Long Covid: how to recognize it and how to cure it

T.Among those who contracted Covid, there are those who have eliminated the virus for months now and yet have never recovered. Tiredness, breathlessness and many other symptoms are still there to undermine the days. Today, however, doctors have developed a mix of vitamins, drugs and physical activity that helps to get out of it once and for all

“I had Covid in a mild form, it was April 2020. In October, however, I was still sick: I felt like a rag, I didn’t sleep at night. And then every time I combed my hair it was a little shock: all that hair that remained on the brush. But my doctor told me it was normal, the fault of the stress and grief that Covid had brought in my family “.

Thus begins the story of Giuliana, 42, who then, finally, managed to give it a name to those ailments: long Covid, a kind of long wave of infection. “We began to focus on the existence of unexpected symptoms in those who were healed, in July 2020,” explains Amedeo Capetti, who coordinates the Long Covid clinic at the Sacco Hospital in Milan. “This is why we have created a multidisciplinary structure. Because Long Covid has so many facets that it cannot be addressed by a single medical figure. It takes a psychologist, a neurologist, a physiatrist, a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, to name but a few “.

Long Covid is a devious disease

Doctors today never talk about long Covid before at least four or five months have passed since recovery. Because after eliminating the virus it is normal for a few weeks to experience breathing problems, bone pains, fatigue, which usually resolve on their own. In about two out of 10 cases, however, the symptoms do not go away at all among those recovering from the infection. And they also evolve in the most unexpected forms. “I end the call and I don’t remember who I spoke to. Because I have lost my short-term memory. I write everything on post-its and I have a tape recorder that has become my external memory. I am always exhausted and arrive in the evening that I just want to sleep ».

Sara is 51 years old and suffers from brain fog. It is the most common disorder among those with long Covid: it affects 7 out of 10. “The diagnosis is important and thanks to the description of the symptoms we differentiate those who are physically tired, as in the case of Giuliana, from those who have a psychophysical form like Sara , the most demanding to solve “adds the expert. «To date, the mechanism is not yet clear, but we have seen that in 70-80% of cases a mix of supplements based on multivitamins, choline, levocarnitine and coenzyme Q10 works. If there is no benefit, we prescribe a drug that belongs to the class of memory circuit receptor agonists. And that in a couple of months begins to clear your mind ».

An antidepressant for pain

The cardiorespiratory disorders, with a worsening of the quality of life. As Erica, 50 years old, an opera singer who, due to breathlessness, cannot “keep” her note, told us. And Bea, 25, who cannot resume cycling training due to tachycardia. “We subject patients to electrocardiograms, lung ultrasound and exercise tests,” says the expert. “Based on the results, we set up rehabilitation which is similar to post-heart attack. If there are also muscle pains, we prescribe low doses of a benzodiazepine drug, an antidepressant. It’s a cure that a doctor tried on herself, and it often works. “

The importance of physical activity against long Covid

The advice from is valid for all patients with long Covid make movement. “We have found that those who suffer from symptoms in winter have a slower recovery, probably due to low activity. Based on their strength and evaluating their energy and cardiorespiratory response, everyone should dedicate even just a few minutes each day to a walk. And be careful not to get fat. Because the extra pounds aggravate the symptoms ».

Long Covid in children and adolescents

That sadness of the children is to be investigated
Long Covid does not spare children and adolescents. For this, the Italian Society of Pediatrics has developed a guide for doctors and parents. After healing, that is, when the swab is negative, schedule two follow-up visits to the pediatrician: the first after four weeks, the second after three months. They are essential to catch a possible long Covid at the first signs. And, if in doubt, just go to a children’s hospital: everyone now has dedicated clinics.

Particular attention should be given to some symptoms. Among the ailments that should never be underestimated, the forms of anxiety and depression. From ongoing studies it appears that more children and adolescents suffer from it than adults. And then there is fatigue, which is present in nearly nine out of ten cases and is so intense that it causes exaggerated tiredness, drowsiness and a desire to sleep. Also alert if one or more disorders occur including headache, stomach or stomach pain, chest pain, myalgia, insomnia. How to distinguish them from the ailments linked to the fear of an interrogation? They are always present and do not decrease in intensity during the day.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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