What’s the Big Deal? Living with Long COVID

Mask mandates are being repealed. More people are going out and about, without concerns. Should they truly drop their guard completely?

Some COVID-19 patients never get severely ill. They may not end up in the intensive care unit (ICU) or on ventilators. (Thank goodness!) Yet the impact of contracting COVID-19 may result in health issues many months after clearing the virus from their systems.

These unfortunate patients are among those who have post-COVID-19 conditions, chronic symptoms called long COVID or post-COVID-syndrome.

Common chronic COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Persistent fevers or fatigue
  • Neurological symptoms, such as brain fog, headache, dizziness or insomnia
  • Persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • Cardiovascular conditions, such as inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
    • One study showed that 60 out of 100 patients with long COVID had inflammation or injury to the heart muscle and lining of the heart (pericarditis)
  • Dysautonomia, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system that controls involuntary physical processes such as heart rate, breathing and bladder function
  • Pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or other blood clotting issues
  • Kidney damage, which can lead to protein or blood in the urine
  • Persistent nausea and diarrhea
  • New prediabetes or diabetes
  • New thyroid disorder

“Some days are emotionally hard for me, but my advice to others dealing with chronic symptoms of COVID-19 would be to stay persistent no matter what. Stay persistent in protecting yourself and others by getting vaccinated, and stay persistent in advocating for yourself as a patient,” says Samantha Lewis, 34, a long COVID sufferer and the director of a network of long-term care facilities for adults with long-term disabilities in Aurora, IL. “Stay persistent for the long road ahead.”

Northwestern Medicine, https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/patient-stories/long-covid-19-symptoms-stories

Ottendorf Laboratories works with the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services to offer publicly available, no-cost, no-insurance, no-ID COVID-19 testing and vaccination options.

Contact us at (919) 390-2550 or [email protected] to explore what options we offer to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19!

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