Covid-19 has caused a turbulent, unpredictable time, more than likely for every individual on the planet. Some of the biggest hurdles attached to the pandemic have focused on reducing the risks of infection, of the strength of the virus, and of the detriment of its presence on health and wellbeing.
While the risks have been decreased for many, resembling the common cold, for others, symptoms of long covid have surfaced, prolonging suffering, worry and fight.
Diagnosed where symptoms of covid reside beyond a 3-week timeframe, long covid is an accumulation of neurological and respiratory symptoms, for some, spanning across a 12-week period. However, due to the unfamiliar nature of covid, the full extent and timeframe of long covid are unknown, yet manageable through lifestyle choices and medical support.
1 in every 10 people here in the UK, presenting both symptoms and a positive test of Covid-19 are found to encounter long covid and its health concerns. Due to its prevalence and ongoing impacts, manoeuvring through the aftermath of covid should be a talking point. Keep reading our blog on ‘what is long covid?’, here at Action Rehab, for support with understanding, diagnosing, and managing symptoms of long covid.
What is long covid as a condition?
Covid-19 is a respiratory, infectious virus that can range from mild to life-threatening symptoms. It’s been the catalyst of disruption across the world since early 2020, continuing to spread through and impact life. While the average person who transmits and tests positive for Covid will recover a few weeks post-diagnosis, the effects can continue as the aftermath of covid, in both respiratory and neurological forms.
Known as long covid, here’s where symptoms continue to display for a period beyond the average diagnosis, resulting in reduced quality of life and wellbeing. Symptoms of long covid are known to display for 8-12 weeks, and even longer for other individuals, delaying the recovery process.
Across the world, it’s predicted that 5 million cases of long covid will be encountered, disrupting daily lives, functionality, and health. No matter how severe initial covid cases may have been, long covid is a possible result, requiring treatment and management.
Causes of long covid
‘How do people get long covid?’ is a common question, due to the unpredictability of its development. It can impact any individual who’s tested positive for and displayed symptoms of Covid-19. However, common causations highlight risk factors, which differentiate those who do experience the aftermath of covid.
Causes of long covid focus heavily on pre-existing health, where a poor immune system is found, where existing respiratory or life-limiting disorders, such as cancer or asthma are experienced, and where obesity and poor wellbeing is prevalent. While this isn’t always the case, as young and healthy individuals can develop long covid, health vulnerabilities can increase the risk.
Long covid is also found to develop for those where internal damages have been caused to organs and systems, through symptoms of covid. Stress, inflammation, and a weakened immune system can all impact the body, which are direct results of the changes and damages caused by the respiratory symptoms of covid-19, increasing the risk of prolonged symptoms for some individuals.
The impacts of long covid can vary significantly, from the degree to form of symptoms. However, the commonality is, is that reverting to everyday life can be tough, while still battling through the health implications of covid-19.
Symptoms of long covid
While answering ‘what is long covid?’ may be clear with an evidential definition, the symptoms, and effects of long covid can be difficult to recognise, due to its fluctuating nature. Common symptoms are however noted, linked to respiratory functionality and the health of further vital organs.
- Breathing difficulties
- Memory problems, reflecting brain fog
- Anxiety of varying natures, such as health anxiety and social anxiety
- Chronic fatigue
- The inability to complete usual everyday tasks
- Chest pains
- A lingering cough
- Heart palpitations
- Greater risks of developing the likes of asthma
- Further health concerns due to a poor immune system
Due to the impacts that long covid can amount to, physical health worries are high, especially when considering the stability of vital organs. Such concern is also linked to mental health vulnerabilities, very common through both the direct experience of covid and long covid adaptations.
Diagnosis of long covid will be made where symptoms do reside, by assessing medical history, including blood pressure, respiratory functionality, full blood count, chest X-rays and psychological assessments. If you’re encountering any degree of symptom, post-covid, opting for medical support will be encouraged to either rule out or treat long covid.
Managing long covid recovery
Long covid recovery can be aimed for with professional and medical support. Treatment will be provided for those who are struggling through symptoms of long covid, suitably recommended depending on the extent and type of symptoms. Rehabilitation plans to stabilise breathing, to improve overall health, to minimise pain and to boost the immune system may be recommended to suppress long covid.
Self-help tips can also be made use of, to work through the direct impacts of long covid, where nutrition, quality sleep, limits on alcohol, caffeine and drug use, and a balanced lifestyle will be beneficial. Combined with rest, with listening to your body and with working on your mental health, the consequences and the aftermath of covid can be relieved.
Long covid, if untreated can develop into even greater health concerns. Not only can your body take a hit, but your mental health can also suffer, down to the disruption and change caused by long covid.
If you are experiencing the above symptoms, if your symptoms become unpredictable, if you experience chest pains, chronic panic, brain fog and breathing problems, opting for emergency support will be recommended.
Support, resources, and treatment are available to reduce the impacts of long covid. Although we may still be working through the pandemic, focusing on future health and wellbeing is important. Do so by considering professional support, which we can direct you towards at Action Rehab.
Contact our team for more information on ‘what is long covid?’, along with how mental health recovery can coincide with long covid rehabilitation.
Posted on Friday, August 13th, 2021 at 9:19 am in Latest News.