Long COVID Effects – What Millions are Experiencing
September 23, 2022
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Long COVID is the name given to the effects of the virus that linger after a person has recovered from the initial infection. Symptoms can last for weeks or months, and some report feeling completely different – and often much worse – than before they got sick. Millions of people are experiencing the long-term effects of COVID. This is what life looks like for them.
Some people also experience chest pain, heart palpitations, and extreme fluctuations in weight. The effects of long COVID can be debilitating, making it hard to work, take care of kids, or even get out of bed in the morning. For many people, long COVID is a life-altering experience that completely upends their previous sense of normalcy.
Damage Covid Does to the Body
Covid doesn’t just attack the lungs – the virus can also infiltrate and damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and gut. In fact, one of the most common long COVID symptoms is “brain fog” – a feeling of confusion and mental exhaustion that can make it hard to focus or even think clearly.
Covid can also cause long-term damage to the heart, even in people who never had any underlying heart conditions. In a recent study, nearly one in five survivors of severe Covid infections were found to have significant heart damage. And that’s not even counting the potential for lasting lung damage, which is still being studied.
There’s also evidence that Covid can cause long-term kidney damage, even in people who recover from the initial infection without any serious kidney problems. In one Chinese study, nearly 10% of Covid patients were found to have significant kidney damage after they recovered from the initial infection.
The gut is another common target of Covid damage. The virus can cause inflammation in the digestive system, leading to a host of long-term gut problems like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Some people’s immune systems are also permanently changed by Covid. In a recent study of long-term Covid survivors, nearly half of the participants were found to have abnormal immune function. This means they’re more susceptible to other infections and illnesses – and the virus could come back in a more severe form.
What Causes Long COVID?
The exact cause of long COVID is not yet known, but many experts believe it is related to how the virus affects the body. Some experts believe that long COVID may be caused by inflammation and damage to the lungs, heart, or brain. Others think it could be a result of the body’s immune system overreacting to the virus.
How Common is Long COVID?
It is difficult to know exactly how many people are affected by long COVID because the symptoms can be so varied and vary in severity. However, it is estimated that around 10% of people who contract COVID-19 will experience long-term effects from the virus. This means that millions of people worldwide are currently dealing with long COVID.
Long COVID is still a relatively new phenomenon, and scientists are still trying to understand how it can affect the body. But one thing is clear: the virus can cause lasting damage to multiple organs, even in people who recover from the initial infection.
If you think you may have long COVID, it is important to talk to your doctor. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for long COVID, but there are ways to manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life. With more and more people experiencing long COVID, researchers are working hard to learn more about the condition and develop effective treatments.