Post COVID-19 syndrome can be a long haul

Dec 8, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (9)

Most people who have COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks. But some people — even those who had mild versions of the disease — continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery.

Sometimes called “long haulers” or “long COVID," these patients can have fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog and other symptoms long after the time of their infection.

Post-COVID-19 syndrome conditions are generally considered to be effects of COVID-19 that persist for more than four weeks after you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection.

A recent Mayo Clinic study on post-COVID-19 symptoms found that more women than men suffer long-term effects. Women predominantly showed symptoms of fatigue, followed by muscle pain and low blood pressure, while men primarily experienced shortness of breath.

Research is also underway to better understand what may be causing post-COVID-19 syndrome.

"We do have some research now that shows that some of the cells that are used to create immunity after an infection, they may be malfunctioning in this condition in patients with long-haul COVID," says Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, director of Mayo Clinic’s COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program. "We also now have some research that shows that patients with this condition can have antibodies against themselves, otherwise known as an auto-antibody. And this may be associated with the long-haul COVID state, so immune dysfunction and auto immunity, they may be at play here."

The COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic helps people experiencing post-COVID-19 syndrome by working with patients to decrease symptoms and improve overall functioning and quality of life.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Vanichkachorn discusses how treatment can help patients who suffer from post-COVID-19 syndrome.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 support group.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

Hi,

I had Covid 1 year ago to the day. I had a somewhat mild case with fatigue but not respiratory. I also had loss of taste and smell. I still have not regained my smell or taste and it is very depressing. I have a little taste, maybe 30% if that but hardly no smell. I can taste spicy stuff and smell household cleaners somewhat. Mostly though…..Nothing. Everything pretty much gives the same response, coffee, things that use to be foul smelling, etc. I hate it! Is there any long term relief to this that the Mayo Clinic has seen.

My wife also had it the same time but her symptoms were totally different and she ended up in the hospital cause of low sugar diabetic seizures that was brought about by diarrhea, etc. Looking for help here! Thanks.

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Could one have had Covid and not know?

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@marion448

Could one have had Covid and not know?

Jump to this post

Yes, if you had what is known as an asymptomatic case, you may not have even known you were ill. Or you may just have been tired or achy for a few days.
Sue

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Thanks, I’m 89 and Did not get the Covid shot.I was a pretty healthy person until this epidemic. Late November 2019 for one day felt sick, I was in Sicily. since then especially the first year felt awful. Right now for the past 2 weeks seems like I’m coming back to normal.
I do have problem with heart, skips beat and sometimes flutters but had that for a few years. I hear to many bad things from people who have had the shot.
Thanks for listening, Marion

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I had what I thought was COVID, fever, unrelenting cough, fatique, lost of taste and smell, loss of appetitie , body aches and fatigue in November of 2019 for seven days. After that, I continued to have inflammatory GI issues of which I eventually was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and abscess and was hospitalized a few months later in 2020. Is there any research of post COVID patients experiencing similiar inflammatory issues?

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Do you know how one might get involved with the research aspect? I’m a current Mayo patient being treated for my Post Covid Syndrome, but and would love to take part in the research.

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@jeff101

Hi,

I had Covid 1 year ago to the day. I had a somewhat mild case with fatigue but not respiratory. I also had loss of taste and smell. I still have not regained my smell or taste and it is very depressing. I have a little taste, maybe 30% if that but hardly no smell. I can taste spicy stuff and smell household cleaners somewhat. Mostly though…..Nothing. Everything pretty much gives the same response, coffee, things that use to be foul smelling, etc. I hate it! Is there any long term relief to this that the Mayo Clinic has seen.

My wife also had it the same time but her symptoms were totally different and she ended up in the hospital cause of low sugar diabetic seizures that was brought about by diarrhea, etc. Looking for help here! Thanks.

Jump to this post

Hi Jeff, you may wish to join the discussions with other long-haulers about recovery in the Post-COVID support group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/post-covid-recovery-covid-19/

You're quite right that everyone is different. Differences include what side effects people experience and the recovery process. In addition to the support group I linked above, you may wish to follow Mayo COVID recovery experts, advice and latest research in the Post-COVID Recovery expert blog with Dr. Van and others.

– Post-COVID Recovery blog https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/

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@lgitzlaff2

I had what I thought was COVID, fever, unrelenting cough, fatique, lost of taste and smell, loss of appetitie , body aches and fatigue in November of 2019 for seven days. After that, I continued to have inflammatory GI issues of which I eventually was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and abscess and was hospitalized a few months later in 2020. Is there any research of post COVID patients experiencing similiar inflammatory issues?

Jump to this post

@lgitzlaff2 and @lynnryan
On the Post-COVID Recovery expert blog, Mayo researchers post research we are doing. See the tab called:
– Post-COVID Recovery Research https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/tab/research/#ch-tab-navigation

Lynn, If you are a patient being seen in Mayo Clinic's post-COVID clinics and would like to participate in research, please email postCovidRSCH@mayo.edu

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@colleenyoung

Hi Jeff, you may wish to join the discussions with other long-haulers about recovery in the Post-COVID support group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/post-covid-recovery-covid-19/

You're quite right that everyone is different. Differences include what side effects people experience and the recovery process. In addition to the support group I linked above, you may wish to follow Mayo COVID recovery experts, advice and latest research in the Post-COVID Recovery expert blog with Dr. Van and others.

– Post-COVID Recovery blog https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/

Jump to this post

Thanks….

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