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Long-Covid Patients Struggle with Fatigue, other Symptoms

William Smith

Did you know that a Coronavirus infection may never have completely left for some patients? This is the phenomenon that doctors are now referring to as long covid. While much of the phobia about contracting coronavirus is almost gone, there is almost nothing to smile about in the situation for long -covid patients.  

Some recovered patients decry long covid symptoms which mimic the very infection of Covid-19. Long Covid refers to the symptoms of CoronaVirus long after a patient contracted and even recovered from a CoronaVirus infection.

 Although the symptoms of Long Covid may vary, most commonly reported ones are brain fog, fatigue, muscle ache, chest pain and inability to concentrate.

 A study conducted by Asadi‐Pooya, et al in 2022 concerning long covid syndrome and its association with brain fog asserted that brain fog was a commonly reported symptom among patients suffering from Long Covid.  

Most of those who reported brain fog also cited fatigue as a derailing factor for reduced physical activity. The symptoms of Long Covid are not any different from those of CoronaVirus infection.

 They are fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, headache, dizziness, anxiety, and challenges with concentration. 

Voices of Long Covid patients confirm the claims that brain fog and fatigue are almost synonymous with the condition. Smith, a 30-year-old man who contracted coronavirus infection in 2020 admits that the infection never left anyway. 

After all, the symptoms have lingered on for a long time such that he has had to figure out how to live with the condition. Even after being declared Covid-19 free, he still struggles with fatigue three years later. 

“I cannot wake up as early as I used to before contracting the virus. I can no longer take part in morning runs as I used to do. In other words, I feel weak and sickly. I have had to enroll for physiotherapy sessions to get my vitality back. Despite this, I feel that I may never go back to my former self in terms of physical activity and general mental coordination”.

 Smith’s claims were validated by Asadi-Pooya’s 2022 study which asserted that one’s physical activity reduced significantly as a result of long covid symptoms. 

Pooya concluded that “in total, 1680 (62.3%) people reported chronic symptoms/complaints of LCS. 

The most common symptoms included: exercise intolerance (619; 23%), fatigue (781; 29%), dyspnea (554; 20.5%), muscle pain (441; 16.4%), sleep difficulty (392; 14.5%), cough (234; 8.7%), brain fog (194; 7.2%), chest pain (130; 4.8%), and loss of smell (129; 4.8%)”. 

Therefore, the patients’ claims are valid and actually common for most who suffer from Long Covid. Most clinical reports are similar to Pooya’s findings. 

Although it is confirmed that indeed some patients suffer Long Covid, which is even diagnosable, there is no ascertained cure for the condition.

 Doctors cannot authoritatively pinpoint a drug regime or approach that can be used for all patients reporting Long Covid symptoms. The collection of symptoms of Long Covid may vary from one patient to another. 

Therefore, patients receive treatment depending on the symptoms, though the certainty of cure remains gray as patients respond differently. 

Lucy, a 45-year-old teacher, says that since contracting Covid, she has lost her sense of smell and taste. After leaving ICU, she is no longer able to single out smells of her favorite fragrances. 

She has also suffered from chronic chest pain and a cough that does not go away. Her breathing difficulties worsen during cold weather. 

Despite seeking treatment for the last one year, none of the interventions seems to work. She has now resulted into keeping herself warm and taking hot fluids as a management approach.

 Nevertheless, the symptoms do not seem to go away. She admits to losing hope in ever regaining her health. “I feel that I should resign to fate and live with these symptoms. Living with these symptoms and managing them daily has become my new normal. I hate it but what option do I have?”. 

Lucy’s voice represents the worries of many other Long Covid patients whose efforts of treating the condition have proved futile. 

Yale Specialists note with a halo of concern that brain fog, shortness of breath and fatigue are common symptoms reported among long covid patients.

 This is the very concern of its long covid program. Katella says, “Yale’s Long COVID program aims to treat patients with lingering COVID-19 symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, and shortness of breath”.
 Neurologist Lindsay McAlpine, MD, director of the Yale Neuro-Covid Clinic validates most of the fears that long covid patients cite. She argues that each patient receives a personalized approach to treatment depending on their symptoms. Personalized healthcare services have to take precedence over generalized management since there is “there is no one pill or strategy that helps everybody.”

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