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Post COVID-19 Complications - Explained

It is well-known that COVID-19-19 adversely impacts the respiratory system of patients. But did you know that it can also attack the central nervous system, and cause digestive distress to brain cells? From minor cough and cold infections to life-threatening complications, COVID-19-19 has adversely affected several lives. New information has emerged revealing that it is also a threat to those belonging to the high-risk group or suffering from co-morbidities. 

Even after recovering from COVID-19-19, many people have been seen with persistent symptoms associated with the infection. Chances are that your body may indicate significant health problems that require medical intervention. 

1. Lung or Respiratory complications

The surge in the second wave of COVID-19-19 infections has triggered long-term respiratory complications in several patients even after months of recovery. Altered immunity, use of steroids, existing comorbidities in patients are some of the factors that have contributed to the rise of post-COVID-19 lung distress. Many asthmatic patients have developed pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis or suffered from excessive lung damage while others visited hospitals complaining of cough, mild fever, decreased appetite and fatigue after recovering of COVID-19-19 infection. Cases of misdiagnoses, or late diagnosis have put stress on the increasing cases of secondary infections such as viral bronchial hyperresponsiveness, bacterial infection or tuberculosis. 

2. Cardiovascular Complications

Lingering post COVID-19 heart complications can complicate the recovery in patients. Inflammation of heart muscles has been diagnosed even in patients suffering from asymptomatic and moderate symptoms recovered at home. Due to COVID-19-19 infection, a high rise in fluid build-up in the lungs and respiratory cavity has been witnessed that evoked heart problems. So, if someone is experiencing palpitations, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath months after recovering from COVID-19-19 infections, then don’t take these signs lightly! 

3. Diabetes 

A major complexity with Diabetes and COVID-19-19 infection is that, this chronic ailment triggers high blood glucose level, especially in type 2 diabetic patients. After cardiac issues, diabetes is the leading cause of hospitalization in COVID-19-19 patients. In the younger population, Diabetes or pre-diabetes condition is seen as a complication even post COVID-19-19 infection, making patients prone to immunocompromised for managing future illnesses.

4. Inflammation in Kidneys

Low kidney function is another rising problem observed in hospitalised patients, especially the ones admitted with pre-existing diabetes and high blood pressure issues. After recovering from COVID-19-19 infection they suffer from infrequent urination and low urine output, which is mainly seen in younger patients. In some cases of serious organ damage, the direct attack by the virus has caused low blood oxygen levels, cytokine storm and blood clots (clogging kidneys) affecting the patients with no history of kidney disease  

5. Gastro-intestinal Conditions

Long-haul of COVID-19-19 complications has potentially disturbed the nutrient absorption cycle making it harder for patients to absorb essential nutrients and electrolytes. Indigestion, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort are some of the signs that have been observed in recovered COVID-19-19 patients. Although these conditions can be managed well with the medications, patients need to get diagnosed as these complications may direct some serious conditions such as gastrointestinal bleeding which has been observed in some patients.

6. Neurological Conditions

Guillain Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological complication that usually develops within 2 to 4 weeks after an acute bacterial or viral infection has become evident in this pandemic. The syndrome’s first symptoms are tingling or itching sensation in the skin, followed by pain, numbness or muscle weakness in feet and hands, explains neurologist of AMRI Hospitals. These signs of GBS have been mainly observed in the last stage of recovery or in completely recovered patients. 

Other neurological conditions including Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS are some of the rare post-COVID-19 neurological conditions. However, chronic headaches, migraine, dizziness, are long-term symptoms requiring thorough investigation following COVID-19 infection.

7. Vascular complications

1 in 3 patients hospitalized due to severe COVID-19-19 infections has developed macrovascular (venous) or microvascular (arterial) thrombotic complications, including myocardial infarction, stroke. Rare diseases such as acute pulmonary thromboembolism, gangrene, deep vein thrombosis, acute abdominal pain, ischaemia, are being witnessed these days. According to the doctors, a rise in vascular complications was seen in both waves but in these few months, the severity of such cases increased in shorter duration. 

8. Mental Health Issues

Pandemic has introduced stress in everyone’s life. Anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, suicidal tendencies, poor concentration or brain fog are some of the serious concerns that have risen exponentially. While some people had a traumatic experience of a long battle with the disease itself, others have gone through loss of loved ones, long periods of isolation, financial crisis, or stress of over-working for hours that has taken a huge toll on mental health. One of the rising post-COVID-19 complications, insomnia is another major factor causing slower recovery in patients. 

As the virus is mutating into different variants, the list of complications associated with COVID-19-19 infections has been affecting multiple organs. The uncertainty experienced in the pandemic has become a part of our lives. People are advised to avoid the exposure to infections, follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in public places and get yourself checked immediately after observing any unusual health problem.