me to this study of MERS-CoV, another Coronavirus. The item that helped was resveratrol, which also lowers blood pressure (may be the mechanism it works thru).

Discharge

The moment that I got home, I did a microbiome test (Thryve) with a primary focus on correcting changes from the antibiotics. For the abnormal high blood pressure, I hit it with literally everything that was documented (see here for the list). Blood pressure and pulse initially went back to normal and then started jumping around with no apparent explanation at the time.

Oops on Supplements

I received my Thryve microbiome results and was not surprise to see the chart shown below. It indicated that the jump of blood pressure was a result of microbiome changes induced by the virus.

BP jumped due to virus induced changes of the microbiome

I then identified which shifts were key:

The interesting thing was that comparing the recommendations for this mixture and the studies, we had good overlap — but a few appear on the avoid list. I removed those from my supplements, and things improved more.

It illustrates that results from the general population may not apply to an individual. I had a subset of the high BP bacteria and being specific to those bacteria is preferred.

Hypercoagulation vs Pulse and Blood Pressure

One of the things that I noticed was that my 02 saturation was not the normal 99%. A rock steady 99%.

  • When my pulse and BP went to normal for a few hours, O2 dropped to 94%
  • When my pulse and BP went high, my O2 returned to 99%

Conversations with Dave Berg, Hemex Labs, came back. Infections often trigger coagulation (blood thickening). The light went on! The increase of both pulse and blood pressure may be a response to the low O2 level and an attempt to restore O2 levels.

As a side note, the hypercoagulation is suspected by some to play a role in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). The thick blood results in delay of blood pressure in the body resulting in mis-signalling. The rapid increase in heartbeat seen with POTS is an attempt to compensate.

Heart rate and blood pressure work together to keep the blood flowing at a healthy pace, no matter what position the body is in. People with POTS cannot coordinate the balancing act of blood vessel squeeze and heart rate response. This means the blood pressure cannot be kept steady and stable….. Patients may develop POTS after a viral illness, 

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

I know from ME/CFS days that I have an inherited coagulation defect [Prothrombin G20210A or factor II mutation]. I am one of the lucky ones because there are known substances that will compensate for my particular defect: Piracetam, with tumeric being a secondary choice. I proceeded with 1200 mg of Piracetam with each meal. O2 levels went up, pulse and BP went down more. See below

BP and Pulse stayed in sync

I have a follow up in 2 weeks with my MD and hope to get some heparin to take sublingually (under tongue, not by needle) to further clear the hypercoagulation.

Virus and Coagulation

Bottom Line

It was interesting to see that this unknown virus caused changes in blood sugar and blood pressure. For COVID-19, there are higher death rates (about 9-10%) for people with diabetes (high glucose) and hypertension (high blood pressure) – I suspect that COVID-19 pushes these to potentially fatal levels.

Takeaways: reducing BP and blood sugar proactively and aggressively may be a good strategy. High BP may be connected with hypercoagulation (which may be sub-clinical, i.e. not severe enough for physicians to take action).