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Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:30
Saturday and Sunday - CLOSED

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Recover ITC
8877 Harry Hines #100
Dallas, TX 75235

Do I Have Long-Haul COVID?: Finding Answers to Your Health Questions

If you’re reading this, you may be searching for answers about why you just can’t seem to get better after a COVID infection. Maybe you’ve developed persistent joint pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or brain fog that is preventing you from living your daily life as you wish.

Maybe you’ve never even tested positive for COVID, but you’re still experiencing these persistent symptoms with no clear cause. You may have sought help from doctors without ever receiving a definitive diagnosis or effective treatment for your symptoms. Maybe you’ve been referred to a series of disconnected specialists who are unable to provide you the answers you’re looking for.

Could your mysterious, ongoing symptoms be caused by long-haul COVID?

What Is Long-Haul COVID?

Three years after COVID-19 began its global spread, experts estimate that about 65 million people are still living with the debilitating effects of long-haul COVID. But what exactly is this elusive condition that still plagues so many people and baffles so many medical professionals?

Long-haul COVID is broadly defined by the CDC as signs, symptoms and conditions that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 infection. One of the most important things to understand about long-haul COVID is that each case is unique—a major reason why it’s so hard to diagnose.

One person may experience persistent shortness of breath that leaves them unable to work, while another person may have joint pain that prevents them from performing everyday tasks. Some may experience constant, overwhelming symptoms, while others may experience symptoms sporadically.

Each long-haul COVID case is different because it is not a single illness—it’s the result of lingering bits of the virus disturbing the immune system and provoking harmful immune responses, including inflammation.

Long-Haul COVID Symptoms

One of the most puzzling aspects of long-haul COVID is the lag time between a person’s original positive COVID-19 test and the time they start exhibiting long-haul symptoms. While some people exhibit symptoms such as shortness of breat­h shortly after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, other people may not exhibit long-haul symptoms until a week or months the original infection.

The most common symptoms of long-haul COVID are shortness of breath, fatigue, heart palpitations, and difficulty thinking or remembering, often referred to as brain fog.

Keep in mind: Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have long-haul COVID, and these are not the only symptoms people experience. Everyone’s long-haul COVID experience is different, so you could be feeling many of the above symptoms daily or just one symptom intermittently.

Of all the wide range of symptoms, brain fog is one of the most common—and most misunderstood—symptoms. It’s a confusing, frustrating symptom that can make patients feel that their mind is a maze from which they can’t escape. Fatigue, poor memory, a diminished capacity to think or concentrate are all signs of brain fog.

Despite recent strides in public awareness, there’s still a stigma surrounding mental health. As a result, some people may view brain fog as less serious than other symptoms. The fact that it’s an invisible symptom means it can be more difficult to justify taking disability, sick leave, or even just staying home from social events. Even patients themselves may feel like brain fog is “all in their head” and therefore not significant enough to seek treatment.

In reality, brain fog can have a significant impact on your health, happiness, and day-to-day life. More than that, it can impact your ability to identify your symptoms and seek treatment for them. Brain fog makes it much more difficult to perform simple tasks like keeping track of symptoms and making follow-up appointments.

How Do I Know if I Have Long-Haul COVID?

Unfortunately, there is no single test that can answer that question. In fact, the majority of people who have long-haul COVID test negative for COVID-19, yet are still exhibiting symptoms weeks or months after their original infection.

Therefore, the best way to determine if you have long-haul COVID is to make an appointment with a medical provider who will take your entire health history into account and work with you to find effective treatments for your symptoms.

While anyone who experienced a case of COVID-19 can develop long-haul COVID, you are more likely to develop long-haul COVID if:

  • You experienced a severe case of COVID-19, especially if you were hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
  • You did not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • During or after having COVID-19, you experienced multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) — a rare condition that inflames different body parts, including the heart, lungs, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

However, it’s important to note that long-haul COVID does not discriminate. Older adults, middle-aged adults, and children, regardless of their previous level of health or preexisting conditions, can develop long-haul COVID.

Long-haul COVID is not an indictment of your health or your habits. That said, the best defense against potential symptoms is the COVID-19 vaccine.

Get Relief from Your Long-Haul COVID Symptoms

As of today, there is no definitive cure for long-haul COVID, and there’s no one treatment for the disease. However, it is possible to treat the symptoms and their ultimate cause: inflammation.

At Recover ITC, our health care providers take a 360-degree view of your health with a comprehensive diagnostic workup and full-body evaluation. We then work with you to develop a custom treatment plan based on your unique symptoms and needs.

If what you’ve read above resonates with your experience—mysterious symptoms, a never-ending rabbit hole of referrals and appointments, a lack of answers—and you think you may have long-haul COVID, schedule an appointment with Recover ITC today. We’re ready to help you finally find relief from your inflammation symptoms and get you back to living like you’re used to.

Each patient’s treatment plan differs, but the goal remains the same: to leave with a better understanding of your health.

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