How to manage long Covid symptoms is a daily task if you are suffering from persistent symptoms affecting your daily life and ability to work. While there are familiar symptoms of long Covid like brain fog, fatigue, headache, pain, and breathlessness. There are also unfamiliar symptoms, like hair loss, reduced libido, chest pain, and bowel incontinence. Others are fever, erectile dysfunction, and limb swelling.
Researchers also found out that certain factors and conditions influenced a higher risk of persistent symptoms. These are normally beyond 12 weeks after Covid infection. In such situations, your risk is higher if you are female of younger age. Or you belong to an ethnic group minority and a lower socioeconomic class. Also being obese and smoking add to a wide range of health issues.
The purpose of how to manage long Covid symptoms explains what you need to do if you suffer from the chronic health impact of long Covid.
Long Covid Symptoms And Complications
More than 3 million people died from Covid -19, even though many recovers. A huge number continue to experience symptoms and complications after the illness. These include physical, mental as well as psychological symptoms. But the most reported are fatigue, breathlessness, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, cough, chest pain, diarrhoea, and change in taste and smell.
Other common symptoms are cognitive impairment, memory loss, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
How To Manage Long Covid Symptoms: A Multidisciplinary Approach Solution
Although treatment options are limited because of insufficient understanding of the mechanisms that underpin long Covid. Nonetheless, if you fall into the category of long Covid sufferers, you need three interventions. First is multidisciplinary care that involves long-term monitoring of your symptoms. The second is to identify your complications that require clinical intervention and physical rehabilitation. The third is for your mental health and social services support.
The aspects of how to manage long Covid symptoms are explained below:
If you have severe acute Covid-19 and are in intensive care units, you may develop muscle weakness, muscle disease, and nerve damage or dysfunction. So, these are the main areas for post-intensive care syndrome. Hence you are advised to start physical rehabilitation in intensive care units as soon as sedation and clinical stability permit. For instance, pulmonary lung rehabilitation may help improve your breathing, exercise capacity, muscle strength, and quality of life. In addition, early rehabilitation will improve your functional, cognitive, and respiratory conditions. And is likely to reduce your hospital stays.
Furthermore, if you are not hospitalised with long Covid, you may still need physical rehabilitation, particularly if you have heart and lungs problems. Such rehabilitation will improve your ability to engage in daily living activities.
Managing pre-existing co-morbidities
If you experience severe acute Covid-19 with underlying co-morbidities, it is essential to manage this very well in order to avoid clinical deterioration or readmission.
Mental health support
There is a need to ensure that appropriate mental health support services is available and accessible to you, if needed. Accordingly, you may be screened and referred for specialist management.
Social services support
Due to persistent symptoms with long Covid, you may be unable to return to work. Likewise, you may not cope with day-to-day living especially if you suffer social isolation or stigmatization. In both cases, you may require long-term governmental financial support.
Can “Blood Washing” Therapy Treat Long Covid?
As a treatment for long Covid, “blood washing” medically referred to as apheresis is getting a lot of attention on social media. Apheresis involves taking blood from the body and “filtering” it. While it works for some conditions like sickle cell and leukaemia. It is yet to be proven effective in any meaningful trial in treating long Covid. Moreover, there are risks in “blood washing” such as citrate reaction, haemolysis, or air embolism.
Therefore, in order to give long Covid patients hope, the full scale of the disease contributing to long Covid needs to be extensively defined. This is because of the real increase in blood clots and new diagnoses of conditions-like diabetes after Covid infection.
Since patients are likely to continue taking desperate measures to treat chronic symptoms, therapy like “blood washing” would not be the first and certainly not the last. Therefore the solution is for more robust rigorous clinical trials on long Covid treatment. Otherwise, the evidence gap will continue to motivate a combination of misguided evangelists and swindlers who prey on the sick and vulnerable. In the end, many people will continue to be exposed to unproven treatments with possibly harmful side effects.
The real increase in symptoms and health complications people experience with long Covid is promoting the urgent need for an in-depth understanding of the condition’s clinical path. As such it is crucial to have better, more integrated care models to support and manage patients with long Covid. Additionally is the importance of robust healthcare services to drive efficient and effective actions to present and future health challenges.