Reference; 2022-11-16: https://mbp-japan.com/jijico/articles/32301/
Modified and translated by CFJA
What symptoms are aftereffects of Covid-19?
The incidence of Covid-19 sequelae varies from study to study. The reasons for this may be that the definition of sequelae is not consistent, and the timing and duration of surveys are various. The figures differ greatly depending on how many vaccinations the person has completed and which type of Covid-19 the person was infected with. According to “Nikkei Science” (November 2022 issue), which is a science magazine in Japan, one in 20 people say they have aftereffects. How long do the aftereffects persist?
According to “Management of Post-Acute Symptoms,” the duration of aftereffects is
- For 1 to 2 months; 23%
- For 3 to 5 months; 34%
- For 6 months to 1 year; 28%
- For more than 1 year; 15%
The top five symptoms in the percentage of symptom occurrence in “Nikkei Science” (November 2022 issue) are as follows.
Conventional Covid-19 before Delta strain
- Olfactory disturbance
- Taste disorder
- Hair loss
- Olfactory disorder
- Taste disorder
- Hair loss
- Sleep disturbance
In addition to the typical symptoms listed above, symptoms that are considered post-Covid sequelae vary widely from person to person, including depressed mood, breathlessness, palpitations, insomnia, body aches, and erectile dysfunction. The degree of symptoms also varies. For example, fatigue may be relieved after a night’s sleep, or it may be so intense that “my body feels heavy like lead and I can’t move,” “I can’t think,” “I can’t speak,”or “I can’t concentrate”. Some patients may experience such intense fatigue that they cannot move after a few hours or days of taking a walk or doing even light housework. If the Covid sequelae become prolonged, the patient may not be able to take a daily or social life as he or she wishes, and schooling, employment, and family life may be severely affected. Dr. Koichi Hirahata, Director of Hirahata Clinic in Japan, says that many people are forced to take a temporary retirement or leave their jobs due to the physical discomfort they experience after being diagnosed with a Covid-19 infection. He also says that the lack of understanding of those around people who have gotten Covid infection about the inability to work due to the Covid-19 aftereffects is creating emotional distress. The increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 sequelae could carry a risk of becoming a severe social problem.
How does Covid-19 aftereffects affect a person’s health?!
The Covid-19 sequelae seem to gradually make it more difficult to lead a daily life as they become more severe. When we talk to patients who come to our clinic after attending an outpatient Covid-19 clinic, they seem to have been instructed by their doctors that they should lead a less strenuous life for two months and take appropriate actions corresponding to their illness in order to avoid a transition to severe sequelae. Those with post-Covid sequelae caused by the Omicron variant tend to have a high rate of difficulty in their daily lives, regardless of their age. According to the diagnostic criteria for physicians as indicated by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) Research Group “for the Development of Treatment Methods and Treatment Guidelines for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” the performance status (PS), in which indicators of general condition are rated on a 10-point scale according to the level of daily living. The Grade 6 condition is “On days when he/she is in good condition, he/she can do light work, but rests at home more than 50% of the week”. “The patient is able to take care of him/herself and does not need assistance, but is unable to engage in normal social activities or light work.” The condition is considered to be the Grade 7 condition. People with post-Covid syndrome may have repeated “crashes” and transition to “ME/CFS” before reaching this state, and they may continue to have “PEM” and then become bedridden. (See definitions below)
- A condition in which a person is bedridden for several days and can hardly move. It can be caused by unacceptable amounts of exercise, stress or mental work.
ii) ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
- Intractable disorder characterized by extreme and prolonged deterioration of physical condition after exertion, sleep disturbance, higher brain dysfunction, and autonomic neuropathy.
iii) PEM (Post-exertional malaise)
- A symptom of sudden onset of strong malaise 5 to 48 hours after mild exertion or stress.
Therefore, it’s sure that Post-Covid sequelae can be a gradual progression and worsening of symptoms, even if the patient keeps staying home and tries to recover.
How does your daily routine disturb your recovery from Covid-19 aftereffects?
We have conducted a questionnaire survey on daily living for those who are undergoing demonstrative treatment for Covid aftereffects. On October 9, 2022, Seino, who is our master, gave a lecture on the possibility of treatment for Covid sequelae at the 3rd Acupuncture and Moxibustion Association of Osaka Prefecture Academic Seminar in 2022. At that time, he reported the tendency to be the object of guidance in daily life, but so far he has not found any remarkable tendency to be caused by this. However, the following tendencies have been observed in our clinical experiences.
- Drinking and having a lot of cold drink and cold food
- Living in low room temperatures without heating in winter
- Living below 25°C (77°F) with constant use of air conditioning in summer
- Using air conditioning while sleeping in summer
- Insufficient sleep
- Poor quality of sleep, such as sleeping late at night
- Sleeping on a bedding directly on the flooring
- Sleeping in a north-facing room with no sunlight
- Bathing in a bathtub filled with hot water for a long time
All of the above are considered to interfere with the functional activities of internal organs. We believe that these are difficult lifestyles to maintain good health. When we proposed the above lifestyle improvements, we have received comments from those who have implemented them that their physical condition has improved. Another way to prevent infection that can be done on a daily basis is to gargle your nose. Gargling your nose two to three times daily may help prevent the symptoms from worsening.