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Steps to treat Long COVID

Steps to treat Long COVID
Steps to treat Long COVID

As the pandemic progresses, an estimated 17% of patients are struggling with lingering health effects from the virus. Long COVID is characterized by persistent symptoms ranging from fatigue and difficulty concentrating to breathing difficulties and organ dysfunction.

While most people recover within a few weeks, others struggle with a prolonged and unpredictable course of illness. Weeks turn into months and sometimes years as patients struggle with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.

Symptoms of Long COVID can vary widely and affect virtually every system in the body. Fatigue, perhaps the most common and debilitating symptom, can make even the simplest tasks laborious. Cognitive dysfunction can affect memory, concentration and decision-making. Respiratory problems such as shortness of breath and chest pain can persist long after the virus leaves the body.

A person with long Covid may also experience other symptoms, including heart palpitations, dizziness, gastrointestinal upset and joint pain. In others, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. In addition, the psychological consequences of a long illness can cause stress and anxiety, worsening symptoms and hindering recovery.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating Long COVID, a multidisciplinary strategy focusing on symptom management, rehabilitation and holistic support is typically recommended.

The first step is a comprehensive examination by a doctor. This may include laboratory tests, imaging studies, and consultations with various specialists, including pulmonologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and psychologists. Here’s what you can expect:

Symptom management. Treatment should be tailored to the person’s individual symptoms. This may include medications to relieve pain, inflammation, or other specific symptoms.

Therapy. A structured rehabilitation program addresses physical decline and functional impairment. Speech therapy or cognitive rehabilitation may be helpful for individuals with cognitive difficulties.

Speed ​​and energy saving. By balancing activity and rest, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and prioritizing activities based on priorities and goals, you can prevent symptoms from getting worse and optimize your energy levels.

Psychological support. It is important to consider the psychological impact of Long COVID. Health professionals should provide appropriate support and resources. This may include cognitive behavioral therapies to treat anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress symptoms, and mindfulness-based interventions to promote stress reduction and resilience.

Nutrition. A balanced diet with plenty of nutrient-rich foods supports immune function, energy production and overall well-being.

Sleep. Practice good hygiene measures such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful sleep environment, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and electronic devices before bed.

Social care. Encourage connections with other people suffering from Long COVID through support groups, online forums or peer networks. Sharing experiences, coping strategies and resources can provide encouragement and a sense of community during recovery.

Army veteran Jennifer Campbell is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in nutritional counseling. She is the former commander of the California Legion’s 24th District and Hollywood Post 43.

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