COVID Symptoms No One Talks About But Should

We know the common symptoms of COVID-19 at this point – cough, sore throat, fatigue and so on. But some symptoms are unusual and may continue for months. “If you have prolonged symptoms of COVID, you should seek care,” says Devang Sanghavi, MD. “What we’ve seen in a lot of these investigations and studies about post-COVID-19 syndrome is that usually this condition doesn’t come with a single symptom — there’s a cluster of symptoms.” Here are some unusual symptoms of COVID that people aren’t talking about—but they should be. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss out Sure signs you already had COVID.

1

GI issues

stomach problems

stomach problems

Doctors report seeing people with long-term gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, diarrhea and constipation. “Although we are not sure yet, there are several possible ways that infection with COVID-19 could cause gastrointestinal problems.” says Greg Vanichkachorn, MD, director of Mayo Clinic’s COVID Activity Recovery Program. “For example, the lining of the gut has a large amount of receptors that the SARS-COV2 virus uses to invade cells. “The general inflammation caused by the infection can also disrupt the normal bacteria that live in the gut and stimulate some of the nerves in the gastrointestinal system.”

2

Erectile dysfunction

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Long-term erectile dysfunction is a worrying symptom of long-term COVID. “I have seen young, healthy men, as well as older men with other medical problems, develop erectile dysfunction after contracting COVID-19.” says urologist Amarnath Rambhatla, MD. “But men who are older may be at increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction due to underlying medical problems. There are a few other reasons why older men could be at increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction after COVID-19: The levels “Testosterone levels decline as we age, and we know that testosterone is essential for normal erectile function. When you’re older, you’re also more likely to have an increased inflammatory response to COVID-19.”

3

Personality changes and rage

Elderly couple arguing.

Elderly couple arguing.

If you haven’t felt like yourself since contracting COVID, you’re not alone—there are reports of severe personality changes after COVID-19, specifically related to anger and rage issues. “In advanced imaging—especially in some of our studies—we see changes in blood flow, blood permeability, and brain metabolism that overlap with areas that are responsible for these areas of personality.” says neurologist Anna Nordvig, MD. “Neuropsychological testing is something we also send some patients for, to help diagnose [personality] change. This is still under study.”

4

Depression and Anxiety

Pensive girl sitting on windowsill hugging knees looking at window, sad depressed teenage girl spending time alone at home, young upset pensive woman feeling alone or disappointed and thinking about problems

Pensive girl sitting on windowsill hugging knees looking at window, sad depressed teenage girl spending time alone at home, young upset pensive woman feeling alone or disappointed and thinking about problems

The pandemic has (reasonably) worsened mental health conditions for many people. “The reality is that our brains don’t exist in a bubble” says Heather Murray, MD, MPH. “So if you have systemic inflammation issues or viral syndromes that affect other organs, it makes sense that they also affect the brain and cause other psychological symptoms. Unfortunately, it’s something that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, for example, have experienced. years… The reality is that depression is very common and many people with COVID have a history of depression. They are going through a horrible time in their lives, not to mention society is going through a horrible time.”

5

Hair loss

young man in white t-shirt and jeans looking in the mirror thinning hair

young man in white t-shirt and jeans looking in the mirror thinning hair

Hair loss can be a painful side effect of COVID. “Hair loss that occurs after infection with COVID-19 is due to overactive inflammation in the body.” says dermatologist Alexis Young, MD. “Inflammation can cause a change in the hair cycle. Hair loss after a stressful situation is not unusual. People can experience hair loss after childbirth or major surgery, and we’re now seeing the same effects after infection with COVID- 19 to some People.”

6

How to stay safe out there

Follow basic public health principles and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live — get vaccinated or boosted as soon as possible. if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face maskdon’t travel, social distancing, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of them 35 places you’re most likely to catch COVID.

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