There is no denial regarding rethinking how Covid-19 turned out to be a wandering massacre that took millions of lives. However, with proper quarantining and strong willpower, the world also recognized some of the ongoing fighters, i.e., the patients who fought against Covid and went back to their family safe and sound. Even though the patients recover from the virus itself, they still suffer from post-covid syndrome. This can last for an extended period. Post-covid syndrome can affect health to a greater level and infect the internal body parts of a person. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the post-covid syndrome and how to fight it for a healthier you.
About Post-Covid Syndrome
Post-covid syndrome in the aftermath of the covid-19 virus attack in the human body. It is not a necessity for every infected person to go through the syndrome. However, for some people, it can cause long-term effects and internal infections leading to poor health. Observations say people affected by the Coronavirus showed the effects of the illness even weeks and months after recovery.
The worse thing is that people who tend to suffer from post-covid syndrome test negative to covid-19. This confuses both the patient and the doctor, resulting in steps that might harm the patient and his/her family members. However, thanks to the quarantine for being one of the most efficient ways of not spreading the virus to safe people by any means or way.
Background of Post-Covid Syndrome
Post-Covid Syndrome is the aftermath occurring to a human body after the covid-19 virus-infected s/he. Although, not everyone who survived the virus will experience it. Some experts argue believing one might experience a rough post-covid syndrome if one solely depended on home-based treatment. In contrast, other experts believe people who had mild symptoms of covid also tend to experience the syndrome.
Some studies have shown that only 10% of COVID patients will continue to develop the post-COVID syndrome. In contrast, other studies have shown a higher percentage. Even studies have shown that up to 70% of people will continue to develop symptoms. The actual frequency of post-COVID syndrome remains highly controversial, and different studies have found this condition to be more or less common in other populations. However, the people who might tend to experience the post-covid syndrome are:
- People who experienced severe covid-19 effects
- And People above the age group of 50-55
- People who have underlying diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc.
Causes Of Post-Covid Syndrome
Even though the virus may not be alive in the human body, it still has the chance to trigger the body, causing post-covid syndromes. Some of the causes of the post-covid syndrome are the following:
1. Blood- Clot and Blood Vessel Damage
The virus can infect and destroy the cells lining blood vessels. This lining is generally smooth and slippery, like an ice rink that helps blood quickly circulate throughout the body. However, when the endothelial cells lining the vessel walls are damaged, they become sticky, causing platelets in the blood to stick to the vessel walls and forming blood clots. Blood clots then disrupt the normal blood flow and damage organs. When they appear in the lungs, they can cause breathing difficulties. Typically, patients with high protein levels in their blood show that their blood is very prone to clotting.
2. Autoimmune Response
COVID-19 may have triggered the autoimmune response, in which the immune system mistakenly targets healthy body tissue instead of the virus. It was recently discovered that COVID-19 patients had higher numbers of autoantibodies, immune molecules that attack healthy tissue, than those without the virus. Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis often cause fatigue and digestive problems. However, digestive problems and fatigue is a common symptom after COVID. According to experts, the exact mechanisms behind these conditions may cause similar symptoms in patients with post-covid syndrome.
Observations show a lot of post-covid syndrome patients suffer from dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is responsible for involuntary functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and digestion. You could say it in an abnormal autonomic nerve that affects blood flow, including blood to the brain. This can cause fatigue, headaches, and mental confusion. Dysautonomia is found in patients who were caught dealing with the post-covid syndrome
Most of the patients were caught suffering from post-covid syndrome due to the high-level inflammations in their bodies. Research shows 60% of the people out of 100 who had ongoing heart inflammation tend to suffer from chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue with rapidly increasing heart-rate. However, inflammation inside the body also depends on how badly the person was affected by the covid-19 virus.
How to Identify If You Have Post-Covid Syndrome?
According to experts, the following are some of the significant post-covid syndrome symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of taste
- Lack of smell
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Racing heartbeat
- Numbness in toes and fingers
- Trouble eating
It is essential to understand that post-covid syndrome symptom is not always physical. To some people, it may affect mentally as well. We need to take care of patients who are recovering from the attack of the deadly virus. If you experience these symptoms, you can consult either of the following experts:
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Primary care
Types of Post-Covid 19 Conditions
The types of post-covid syndromes can be classified into three different categories based on the following:
1. MultiOrgan Effects
It affects the body’s systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain functions. Multi-organ effects can also include diseases that occur after COVID-19, such as Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome and autoimmune diseases.
In the case of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, inflammation can occur in different parts of the body. In the case of autoimmunity, your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body, causing painful inflammation in affected parts of the body.
Overall, it is not yet clear if these two conditions can lead to severe health deterioration in the future or for how long the patient might suffer from it.
2. Long Covid Symptoms
Anyone with COVID-19 can have COVID long-term, even if they are mildly ill or have no symptoms. Long-term COVID is a series of symptoms that can last for weeks to months after the first infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or appears several weeks after infection. However, people with long covid symptoms may experience the following conditions:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of taste
- Lack of smell
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
3. Covid-19 Hospitalization and Treatment
You could say long-term effects are similar to the effects of hospitalization for other respiratory infections or other diseases, or vice versa. The effects of COVID-19 treatment and hospitalization may also include severe syndrome, which refers to health effects that persist after a severe illness. These conditions may include severe weakness and PTSD.
How Can Be Post-Covid Syndrome Treated
While there is no fixed evidence claiming to cure post-covid syndrome symptoms, experts are still studying the cures. However, according to the experts, treatment goals are to identify the underlying problem, control the patient’s symptoms, and slowly improve their function.
While the researchers study a little more about the post-covid symptoms, the following can be considered as two healthy and natural post-covid syndrome treatments:
1. Improving Your Sleep
Sleep is a time of physical and mental recovery as your brain flushes out toxins built up throughout the day. Observations have also found that stress, anxiety, depression, and environmental factors, such as light and noise, can also be some of the reasons that can disturb the patient’s sleep. Experts also suggest patients not watch television and motivate to perform yoga or meditation before sleeping for a peaceful and undisturbed sleep.
2. Practicing Your Breathwork
Healthy breathing reduces stress and anxiety, makes it easier to sleep, and positively affects their other symptoms. That’s why doctors recommend breathing through your nose and taking fewer, deeper breaths every minute. This practice activates the calming parasympathetic branch of the nervous system. As a natural remedy, clinical studies have shown that breathing exercises help patients overcome dizziness and shortness of breath when walking around the house.
How Can You Protect Yourself from this Syndrome
Post-Covid Syndrome can only affect you when exposed to the covid-19 virus, so you need to protect yourself and the people around you. The following are some easy steps that will prevent you from getting infected:
1. Stay 6 Feet Away from Others
It is essential to understand that even Some asymptomatic people can transmit the virus. Remember to keep a distance of 6 feet between you and people who do not live at home. Keep at least 6 feet (about two arms long) away from others. You will keep 20 feet between you and the sick family member, even at home.
2. Wash Your Hands Often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public or blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
To prevent the virus, always remember to wash your hands –
- Before eating or preparing food
- After going to the bathroom
- and After leaving a public place
- Then blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After holding a mask
- Before touching your face
- After changing diapers
- And caring for a sick person
- After touching animals or pets
If soap and water are not available, you can also use a hand sanitizer that contains less than 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they are dry. Always try to carry your sanitizer, no matter where you go.
3. Get Vaccinated Whenever You Can
Covid-19 vaccines are now available. Get your vaccination whenever possible. Completed dosage of vaccination permits you to go outside your homes without any worry.
4. Wear a Mask
It is essential for anyone two years of age and older to wear a mask in public. Wear a mask and stay at least six feet apart, especially around people you do not live with. If any member of your household is infected, household members should take precautions, including wearing a mask to avoid spreading it to others. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before applying the mask. Put the mask on your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Make sure the mask fits the edges of the face. Then wrap it over the ears or tie it behind the head. To prevent suffocation, select masks that help you breathe freely.
5. Avoid Crowded Places
Avoid indoor spaces that cannot provide as much fresh air as much as possible. Open the doors and windows to inhale fresh air. Poorly ventilated places such as restaurants, bars, gyms, or movie theaters tend to put you at a higher risk of COVID-19. If possible, stay home unless necessary.
6. Keep a Check on Your Health
Watch for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. It is essential to go to an office or workplace and places where it can be challenging to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.
Take a check on your temperature if symptoms develop. Do not take your temperature for 30 minutes after exercising or taking medicines that can lower your temperature.
7. Cover Your Cough and Sneezes
When coughing or sneezing, be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or cover your nose and mouth with the inside of your elbow and not spit. Do not reuse used tissue papers, and throw them in the dustbin right after a single use. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to wash your hands.
If you wear a mask while coughing or sneezing, you can cough or sneeze into the mask. Just remember to put on a new, clean mask and wash your hands with soap or sanitize them as soon as possible.
8. Keep Your Surrounding Sanitized
If someone is sick or tested positive for COVID-19, disinfect the surfaces you touch frequently. Before disinfecting, clean the surface with detergent or soap and water. Even clean high-touch surfaces regularly every day. This includes tables, door handles, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, telephones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If you are looking after someone infected or infected, you can still protect your loved ones by quarantining and maintaining a social distance. Make sure your loved ones do not enter the quarantine room.
Post-Covid Syndrome and Vaccination
One trial randomized patients with long-term COVID to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the beginning of the study or wait for several months. This will allow researchers to compare the vaccinated population with the unvaccinated population to see fundamental differences in the changes in symptoms. In any case, many people will improve spontaneously, and if you are vaccinated, you can recover. However, it is unclear whether it is the vaccine or spontaneous recovery. Compared with unvaccinated patients, those who received the COVID-19 vaccine had an overall improvement in prolonging symptoms of COVID.
About 23% of vaccinated patients reported an improvement in their symptoms, compared to about 15% of the unvaccinated population. Also, few people who have been vaccinated have seen their symptoms worsen. Experts have not yet analyzed blood samples from people with longer COVID before and after vaccination. This can provide information on whether vaccines are beneficial. Regardless of whether the vaccine can alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19, people who have recovered from COVID-19 can be vaccinated safely. Vaccination is also beneficial because it is not clear how long COVID-19 will last for immune protection. Experts indeed encourage everyone to take their vaccinations and follow post covid vaccine instructions for a better recovery.
The Bottom Line
Not just under expert observations, but also in general, people have been dealing with post-covid syndrome. Fatigue, tiredness, and lack of smell still follow at least 20-30% of the affected patients. However, some people with COVID-19 experience symptoms including fatigue, respiratory and neurological symptoms, regardless of whether they need to be hospitalized during post-covid syndrome. However, the World Health Organization is currently collaborating with researchers and patient groups worldwide to conduct studies in patients beyond the initial acute course to understand the long-term impact, how long it lasts, and the proportion of patients who have the cause. Until now, people who are 60 years or older and suffer from fundamental medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, diabetes, obesity are often affected by the aftermath of covid. Post-covid syndrome can be avoided only if you stay at home, wash your hands, maintain social distance, and get vaccinated.