Because of COVID-19’s erratic pathology, analysts are constantly reporting on a rotating list of characteristic symptoms.
This is doubly true with regard to the long-term effects associated with the disease.
The bulk of these can be defined as neuropathies, but weight gain and hair loss have been linked with some frequency.
Unfortunately, only one study on lasting COVID-19 symptoms has been peer-reviewed. The authors of the paper recently published in The JAMA Network identified fatigue (53.1%), breathlessness (43.4%), joint pain (27.3%), and chest pain (21.7%) as the most common.
Support groups premised by the under-reported persisting symptoms of the novel coronavirus have since emerged on various social media platforms– referring to themselves as “long-haulers.”
Paul Garner, an infectious disease specialist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, might be the most famous member belonging to this demographic.
“In mid March I developed COVID-19. For almost seven weeks I have been through a roller coaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion,” Garner wrote in an open letter. “Although not hospitalised, it has been frightening and long. The illness ebbs and flows, but never goes away. Health professionals, employers, partners, and people with the disease need to know that this illness can last for weeks, and the long tail is not some “post-viral fatigue syndrome”—it is the disease. People who have a more protracted illness need help to understand and cope with the constantly shifting, bizarre symptoms, and their unpredictable course.”
Experts seem to agree that these strange prodromes are primarily authored by our bodies’ reaction to infection, not COVID-19 itself.
With this in mind, Dr. Natalie Lambert from Indiana University School of Medicine conducted her own research to better illustrate a road to recovery for COVID-19 survivors.
All of the subjects tested positively for COVID-19 before the beginning of the survey period.
“While the impact of COVID-19 on the lungs and vascular system have received some media and medical attention, the results of this survey suggest that brain, whole body, eye, and skin symptoms are also frequent-occurring health problems for people recovering from COVID-19,” Lambert wrote in a release that accompanied the survey. “A reported 26.5% of symptoms experienced by Long Haulers are described as painful by
the group members.”
The most frequently occasioned symptoms were in harmony with Dr. Garner’s account, with some unusual symptoms to boot.
Roughly 400 respondents reported hair loss for instance, while a similar subset said that COVID-19 caused them to gain weight.
Although the exact mechanisms are unclear, hair loss is becoming more and more common among COVID-19 survivors.
“My hair has been falling out in large clumps every day,” a participant wrote. “I had long, thick hair, but now it’s very thin. I’ve been so sad about it. “
“I was sick in early April and very thankful I beat this brutal disease. But the last month I am rapidly losing my amazing hair,” another respondent added on Facebook. “It is freaking me out. I’m making an appointment at the dermatologist this week. I just had a physical all my bloods are good. Holy Crap I’m going bald!”
The condition is known as telogen effluvium in the medical community and it isn’t permanent.
Telogen effluvium affects about 200,000 Americans per year as a consequence of prolonged stress, trauma, or shock brought on by a serious illness. I wager COVID-19 related hair loss clears all of the above criteria.
The condition resolves on its one once the sufferer adjusts to unusual events that induced it.
“Essentially, it is a temporary hair loss from excessive shedding due to a shock to the system.There are several common triggers, such as surgery, major physical or psychological trauma, any kind of infection or high fever, extreme weight loss or a change in diet,” Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic concldued to CBS news. “There are so many pandemic-related stresses. There’s financial stress, concern for ill family members, anxiety about contracting the virus, social isolation and changes related to working and schooling from home,” she said. “We are absolutely seeing hair loss in non-COVID patients that seems related to pandemic stress.”