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San Marcos, CA

Post Covid Syndrome Treatment in La Mesa, CA

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Post-COVID Syndrome:

Understanding Long-Term Effects and Organ Damage

Recovering from COVID-19 usually takes a couple of weeks for most people. However, some individuals, including those who initially experienced mild symptoms, continue to face lingering effects even after their initial recovery. Referred to as "long-haulers," these individuals are diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome or long COVID-19. These conditions, also known as post-COVID-19 conditions, persist for more than four weeks after the initial COVID-19 diagnosis. While older individuals and those with major medical conditions are more susceptible to persistent symptoms, even young and otherwise healthy individuals can experience illness for weeks to months following infection.

Common lingering signs and symptoms of post-COVID syndrome include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Memory, concentration, or sleep problems
  • Muscle pain or headaches
  • Rapid or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Exacerbation of symptoms after physical or mental activities

Organ Damage Caused by COVID-19

Although COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs, it can also inflict damage on various other organs, increasing the risk of long-term health problems:

Heart: Imaging tests conducted months after recovering from COVID-19 have revealed lasting damage to the heart, even in individuals who initially experienced mild symptoms. This damage raises the risk of cardiac arrest and other heart complications in the future.

Lungs: The pneumonia associated with COVID-19 can lead to long-term damage to the small air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can cause long-term breathing problems.

Brain: Even in young people, COVID-19 can lead to strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome-- a condition that causes temporary paralysis. COVID-19 also can increase the risk of getting Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Some adults and children experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome after they have been infected with COVID-19. In this condition, some organs and tissues become severely inflamed.

Blood clots, blood vessel problems: COVID-19 can make blood cells more likely to clump and create clots. While large clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes, much of the heart damage caused by COVID-19 is believed to stem from small clots that block small blood vessels, or capillaries, in the heart.

Other parts of the body affected by blood clots include the lungs, legs, liver and kidneys. COVID-19 also can weaken blood vessels and cause them to leak, which leads to potentially long-lasting problems with the liver and kidneys.

Issues with mood, fatigue: Individuals who have severe symptoms of COVID-19 often need to be treated in a hospital's ICU with mechanical support, such as ventilators to breathe. Merely surviving this experience can make a person more likely to later on develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Because it's hard to predict long-term effects from COVID-19, researchers are examining the long-term effects seen in related infections, such as the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

A lot of people that have recovered from SARS have gone on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, a complicated disorder characterized by severe fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity yet doesn't improve with rest. The same may be true for people who have been infected with COVID-19.

COVID-19 outcomes still not known

Much is still not known regarding how COVID-19 will affect people with time, but research is ongoing. Researchers suggest that health care providers closely monitor people that have been infected with COVID-19 to see how their organs function after recovery.

A number of large medical centers are opening specialized clinics to care for individuals that have chronic symptoms or similar illnesses after they recover from COVID-19. Support groups are available, too.

It's important to remember that most people that are infected with COVID-19 recover quickly. But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following preventative measures. This includes using masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, receiving a vaccine when available and keeping hands clean.

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in La Mesa, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377.

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