The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty and fear in the world. One of the most concerning aspects of the virus is the potential for long-term effects. While the majority of people who contract the virus will recover, there is a growing concern that some may experience long-term symptoms. In this article, we will discuss the #1 signal that your COVID symptoms may “last forever” and what you can do to help prevent them. We will also provide some tips on what to eat and what to avoid to help reduce the risk of long-term effects.
The #1 Signal Your COVID Symptoms May “Last Forever” — Eat This Not That
COVID-19 has been a major health concern for many people around the world. While the virus has been known to cause severe symptoms in some cases, many people have experienced milder symptoms that can last for weeks or even months. Unfortunately, some of these symptoms may even become permanent. Here’s what you need to know about the #1 signal that your COVID symptoms may “last forever” — and what you can do to prevent it.
The #1 Signal: Fatigue
One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 is fatigue. While it’s normal to feel tired after a long day or a strenuous workout, the fatigue associated with COVID-19 can be much more severe. It can last for weeks or even months, and it can be debilitating. If you’re experiencing extreme fatigue that doesn’t seem to be getting better, it could be a sign that your COVID-19 symptoms may become permanent.
What You Can Do to Prevent It
The best way to prevent your COVID-19 symptoms from becoming permanent is to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. Additionally, make sure you’re taking any medications prescribed by your doctor and following their instructions. Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, make sure you’re talking to a mental health professional.
Eat This, Not That
When it comes to eating to prevent your COVID-19 symptoms from becoming permanent, it’s important to focus on nutrient-dense foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary snacks, and alcohol. Additionally, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
By following these tips, you can help prevent your COVID-19 symptoms from becoming permanent. Remember, if you’re feeling fatigued or overwhelmed, make sure you’re talking to a doctor or mental health professional.
According to recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, “Overall, 1 in 13 adults in the U.S. (7.5%) have ‘Long COVID’ symptoms, defined as symptoms lasting three or more months after first contracting the virus, and that they didn’t have prior to their COVID-19 infection.” The finding, which is drawn from the Household Pulse Survey run in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and also states, “Older adults are less likely to have long COVID than younger adults. Nearly three times as many adults ages 50-59 currently have long COVID than those age 80 and older. Women are more likely than men to currently have long COVID (9.4% vs. 5.5%).” Long COVID continues to affect a large portion of the population and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience who shares signs you may have Long COVID. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Marchese says, “People should know that while masking requirements and gathering restrictions have been lifted in many areas, it’s not an indicator that cases are low or that COVID infections have become less severe. The disease risk is still high in populated areas throughout the U.S., especially in regions with low vaccination numbers. At-home testing has become more prominent, which is a great way to know if you’re at risk but has also contributed to lower officially reported case numbers. Practices such as avoiding dense indoor gatherings, getting booster vaccinations when appropriate and following good hygiene are still vital for preventing infection and the spread of COVID.”
According to Marchese, “Exposure to COVID intentionally risks fatal respiratory illness or severe, long-lasting complications, regardless of any possible protection against future infection. Some reports cite partial immunity against the omicron variant for people who have had a previous COVID infection. However, multiple reifications are still possible. A repeat COVID infection has a 20% chance of causing worse symptoms and severe complications. One study indicated that reinfections had increased 15-fold since the omicron COVID variant became dominant in 2022. More importantly, primary and secondary infections in vaccinated individuals continue to be milder than in unvaccinated people. Hospitalization rates continue to be much lower among the vaccinated population.”
Marchese explains, “Some COVID symptoms can last for weeks or months after recovery. This condition, known as ‘Long COVID,’ still requires further study to determine the best way to treat these symptoms, so they don’t last forever. Over the past two years of the pandemic, the number of Long COVID cases continues to increase. The most common symptoms include brain fog (difficulty focusing), confusion, nausea, increased fatigue, altered smell or taste, cough, shortness of breath and increased heart rate. It’s challenging to determine which groups are most at risk since symptoms vary from person to person. However, previous COVID infection severity and preexisting conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, seem to be the most significant risk factors. The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates between 7.7 million and 23 million Americans have developed Long COVID.”
Marchese states, “Treatment for Long COVID depends on the cause and symptoms, which can vary significantly between patients. Researchers have identified potential reasons for Long COVID, including autoimmune responses, organ damage and micro clots that damage blood vessels. Doctors can use specific antibody tests to confirm a prior COVID infection, then rule out other illnesses that may appear similar to Long COVID. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as steroids, can help alleviate symptoms for some patients, but more targeted treatments are still undergoing testing in clinical trials.”
“After you’ve tested positive for COVID or recovered from a COVID infection, keep track of lingering abnormalities, such as fatigue, confusion, increased heart rate or cough,” says Marchese. “These symptoms, such as a cough or rapid heart rate after light activity, may not be immediately noticeable. Still, they could indicate a more prolonged or potentially severe complication of COVID. Take note of changes in thinking and memory, your ability to complete daily tasks or exercise and whether you lack regular energy over days or weeks.”
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.