Welcome to Idaho Brain & Body’s information page on long COVID. Long COVID refers to health problems that continue for weeks or months after recovering from an initial COVID-19 infection. These ongoing issues can vary greatly from person to person. Common long COVID symptoms include feeling extremely tired (fatigue), difficulty breathing, chest pain, joint pain, and trouble with memory and concentration, often called “brain fog.” Some people also experience changes in smell or taste, sleep problems, and mood changes. Long COVID can affect anyone who has had COVID-19, regardless of how mild or severe their initial illness was. At our clinic, we understand how challenging long COVID can be, and we’re committed to providing care and support to help you manage these symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Common Symptoms of Long COVID

Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), refers to a range of symptoms that continue for weeks or months after the acute phase of a COVID-19 infection has resolved. Common symptoms of Long COVID include:

Fatigue: Persistent and often debilitating tiredness that is not relieved by rest is one of the most reported symptoms.

Cognitive Impairments: Commonly referred to as “brain fog,” this includes difficulties with memory, concentration, and executive function.

Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing: Many people experience lingering respiratory issues, even after mild initial infections.

Chest Pain or Tightness: Ongoing chest discomfort can be a lingering effect.

Heart Palpitations: Irregular heartbeats or a feeling of a racing heart are frequently reported.

Joint or Muscle Pain: Persistent pain in muscles and joints can be a long-term symptom.

Loss of Taste and Smell: While this often occurs during the acute phase of COVID-19, some people find these senses do not return to normal for a long time.

Headaches: Chronic or recurring headaches are common in Long COVID patients.

Sleep Disturbances: This includes difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and non-restorative sleep.

Mood Changes: Anxiety, depression, and mood swings are often reported, likely due to both the physiological effects of the virus and the psychological impact of prolonged illness.

Other Symptoms: Gastrointestinal issues, skin rashes, hair loss, and a variety of other symptoms have been associated with Long COVID.

These symptoms can fluctuate and vary in intensity, and their persistent nature can significantly impact the quality of life. The wide range of symptoms reflects the systemic nature of COVID-19 and underscores the importance of a holistic approach to treatment and management.

Factors That Contribute to Long COVID

Long COVID, characterized by lingering symptoms following a COVID-19 infection, is influenced by a multifaceted interplay of factors. The severity of the initial COVID-19 infection is a key contributor; individuals who experienced more severe initial symptoms, especially those requiring hospitalization, tend to be at a higher risk. However, Long COVID can also follow mild cases, indicating a complex pathophysiology beyond initial disease severity. Immunological responses play a significant role; an overactive or prolonged immune reaction to the virus might contribute to ongoing symptoms. This includes potential autoimmune responses where the body continues to react as though fighting an active infection. Pre-existing health conditions, particularly those affecting the heart, lungs, or immune system, are also implicated in increasing susceptibility to Long COVID. Emerging research suggests demographic factors, such as age and gender, with middle-aged individuals and women possibly being more affected. Additionally, the psychological impact of the disease, along with social and environmental factors, might contribute to the persistence and severity of symptoms. This complexity underscores the need for ongoing research and a personalized approach to treatment and support for individuals with Long COVID.

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Our Patients Say

At our dedicated doctor’s office, we take immense pride in the care and service we provide to our patients. Here, you can discover the genuine experiences and heartfelt feedback from those who have entrusted us with their health and well-being. These testimonials offer valuable insights into the compassionate and expert care that defines our practice. We are grateful for the trust our patients place in us and invite you to explore their stories, which reflect the exceptional standard of healthcare we aim to deliver every day.

“I have known Dr. Spencer Zimmerman (Dr. Z) for over a decade and watched him fine-tune his incredibly detailed approach to overcoming disease and illness. He is not your average physician. In addition to continuing education seminars and conferences, he spends 100’s of hours annually…personally studying and researching the latest cutting-edge, in-depth medical science. He’s a seeker of truth and viable, usable, effective healing solutions. His approach to immunology and rapidly boosting the body’s innate ability to mobilize and defend itself…is novel and highly comprehensive.

Cory C.

Wow were my eyes opened by Dr. Z. I was suffering from daily migraines, neck, back, shoulder, hip pain, vision and hearing problems, and the list goes on. Dr. Z saved my life. No joke. He is super meticulous and very passionate about his work. He is very smart and forward thinking and researches all the time. He genuinely cares about his patients. He’s an amazing and very caring provider and I highly recommend him.

Amanda R.

“Dr. Spencer Zimmerman is phenomenal! In January I found out I have Lyme disease and along with that discovery, I found out that most traditional Doctors won’t/can’t help treat Lyme disease patients due to FDA restrictions. My only option appeared to be a Lyme specialist, which was going to cost enormous amounts of money because insurance doesn’t cover Lyme specialists. I felt hopeless. And that’s when I had the amazing fortune to come across Dr. Spencer Zimmerman. He gave me the hope I so desperately needed. He is very knowledgeable in regards to traditional medicine, but also homeopathic care as well.

Kensi E.

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