"I had Covid-19 early on, and it left me with some long-tail fatigue and brain fog."

By Kylie Gilbert
Updated Mar 01, 2021 @ 2:43 pm
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One of the reassuring facts about Covid-19 is that most young, healthy people who come down with a 'mild' case typically bounce back in about two weeks. But nearly a year into the pandemic, we now know that an estimated 10% of Covid patients will go on to develop chronic symptoms, aka 'long Covid', that can persist for months — and it turns out that Gwyneth Paltrow is one of them.

"I had COVID-19 early on, and it left me with some long-tail fatigue and brain fog," Paltrow wrote in an article on her website, Goop. Paltrow's symptoms are consistent with the hodgepodge of aftereffects that other Covid 'long-haulers' have experienced, which can include fatigue, body aches, joint pain, headache, shortness of breath, light sensitivity, insomnia, diarrhea and cramping, memory problems and a debilitating "brain fog."

Credit: Getty Images

Paltrow also fits the profile of the typical long hauler: Per the New York Times, it's largely healthy women — who are relatively young and who experienced mild cases of Covid that did not require hospitalization — who have reported continuing to feel sick months after seemingly recovering from the virus. "In many cases, these symptoms continue unabated from the acute phase of the illness — as if, on some level, the infection never really went away. And for a subset of patients, new symptoms emerge later, as if a different illness has established itself in their bodies," the Times reports.

Paltrow says that after taking tests in January "that showed really high levels of inflammation in my body," she's been on a "road to healing" with a functional medicine doctor. Her so-called "long-term detox" currently includes following a modified keto and plant-based diet and fasting until 11 a.m. every day. She's also cut out sugar and alcohol (opting instead for an herbal mocktail sold on Goop.) She's also incorporating plenty of supplements, including Goop's own detoxifying superpowder.

"Everything I'm doing feels good, like a gift to my body. I have energy, I'm working out in the mornings, and I'm doing an infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing," Paltrow concludes.

Despite explaining that she's been doing 'major research' to support what she's been doing, her blog post prompted the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to warn against following Paltrow's advice when it comes to 'healing', reports the Guardian.

"In the last few days, I see Gwyneth Paltrow is, unfortunately, suffering from the effects of Covid. We wish her well, but some of the solutions she's recommending are really not the solutions we'd recommend in the NHS," said Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England.

"We need to take long Covid seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that," Powis added. "Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves. So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here."

Moral of the story? Be sure to check in with your doc before following the Covid advice of your favorite celeb or wellness influencer — even Gwyneth.