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Covid-19 Complications: Common Problems Patients Might Face Post Recovery

Beware if the new onset of diabetes due to Covid-19.

Studies have shown that hospitalised Covid-19 patients are more likely to suffer from complications post-recovery, which may manifest till 6 months of recovery. Expert explains all about these complications and how they may affect you.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : July 24, 2021 2:02 PM IST

Although the cases of active COVID disease continues to dip or be a plateau in most parts of the country, there is an emergence in post-Covid complications. Once infected, Covid-19 frequently leaves people with months of unresolved health issues. A JAMA Network Open study found that eight in ten patients hospitalized develop Covid-19 complications, with a subsequent risk of a sixfold increase in mortality. Another study published in Nature has found patients who make it through the first month without coming to the hospital have a nearly 60% higher chance of dying.

As per Dr Charu Dutt, Infectious Disease Specialist and Home Care Experts at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad, "these complications also called 'long Covid' can continue to manifest until 6 months of recovery. During this period, the patients are at a higher risk of catching unusual bacterial and fungal infections." Read on to know all about Covid complications that a person might face post-recovery as stated by Dr Dutt.

Common Covid-19 Complications

Even though the patient has recovered, there can be a reservoir of virus in their bodies which, along with the immunomodulation can lead to plenty of complications and health issues. Some of the most common post-COVID complications include hair fall, insomnia, loss of appetite, brain fog, anxiety issues, breathlessness, cardiac issues, blood clotting problems and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Behavioural And Appetite Issues

With the latest studies from the Western Hemisphere, sleeplessness and behavioural problems top the list of symptoms present in patients who recovered after a long and intensive stay in the hospital during COVID.

Breathlessness is also one of the major issues in such patients. They continue to require oxygen support due to the extensive damage to their lungs. We get a CT scan of the chest to determine the level of fibrotic changes and post covid pneumonic changes in these patients. Pulmonary rehabilitation is the key to help resolve such issues. Chest physiotherapy, deep breathing exercises and oxygen support are inevitable for such cases.

Loss of appetite, hair fall and chronic fatigue syndrome are mainly because of the immunomodulators and use of steroids during the treatment. The replication of the virus added to the side effects of the treatment makes a complicated niche in the alimentary canal that has a decreased ability to absorb the important nutrients from food. This complex phenomenon leads to most of the weakness and appetite issues. Having small meals frequently and increasing the quantity of water in daily routine is one easy way to resolve these issues.

Blood Clots

A lot of young patients are now coming in the OPD with complaints of palpitations, sweating and chest pain. On examination, there is a risk of developing blood clots that increase the chances of stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism. One must see their primary doctor periodically for a cardiac screen. The blood clots can be managed at home by taking medicines regularly.


As per one of the studies in Minnesota, myalgia (muscle pain) is one of the primary causes of delayed post-COVID recovery. Our muscles tend to lose their power and tone. Keeping a balanced diet, following with a nutritionist and increasing the intake of fluids rich in electrolytes is the key to overcome muscle and body pain.


India has seen a rise in unusual infections post-COVID, such as Mucormycosis. This rare fungal infection is because of uncontrolled diabetes, immune system dysregulation and irrational use of steroids. One must not ignore symptoms of this fungal infection (like eye pain, tooth pain, nasal blockage, heaviness near cheeks and headache) and seek a consultation with their doctor immediately. Now, there is a steep increase in the cases of Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the bones, especially Hip Joints. The blood supply of the bones is cut off due to the oedema of the bone ends. A high dosage of steroids is one of the contributing factors to this disease. Patients should never ignore pain and difficulty in movements.

Lung Fibrosis

One of my patients experienced lung fibrosis, developed new-onset diabetes and had multiple secondary infections during the post covid phase. He is currently in the fourth month of recovery and was recently treated for Aspergillosis of the lung (another rare fungal infection).

Since the second wave witnessed more young patients requiring longer oxygen support and intensive care, these complications are also many and now coming to light. It is advisable to follow mental and pulmonary rehabilitation for all such patients, to decrease their chances of falling sick during their recovery phase. Their medicines should be monitored, lifestyle should be modified and mental wellbeing should be given prime importance during this time.

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