“But,” you splutter, “I read everywhere how the COVID numbers are going down. Nobody’s dying of COVID these days. And what about those boosters?”.
Yes, the numbers appear to be going down because boosters have made cases milder. People aren’t racing off to emergency rooms or urgent care centers. They’re not even bothering to self test. The kits are only free if you have health insurance, otherwise $25. Like face masks, test kit sales are dropping. COVID is waiting in the wings for this.
COVID symptoms are different now, more like a bad cold. Not wanting to miss work, or quarantine, patients are simply treating their symptoms and toughing it out. They may thoughtfully miss a few days of work when symptoms are severe. Then back to work.
The problem is a month later when they realize they haven’t kicked all the symptoms. They’re still coughing, feel tired, are short of breath, noticing palpitations, and can’t concentrate. Food tastes or smells differently. At the health club, they just can’t do what was easy before COVID.
Odd symptoms also: frequent urination (despite a normal urinalysis); weakness of an arm or a leg, like a stroke; new migraines; electric shock sensations down their arms and legs.
These “odd symptoms” are especially challenging to both the patient and the doctors she visits because unless she relates everything chronologically: excellent health in the past, followed by “this bad cold I had”, and then weeks later fatigue or electric shocks, neither she nor the five or six specialists she will visit will make the connection as manifestations of long COVID. The problem? No reliable diagnostic tests for long COVID.
Written up in the Washington Post last week, a new study reported that 1 person out of 20 never really recovered from their COVID infection, and 42 percent reported only partial recovery as long as 15 months after infection.
Even though the latest accumulated data estimates that up to 20 million Americans are currently suffering from long COVID symptoms, the study also acknowledges how they’re struggling against unsympathetic healthcare providers (“your tests are normal; we can’t find anything wrong with you”), unsympathetic disability insurance companies (“our physicians reviewed your case; you should be able to go back to work”), employers, and even family members. Making matters worse, the majority of long term COVID patients are female who have always faced an uphill battle in the healthcare system anyway.
Much of the data about American victims of long COVID is extrapolated from a very detailed study out of the UK published in July of 2022. Because of the National Health System, they keep meticulous records on everyone. It is through this study that the “115 manifestations of long COVID” first came to light.
What was jarring with this study was the revelation that mild cases of COVID could trigger serious and debilitating long haul symptoms. The greatest risks were among women, elderly, and anyone with chronic illnesses. Being vaccinated afforded some protection against long COVID, but not as much as hoped. You could still get a mild case, which could lead to long COVID.
So now what?
- Consider COVID “not gone”, especially if you are female, especially if you have any chronic illnesses.
- Prepare for a Fall-Winter surge at least by masking in crowded places (planes, shopping, concerts).
- Consider every ‘bad cold’ to be COVID in disguise; have a fresh test kit in the house; call for Paxlovid, if positive.
- Get both a flu shot and a COVID booster. The flu virus this year is predicted to be a doozy.
- Continue (or restart) your immune support program of Vitamin C – 1,000 mg/day; Vitamin D – 5,000 IU/day; Zinc – 30-50 mg/day; any good mushroom blend (Five Defenders, Mycotaki, etc.). Call our apothecary or visit our online site, and this can be mailed to you.
- If COVID numbers start to increase, call and schedule an Immune Boost Infusion.
- If you know someone with long haul COVID and they’re not getting help, have them schedule with one of our practitioners.
David Edelberg, MD
6 thoughts on “Ready For This? There Are 115 Known Manifestations Of ‘LONG COVID’.”
Thank you for this article! I had a severe case of covid 2 years ago next week (10/29). Two years later, I am still suffering from multiple debilitating issues and no underlying issues. I had a severe case double pneumonia but did not have to be hospitalized, somehow and thankfully! Lost taste and smell for up to 9 months, horrible, horrible cough lasted about 9 months too, along with God knows what else. I gained 25 pounds because I couldn’t do anything physical in the slightest. I also worked for the largest infectious disease group in the U.S at the time….. for 10 years and they literally did not do one thing for me except one doc put me on dexamethasone for 5 days,( I asked him not to because I have opposite reactions to drugs like that) so it caused me severe anxiety and literally no sleep for 10 days. My cough was horrific, which I still suffer from, vertigo, dizziness, SOB, headaches, elevated resting heart rate, heartburn, intestinal issues, depression, anxiety, bad brain fog, severe joint pain, uncontrollable sweating(I just sweep my kitchen floor or walk up a flight of stairs and my heart rate will shoot us to 125, short of breath and sweat.
So I was sent to a long haulers clinic at Loyola, went through weeks of testing and of course, they could not find anything abnormal, even though physically they could see it/hear it. That was a year and a half ago and I still have the majority of the symptoms, some slightly improved. I am at my wits end with this and absolutely no help from any western medicine doctors.
Thank you for listening to my rant. 😔
Please remember that you are not alone. We see patients with Covid long haul symptoms frequently. Though we can not cure everything, our patients have found relief from many of the symptoms you have listed. Give us a call at 773-296-6700 and we can get you started on your road to (some) recovery.
I had Covid last April. At age 68, I have pains in my legs and some of the other long Covid symptoms but frankly I had most of those for years and I don’t feel any dramatic change. Your article is almost a message of hope as I can imagine a cure being found for long Covid, but I doubt a cure will be found for old age. Will there be a test that allows separating the effects of Covid from those of aging?
Aging can be challenging in several ways (from joints, to urinary issues, etc). We are glad that you do not feel any dramatic changes after fighting off Covid in April. If you have symptoms of any sort, we have several items in the apothecary that can help.
My long Covid symptoms lasted 17 months. Never do I ever want to feel like that again. Received my fifth vaccine last week and I’m still masking in public places.
Great idea! If nothing else, the mask will help with this flu season.