Almost two-thirds of Americans have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and many of these individuals experience lingering symptoms. This condition with the variety of symptoms is referred to as “Long Covid,” a term that has already made its way into the lexicon. These symptoms can be related to lung function, skin conditions, mood, and more. One of the common causes of these prolonged complaints is inflammation.
Newer research has been able to better determine how inflammation impacts the body systems and causes these frustrating symptoms, such as brain fog, hair loss, loss of taste and smell, depression, and more.
Inflammation symptoms can be insidious and present in many different ways, some inflammation is the body response to a trigger and can inform us that we need to rest or take care of an injury, usually seen in acute inflammation. The typical symptoms of acute inflammation include pain, redness, heat, and swelling. Chronic inflammation lasts longer than 6 weeks and can be the cause of many chronic diseases including diabetes, with vague symptoms of skin changes, fatigue, abdominal pain, weight gain, and more. Stress can also increase inflammation by continued activation of the immune system which upsets the balance between the normal inflammation and anti-inflammation processes.
Inflammation can be measured in blood by testing CRP (c-reactive protein) which is a type of protein that is elevated in inflammatory environments. Inflammation can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the location and severity of the symptoms. Treatments include diet, injection therapies, steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, herbal anti-inflammatory supplements, or other supplements.
If you are experiencing lingering symptoms of inflammation from either COVID or other triggers, it may be time to seek out medical care from a provider who understands the intersection between inflammation and chronic disease and determine a treatment plan to reduce symptoms by identifying and treating the cause of the inflammation.