COVID-19 can impact both physical and mental health, even long after one’s initial COVID-19 recovery.

Many COVID-19 survivors are finding the long-term effects of the virus are real, and can be presented in various ways. Some survivors are reporting that have experienced physical aftereffects that resemble COVID-19 symptoms. These lingering symptoms may include body aches, joint and muscle pain, fever, fatigue, and dizziness. Survivors report that their symptoms may come back in vicious cycles after their initial recovery from the virus, with some of their symptoms continuing to worsen over time.

Other COVID-19 survivors are experiencing a variety of mental long-term effects. A new study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, shows that one in three COVID-19 survivors has neurological and mental health symptoms including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Michael Haboubi, D.O. a neurologist with UofL Physicians, spoke on the issue.

With COVID-19, we’re seeing there might be an increased rate for some of these behavioral health or mental (health) disorders, as well as neurological disorders afterward.

The study shows that survivors who experienced COVID-19 more severely had a higher rate for these disorders.

Additionally, the same study found that some patients have suffered strokes relating to the virus. I’ve noticed strokes usually happen for patients a few weeks after they have had COVID-19.

“The reason for that is anytime your body is trying to recover from an illness, it stresses the body. Your heart must work harder, your immune system is activated, there’s an inflammatory state in your body. Stroke is a disease that’s based on inflammation. If there’s inflammation, there’s going to be more stroke. We’ve seen that in the past with other viruses as well”.

The aftereffects of COVID-19 can occur for anyone. Survivors that are struggling can get professional help for the effects or reach out to support groups as well. If you are struggling with these issues, know that you are not alone.

UofL Health – UofL Physicians Internal Medicine, UofL Trager Institute and the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute are working collaboratively to provide a comprehensive post-COVID-19 clinic. This clinic will research the impact of the virus in other parts of a patient’s life and will provide the latest research to help patients return to an optimal, healthy lifestyle. This will also assist in connecting resources for non-medical challenges to the community.

Talk to your primary care physician (PCP) about post-COVID-19 effects and for more information about the clinic. Don’t have a PCP? UofL Health has more than 160 primary care providers conveniently located across Shelby, Bullitt, Henry and Jefferson counties. Visit the UofL Physicians – Primary Care website today to make an appointment or call 502-588-4343.

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Michael Haboubi, D.O.

Michael Haboubi, D.O. is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville and a neurohospitalist and the director of teleneurology with UofL Physicians and UofL Health – Stroke. Dr. Haboubi earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency training in neurology at the University of Louisville. He completed a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Louisville in June 2019. Dr. Haboubi joined the University of Louisville faculty and UofL Physicians in July 2013. Dr. Haboubi is board-certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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