004: Long Covid - A Historical View


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Welcome to Podcast Four in Your Panic Free Life series. I’m Annie Roy-Barker, founder of Your Panic Free Life. Here’s my question: What is the reason that some people recover completely from the Covid-19 virus and others suffer long term effects from it? And, it seems, even those who had a mild attack of the virus can suffer from long term COVID symptoms such as chronic fatigue, exhaustion, lethargy, severe weakness, muscle aches and pains.
It’s possible that the answer could be staring us right in the face.
Let me take you way, way back to the American Civil War, between 1861 and 1865. It was then that a physician by the name of Jacob Mendes Da Costa observed, in soldiers, the same symptoms that present in Long Covid today. Da Costa’s studied soldiers that marched twenty miles or so every day, at double pace, with little or no food and water and in appalling weather. Eventually, of course, many soldiers would fall by the wayside, exhausted.
Now, here’s the really interesting bit. Even after the virus had worked its way through, soldiers still had debilitating symptoms such as abnormal palpitations, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and breathlessness that prevented them returning to full military duties. The cause of this condition, which came to be known as Da Costa’s Syndrome, has baffled physicians for centuries.
Fast forward, now, to Dr Claude Lum, 1916 - 2008, Emeritus Chest Physician, Papworth Hospital, England. Dr Lum’s extensive study into Chronic Habitual Hyperventilation Syndrome (dysfunctional breathing) revealed symptoms matching Da Costa’s Syndrome. In his article ‘Hyperventilation: The Tip Of The Iceberg’ Dr Lum states: Symptoms may show up anywhere, in any organ; for we are dealing with a profound bio-chemical disturbance; a condition that doctors fail to recognise and, because hyperventilation syndrome doesn’t
show up in any tests or examinations, the patient is diagnosed as suffering from anxiety.
And here’s another really interesting point. Dr Lum identified that Chronic Habitual Hyperventilation Syndrome commonly takes hold following a virus.
So there you have it. The symptoms of Long Covid and Chronic Habitual Hyperventilation Syndrome have remarkable similarity. And this brings me to the reason for my professional interest. I met Dr Lum when I was referred to him as a patient. For about nine years, I’d been experiencing mysterious symptoms - that this Podcast is all about.
By the way, I’d already been through numerous doctors, consultants and all manner of health professionals prior to being referred to Dr Lum my illness as Chronic Habitual Hyperventilation Syndrome and, under his guidance, I made a full recovery. That was over thirty years ago, and I’m still symptom free. And this is the reason I created my Breathing Re-training Programme, to enable people to overcome the debilitating symptoms that dysfunctional breathing can create.
Discover how to live Your Panic Free Life by checking out the Your Panic Free Life Breathing Re-Training Programme that led me from panic to recovery.

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