Over 2 million people in the UK are suffering from Long Covid.
Most people with COVID-19 tend to feel better within a few days or weeks and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, symptoms can last longer. This is called long COVID or post COVID-19 syndrome.
At least 65 million individuals around the world are estimated to have long COVID (a conservative estimate of 10% with long covid from 651 million documented COVID-19 cases worldwide). The number sadly is likely to be much higher due to the many undocumented cases. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates about 2.1 million people in the UK have long Covid and suggests the condition is most common in:
+ 35 to 49-year-olds
+ People with underlying conditions which limit their activities
+ Those working in health, social care or education
Long Covid can have a detrimental impact on a persons day to day life. According to a study in New York, a FIFTH of 'long Covid' sufferers still haven't returned to work a year after beating virus. The analysis showed that the vast majority of these employees were under 60. Some of these people may have developed those common symptoms regardless of whether they got Covid or not, but the potential impact on peoples lives with Long Covid cannot be underestimated.
Some people’s symptoms go away after a few weeks or a few months, but some are still experiencing symptoms nearly two years after they first caught the condition.
What are the main symptoms?
Fatigue, memory issues and breathing difficulties can make it harder to return to normal life and can impact their work life, especially for people who already have a pre-existing lung condition.
The most common symptoms of long COVID are:
+extreme tiredness (fatigue)
+shortness of breath
+loss of smell
However, there are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection, including:
+problems with your memory and concentration ("brain fog")
+chest pain or tightness
+difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
+pins and needles
+depression and anxiety
+feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
+a high temperature, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
What causes long Covid?
Its not known why some people continue with symptoms beyond the initial infection. It could be that the initial infection sends some people's immune systems into overdrive, meaning they attack not just the virus but their own organs.
The virus entering and damaging our cells might explain some symptoms like a loss of smell and taste, while damage to blood vessels could, for example, contribute to heart problems. It is likely several different things are going on in different people, causing a wide range of problems. Research is ongoing which should then help in the future to identify and find suitable treatments.
When to seek medical advice
If you’ve had suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and have persisting symptoms beyond 4 weeks of the initial infection, you should seek medical advice for an assessment. The NHS provides access to difference services so it’s important to access the right rehabilitation at the right time:
+ NHS Long COVID Centres – these provide face-to-face management for people with complex and severe symptoms who are in need of intensive rehabilitation and care.
+ NHS Your COVID Recovery online service – this 12-week online self-management programme is for people with low-level needs
What Supplements could help
Cambridge Natural Supplements has developed a series of supplements named LC Advanced Formula + to help tackle some of the symptoms of Long Covid. Each formula has been developed using natural ingredients and backed by leading scientific studies.
FAIR Health. Patients Diagnosed with Post-COVID Conditions: An Analysis of Private Healthcare Claims Using the Official ICD-10 Diagnostic Code (FAIR Health, 2022).