Some people get a cold or flu and they recover completely in just days. Some others, in contrast, get sick and even if they are no longer actively fighting the infection, the fatigue can run on for weeks. Why is that?

The answer lies in 1) high oxidative load and 2) lack of adrenal stamina.

High Oxidative Load

People in that second scenario do have intact immunity but it’s just not as efficient. As it turns out, the body can recruit too many of its defence troops, and those troops, no matter whether the pathogen is killed, continue to put up a fight; oxidation continues on even after the pathogen has been eliminated. The more defence troops recruited by the body, the more
oxidative load. Hence, the greater degree and duration of fatigue, also known as post-viral syndrome/fatigue.

Lack of Adrenal Stamina

Combating a cold or flu is a physiologically stressful event requiring the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands, and how much is made is determined by how dangerous the body perceives the threat. Infections, typically the prolonged ones, demand sustained output of cortisol, and in turn that exhausts the adrenal glands. When a sick person
comes out of a prolonged infection, the ensuing fatigue can be even more pronounced because of the burnt out adrenal glands.

Implications in Menopausal Women

For peri-menopausal and menopausal women, because we already rely heavily on the adrenal glands to make other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, the adrenals will be furthermore depleted after an infection. Leave me a comment below if you’ve experienced post-viral fatigue more intensely than when you were in premenopause.

In both high oxidative load and lack of adrenal stamina situations, vitamin C is the hero. As an antioxidant, vitamin C donates an electron to reactive oxygen species, reducing their capacity to wreck cells. On the other hand, vitamin C to the adrenal glands is like fuel to an automobile.

Post Covid-19 infection for instance, will require much nutritional support and rest to reverse the two phenomena mentioned above. I encourage you to stock up on vegetables and fruits amid Covid-19, and should you desire, vitamin C tablets.

I hear you ask, how much?

The general rule of thumb is, take your weight in kg and multiply by 70, and that would give you the amount you need per day in milligrams.

Body weight: 72kg

72kg x 70mg vitamin C / kg body weight = 5,040 mg vitamin C.

In this example, I would recommend take 5000mg (5g) of vitamin C in divided doses throughout the day. Ideally, 1000mg per dose with 1 glass of water, and make hydration a priority when taking vitamin C supplements. Gradual dosing prevents diarrhea associated with oral vitamin C, and proper hydration prevents calcium-oxalate stone formation.

Word of Caution

If you have chronic liver or kidney conditions, gout, or a history of calcium-oxalate kidney stones, take maximum1,000 mg a day. It’s not that you can’t take more, it’s just that there could be room for complication if not watching your fluid intake for example as in the case of calcium kidney stones.

Have questions? Your menopause naturopath at Calgary can help you, Talk to Dr.Kait now.

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