The Oxford Persistent Covid Clinic publishes the first practical guide to the syndrome: Do you have fatigue? Dyspnea? Mental fog? These are the tips to manage your day to day life
The coronavirus pandemic has left a mark in its wake: the persistent covid affects a one in eight infected, exceeding one million cases in Spain. A daily and inescapable reality for those who suffer from it, but… How can we mitigate the symptoms? Specialists at the Oxford Persistent Covid Clinic publish the first guide for patients with long-term symptoms, a series of tips that will make day-to-day life easier and more bearable.
The first practical guide to “long-covid”
There are still more questions than answers: there are many unknowns that remain to be clarified regarding covid and, above all, about its persistent variant.
Of course, you can learn from what you have experienced and from the experience of others.
This is the philosophy that includes the “Practical guide for patients with persistent covid” (Kisune Books)where guidelines, advice and statements from patients who have suffered from this condition are gathered.
Tips for dealing with persistent covid
The persistent covid or long covid is that recognized complication of the coronavirus that consists in the prolongation of the symptoms associated with the disease. When the symptomatology lasts more than four weeks after the episode it begins to be considered as such.
It is estimated that 10% of patients end up suffering from it, although the way it manifests varies depending on the person.
Most frequent symptoms
The symptoms frequently associated with the disease are:
- Difficulty breathing
- cognitive problems
- Chest pain
- Persistent deterioration of the sense of smell
What do the experts recommend?
The publication includes strategies to deal with symptoms such as:
- Sleep disorders
- Dizziness, vertigo and imbalance
- Loss of smell
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- hair loss
The most common, say the specialists, are dyspnea, mental fog and fatigue.
This is how they say you should act in these cases:
To deal with fatigue the most important thing is to know how to manage energy. For this reason, we talk about the strategy of the “three p’s”:
- to plan
- Pause the beat
The achievement of small tasksfollowed by interspersed breaks is what stands out the most, in addition to alternating between tasks cognitive i physical.
Beware, the doctors insist: resting is not the same as sleeping. What’s more, they recommend avoiding naps during the day, as it can affect sleep at night. If you can’t help falling asleep, set an alarm so you don’t overdo it.
The difficulty breathing or dyspnea is one of the most frequent symptoms. The key according to experts is to analyze the breathing pattern
with rest and tranquilitybased on some criteria explained in the guide, you can study your breathing and try to control it in order to do it the right way.
When we encounter this difficulty in certain situations, such as during a walk, the specialists recommend stop, breathe and relax.
Manage mental fog
Cognitive problems such as memory impairment or lack of concentration is what is known as “mental fog”.
Many patients say that it goes hand in hand with the tirednesstherefore, in this sense, the strategies of dosage of efforts and preservation of energy mentioned before are options to consider.
Also, improving sleep or reducing stress are primary factors, along with avoidance triggersas alcohol can be.
On the other hand, bring one diary or follow one to-do list it may not solve anything, but it helps reduce its impact on daily life. What’s more, if based on this monitoring you distinguish a pattern, you can predict cognitive problems and act better.
All this day-to-day organization is best done in moments of mental clarity and keeping realistic goals in mind.
The physical activityif your condition allows it, it is another of the recommendations held by the experts.
In any case, regardless of the symptomatology, the primary objective of this guide is to try to gradually recover normality, incorporating usual activities into the routine and using these tips in the process.
Why do I have persistent covid?
It is not truly known what causes permanent covid. What has been verified is that there is no direct relationship between severity of infection and likelihood of suffering from it.
The experts raise various theories on the causes of this condition:
- Triggering of an autoimmune disease process. Our body attacks its own cells and tissues.
- Persistent low-level inflammation. An inflammation that continues weeks or even months later. The possibility is raised that it is because there is a persistence of the virus or viral material.
- Neurological damage from covid. Alteration of the nervous system, for example. It is something that already happens with other viral infections but the reason is not yet known in the case of covid.
- Multiorgan damage. Although the relational line between this and the delayed presence of symptoms has not yet been drawn, it is proposed that the fact that there are persistent abnormalities in different organs (detected in some studies) is due to inflammation or the presence of microclots within of the blood vessels that circulate through the affected organs.
live with it
“Persistent covid seems like a curse. Your body and brain malfunction in a thousand different ways and on different days, it’s as unpredictable as it is unnerving. On good days, you doubt yourself; to the bad, doubts about everything. The disease is capricious and perverse, it knows no limits”
This is how one of the patients interviewed for the guide defines his condition. The point is that, although there is still a long way to go, the book is intended to be of help to those who suffer from the disease in a prolonged manner. The contribution of the experts at the Oxford Postcovid Clinic is none other than giving advice that facilitates the day-to-day life of their patients, making their lives as practical as possible.