“The similarities of Long COVID to ME/CFS are striking, starting with a significant overlap in the symptoms, notably fatigue, unrefreshing sleep or post-exertional malaise” — Paul Ebeling
The data shows that most people who contract COVID-19 are able to clear the virus in a few weeks, but persistent COVID-19 can linger.
Roughly 10% of COVID-19 patients have trouble recovering even after months have passed, which is known as long haul COVID.
Brain fog, body aches, unrefreshing sleep, cardiac issues, shortness of breath, and fatigue after exertion are among some of the most common lingering symptoms.
Although most of these symptoms improve with time, research suggests brain fog can linger for longer.
Researchers asked 278 long-haulers to compare the symptoms of their COVID illness during the 1st 2 wks to the symptoms they were experiencing 22 wks on.
The participants reported an overall reduction of most symptoms, except for the neurocognitive symptoms, which intensified. The five symptoms that got worse were trouble focusing, trouble forming words, sensitivity to alcohol, absent-mindedness, and loss of hair.
The results correlate with other reports, which suggest that COVID long haulers are struggling mostly with cognitive problems. There is no explanation for this, but it is common for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to suffer from brain fog.
There are various theories on what causes CFS. But current evidence suggests it is related to an overactive immune system. Some researchers suggest cases of chronic fatigue syndrome can be triggered by a viral infection.
It’s now apparent that long-haul COVID symptoms show some similarities to CFS. When 502 patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue were given the same questionnaire, it was determined that many of them had similar symptoms, including gastrointestinal troubles, immune system issues, sleep issues, and blood pressure issues.
Those with CFS experience lots of more serious symptoms, mainly cognitive difficulties and immune-related issues like sore throats and swollen lymph nodes. The only long haul COVID symptoms that were worse than CFS were things like irregular heartbeats, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The results suggest some sort of central nervous system pathology across post-viral infections.
This comparison between long haul COVID and CFS chronic is limited. The majority of individuals in the chronic fatigue syndrome group had been ill for more than 2 yrs, while COVID long haulers had been experiencing persistent symptoms for only a few months.
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