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124: Long-term shortness of breath after COVID-19: do I need iron?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 124

Introduction

Question: Long-term shortness of breath after COVID-19: do I need iron?

I don't think there's any evidence that iron fuels COVID-19. And it's pretty clear that the systemic inflammation is driving dysregulation of iron in a way that hurts oxygen delivery. So it's very clear that low oxygen delivery is a major feature of COVID. And I think probably the bulk of that is due to clotting, but also inflammation. And if you look at the CRP levels in COVID, like going up to the hundreds. Normally, you want it below one. Your CRP is two or three, we say you've got a problem with inflammation.

In COVID, these problems are largely driven by CRP levels that are in serious excess of 150. And so that and the IL-6 are driving iron into ferritin at the expense of hemoglobin. If your iron is low that in itself will compromise hemoglobin and therefore compromise the delivery of the already scarce oxygen driven by the clotting. And so the last thing that you want is an iron deficiency that you're not fixing. So yeah, I would say no two ways about it. You absolutely want to fix your iron deficiency.

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DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
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Authors
Chris Masterjohn, PhD