JAKARTA - Fatigue or fatigue is the most common symptom found in post-COVID syndrome, even this complaint is still felt after 100 days of exposure to the coronavirus.
In patients who had experienced severe lung conditions when exposed to COVID-19, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), two-thirds of them felt significant complaints of fatigue after a year of exposure to COVID-19.
Complaints that are felt are very similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, which consists of fatigue that makes the body helpless, pain, experiencing neurocognitive disability, sleep disturbances, symptoms of autonomic dysfunction, and worsening physical and cognitive conditions.
"Conditions of hypertension, obesity, and mental health disorders are some of the risk factors for someone experiencing post-COVID syndrome," said Dr. Hikmat Pramukti, Sp.PD, a specialist in internal medicine at Pondok Indah Hospital, cited from Antara, Sunday.
Hikmat said the exact cause of post-COVID syndrome was still being observed. Some say that this symptom occurs due to damage to organs caused by the virus and residual inflammation that is still ongoing even though the virus is no longer present.
To overcome the symptoms of fatigue, the first thing that COVID-19 survivors can do is find out which source or organ underlies this complaint, whether it is due to conditions in the heart, lungs, a combination of both, or a decrease in the body's functional capacity due to COVID-19 infection.
After conducting a series of in-depth examinations regarding the perceived complaints, then the treatment of the underlying organ condition can be carried out so that the treatment is right on target.
Therefore, several studies recommend COVID-19 survivors who have been hospitalized, both with and without comorbidities to have an evaluation a week after hospitalization.
This follow-up examination aims to detect and immediately carry out the treatment if there are complications related to COVID-19.
"Meanwhile, COVID-19 survivors who were not hospitalized before, should be evaluated for symptoms after 3 weeks after recovering from COVID-19," said Dr. Hikmat.
For COVID-19 survivors who still feel multisystem symptoms that last more than 12 weeks, it is recommended to check with a doctor according to the symptoms they feel.
At the first follow-up examination, the relevant specialist will carry out a comprehensive examination starting from history taking/questioning with the patient, physical examination, and supporting examinations to assess the function of organs that are often affected by COVID-19 such as the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, liver, hormones, blood coagulation system, and body fitness.
A more specific examination will be adjusted to the severity of the symptoms and the organ system experiencing certain symptoms.
The data that has been collected to date shows that fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients exhibit less chance of developing post-COVID syndrome than those who have not been fully vaccinated.
However, a person's ability to fully recover as before is highly dependent on the individual's basic condition prior to illness, the course of the disease when exposed to COVID-19, and the type and severity of complications experienced.
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"COVID-19 survivors are advised to do physical exercise according to their respective abilities and tolerance limits, and gradually programmed to increase until they can return to their original condition," said Dr. Hikmat.
Hikmat said that in the first seven days, usually, the recommended types of light exercise are breathing and flexibility exercises.
Then on the next seven days, the intensity of physical exercise can be started to increase, for example with brisk walking and so on, while still paying attention to the tolerance limit, not forcing yourself, and resting if you feel tired.
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