If you’ve had Covid-19 before, you may have noticed that even after the virus was gone and the lateral bleeding showed you were negative, you still got bouts of illness. It’s frustrating, confusing, and life limiting, but it’s not uncommon. When I got Covid three months ago I thought I had dodged a particularly violent bout of it and was back on my feet in about four days.
However, I may have celebrated the end of Covid a little too early, as several months of constant malaise followed. I had a cold one week and an upset stomach the next, followed by a urine infection and another cold. In addition, I felt a constant slight tiredness and runny nose all the time and noticed that I often had headaches and muscle pain.
Mentioning it to a friend, she exclaimed that she had experienced the same thing and spoken to several other people who also couldn’t shake the “openness” feeling. So I started researching online and found that it was indeed not uncommon to feel unwell for months after Covid and thousands of people were struggling to get a handle on what was happening.
With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimating that a total of 2.3 million people contracted the virus from homes in the past week – up 32% from the previous week – I decided it was time is look into It.
I talked to family doctor and women’s health specialist Dr. Amina Albeyatti to find out exactly why we all may be suffering from mild illness after contracting Covid and to get her top tips for boosting our immune system. Here’s what she had to say…
Why could you get many low level diseases after Covid?
“We are still at the beginning of our post-Covid research and data collection. So far we have learned that while the majority of patients who contract Covid-19 recover within 2 to 12 weeks, there is a significant percentage who show symptoms of a long Covid which can lead to reduced cognition (Brain fog), difficulty sleeping, breathing difficulties or not having the same exercise tolerance as before Covid and fatigue.
“Long Covid does not appear to be directly related to the severity of your acute infection.
“These persistent symptoms, which last for several weeks to months, can affect your sleep, appetite and movement; all of which, in turn, can affect your immunity and cause recurring minor illnesses.
“We also note that Covid infections can also leave some chronic damage to specific organs. In many cases, scarring in the lungs, inflammation around the heart, and mild kidney dysfunction can also lead to more disease as your body goes into repair mode to heal those inflamed areas.
“Finally, Post-ICU Syndrome, where patients with severe Covid who need to be admitted to ICU have a much longer road to recovery. Their isolation from family, use of powerful medications, sedation, and a sense of loss of control and dignity in a strange environment can cause many post-discharge PTSD, hallucinations, reduced memory and cognition, as well as the medical side effects of the drug that is used with it is treated.”
Why you may currently be struggling with your immune system in general
Post Covid we have become very conscious of our health, mild symptoms and late access to your doctor can make you more concerned about your health. Health anxiety, and anxiety in general, has increased since the pandemic and can convey feelings of weakened immunity. There is currently no evidence that we have more patients with immunodeficiencies. However, it’s common to feel unwell and under the weather when you’re stressed, not sleeping well, not eating well, and generally feeling helpless. All of these are symptoms that have increased in recent years, especially in general practice.
5 ways to boost your immunity when you’re otherwise healthy
- Sleep well: aim for 8 hours
- Drink water: Aim for two liters and work your way up to three. Hydration is key to most organ function as well as good homeostasis.
- Eat well: A varied and less restrictive diet is healthy for both body and mind. Taking protein is great for immunity and repair. Colorful fruits and vegetables mean many different vitamins and minerals
- Play well: Try to be active during the day or evening. Short walks, stretching, pilates or whatever you like is great for our mental health and keeps our joints healthy and chronic pain at bay
- Take care of your health: By regularly monitoring your health, you can avoid delayed diagnosis and health anxiety. Be proactive and check women’s breasts and men’s testicles every month. Look at your skin in the mirror every month to check your birthmarks and to see if your period or bowel habits change. Keep up to date with your swabs and colon cancer tests etc.