Long COVID, also known as post-COVID-19 syndrome, is a condition that can occur in people who have had COVID-19, even if their initial illness was mild.
According to research published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, women are significantly more likely than men to experience long COVID, with symptoms that follow a distinct clinical pattern. The reasons for this are not fully understood, but researchers believe it may be due to several factors, including:
- Differences in the immune system: Women have a stronger immune response than men, which can be helpful in fighting off infection. However, it is also thought that this stronger immune response may make women more susceptible to developing autoinflammatory conditions, which are thought to play a role in long COVID.
- Hormonal factors: Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may also play a role in long COVID. For example, some studies have shown that women who are experiencing menopause are more likely to develop long COVID.
- Social factors: Women are more likely to be caregivers, both at home and in the workforce. This can put them at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infections. Women are also more likely to have jobs that are considered essential, which means that they may have had to continue working during the pandemic, even if they were not feeling well.
Symptoms of long COVID in women
Long COVID can have a significant impact on a woman’s life, both physically and mentally. Common symptoms of long COVID include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Cognitive impairment
- Brain fog
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Sleep problems
- Menstrual cycle changes
These symptoms can make it difficult to work, study, and perform everyday activities.
Just as each body reacts and responds differently to factors that can cause illness, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for long COVID. There are, however, things that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help to improve energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve mood. However, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.
- Getting enough sleep: Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep can help to improve energy levels, reduce fatigue, and boost the immune system.
- Eating a healthy diet: A balanced diet based on fresh whole foods that includes plenty of protein, fruits, and vegetables can help to improve your overall health and well-being. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine and alcohol.
- Get a personalized nutrition plan: Your body replaces and repairs cells on a regular basis. However, it needs the right nutrients to be able to do so. And since each body is unique, you need to find out exactly what those nutrients are for your body and your specific health issue.
A qualified Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner can test you to discover what post-pandemic factors are causing your long Covid symptoms and which nutrients your body requires to help it heal. Based on your specific health situation, they can create a clinically- designed, personalized nutrition plan that will assist your body to heal. They can also provide support to help you stay on track.
Additional tips for women with long COVID
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
- Find a healthcare provider who understands the post-pandemic factors that can cause long COVID and can help you manage the condition..
Long COVID can be a challenging condition, but there are steps you can take to improve your health. By making lifestyle changes, seeking the right therapy, and following a personalized nutrition plan it is possible to regain your health.