In one form or another, it appears that COVID-19 is here to stay. That’s the conclusion that most experts have reached as we surpass the second year since COVID-19 was first discovered. For this reason, it’s important to understand the full impact of contracting COVID-19, including long-COVID syndrome.
What is long-COVID syndrome and what are the symptoms?
Long-COVID syndrome is a wide range of new or persisting symptoms that COVID-19 sufferers experience weeks or months after they were first infected with the virus. Each individual may have a number of different symptoms that can affect various parts of the body. These include:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Ongoing cough
- Loss of smell or taste
- Digestive problems such as diarrhea
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Dizziness on standing
- Joint or muscle pain
- Depression or anxiety
The fatigue of long-COVID syndrome is one of the most common long-COVID syndrome symptoms and can be particularly difficult to manage. Often described as a lack of energy or motivation, fatigue can have a profound impact on one’s life and may result in:
- An inability to carry out normal daily tasks including going to work, school or self-care activities
- Chronic tiredness or sleepiness
- Poor concentration and brain fog
- Not feeling resting after sleeping through the night
At times, fatigue can be dismissed as a minor problem when in fact it can affect our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. If your fatigue still hasn’t resolved 6 weeks after the acute infection has resolved, this may be fatigue that is related to long-COVID syndrome.
What to do if you’re still having long-COVID symptoms
Millions of Americans find themselves in this position right now, dealing with long-COVID symptoms that simply aren’t going away. We know that long-COVID syndrome appears to be a multisystem disease, meaning the gastrointestinal system, nerves, heart and/or lungs may be impacted. It also means that everyone will have a slightly different experience with long-COVID syndrome.
If you suspect that you have long-COVID syndrome, the next thing to do is speak to a medical professional that can help with your specific case.
At the Kaplan Center, our goal is to treat long-COVID syndrome by taking a holistic, whole-body approach. This may involve one or more of the following options:
- Medications – Dr. Bruce Patterson Protocol for treatment of post-COVID
- Nutrition – Dietary changes to improve your gut function
- Replacement of minerals vitamins
- Psychotherapy, EMDR & Guided Meditation
- Sleep Evaluation & Management
Any treatment options suggested will be tailored to your specific case. It will depend on your own set of symptoms; medical history and your own COVID-19 journey (ie. whether it required hospitalization or if you had mild symptoms). We’ll also take into account your personal preference before jointly coming up with options that best suit your needs.
Can vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and antiviral agents help with long-COVID syndrome?
While vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and antiviral agents have an important role to play in lowering the risk of serious infection with COVID-19, there is no definitive evidence that they can prevent or cure long-COVID syndrome. Right now, evidence suggests that vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are very effective at stopping severe infection with COVID-19. For that reason, vaccination and booster shots are highly recommended. However, these interventions are not known to treat or halt long-COVID syndrome.
Long-COVID syndrome is a complex condition that usually requires the use of multiple treatment options. By working closely with our patients, listening to your concerns, we come up with a management plan that is tailored to your needs and circumstances.
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