What should I do if I have long COVID?
Over two years into the pandemic, an alarming number of people continue to develop symptoms months after recovering from COVID-19. It’s estimated that anywhere from 10-30% of people that have been infected with COVID-19 will develop long COVID symptoms.1 “Long-haulers” report a wide range of physical, mental, and cognitive symptoms — including chronic fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, digestive upset, headache, hair loss, and change in smell. For some, these are the same symptoms experienced when they first became sick. For others, new and often debilitating symptoms arise.
Recovery can be difficult without any standardized treatment strategies and ongoing symptoms can exceed 35 weeks post-infection.2 The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that people with mild symptoms during infection can still have symptoms that may continue for many weeks after infection. Due to the complexity of long COVID, successful treatment requires a personalized and supportive treatment plan outside of acute management for COVID-19.
Currently, the medical community acknowledges that a successful treatment includes a holistic approach to prevent, treat, and support people with long COVID.3 However, many “long-haulers” report not being able to access healthcare providers or healthcare facilities to care for them. Access to healthcare has worsened since the pandemic, which has been exacerbated by the backlogs and staff changes in healthcare facilities.4 While research institutions, governmental agencies, and specialty clinics continue to develop studies on long COVID, our community continues to seek effective treatment to address their unmet healthcare needs for recovery.
Treating long COVID requires personalized primary care
New research suggests that primary care providers are critical in the success of addressing long COVID for patients and the healthcare system.5 Providers that deliver personalized care can evaluate, monitor ongoing symptoms, and refer to specialists as necessary while best practices continue to develop. Integrative and personalized primary care can help you implement lifestyle changes such as nutrition and fitness to better support recovery. Working with a holistic medical provider to create a comprehensive plan can provide the greatest success.
What should I do if I think I have long COVID?
If you suspect you have long COVID, don’t delay seeking help. The earlier you get care, the better it will be for you.
Many people that have been sick have not been able to get back to where they were pre-infection. When we become sick with different types of bacteria or viruses, our system gets off balance. The good news is we have the ability to get our system back into balance by using the right types of testing, supplements, and medication. At OnePeak Medical, we take people where they’re at and figure out what’s going on. We love what we do at OnePeak Medical because we don’t tell people to just wait it out and see if you feel better in a couple of months. We fix it now.
If you find yourself waiting months to get an appointment with your provider, come into OnePeak Medical and let us help you. With nine clinics in Oregon, our team can also work alongside your primary care provider to provide comprehensive testing and personalized treatment plans for faster relief.
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- Logue J, Franko N, McCulloch D et al. Sequelae in Adults at 6 months after COVID-19 infection. JAMA Network Open (2021), 4(2)
- Davis H, Assaf G, McCorkell L et al. Characterizing long COVID in an international cohort: 7 months of symptoms and their impact. eClinicalMedicine, (2021), 38
- Norton A, Olliaro P, Sigfid L et al. Long COVID: tackling a multifaceted condition requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, (2021), 601-602, 21 (5)
- Grimm C. Hospitals Reported That the Covid-19 Pandemic Has Significantly Strained Health Care Delivery Results of a National Pulse Survey. February 22-26 2021.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report in Brief.
- Brennan A, Broughan J, McCombe G et al. Enhancing the management of long COVID practice: A scoping review. BJGP OPEN. 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0178