Long Covid may destroy your ability to do simple tasks

Scientists may have uncovered the reason behind common symptoms of long COVID, such as extreme fatigue and exercise intolerance.

As more research unfolds, it becomes evident that some individuals with COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms, even months or years after their initial positive test. A recent study published in Nature Communications sheds light on this phenomenon, suggesting that biological changes occurring in the muscles of long COVID patients may contribute to persistent symptoms, particularly after physical exertion.


Professor Michèle van Vugt from Amsterdam UMC highlighted clear muscle changes observed in long COVID patients, including extreme fatigue, alterations in muscle composition, and widespread muscle damage. Analyzing data from 25 long COVID patients experiencing post-exertional malaise (PEM) and 21 healthy controls, researchers noted that even minor physical exertion could exacerbate symptoms, leading to debilitating fatigue.


Further examination of blood and muscle tissue samples revealed abnormalities in muscle tissue among long COVID patients, including a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, known to deplete energy more rapidly, potentially contributing to fatigue. Despite the difficulty in changing muscle fiber types through inactivity alone, the exact cause of this shift remains unclear.


In addition to changes in energy production and muscle composition, the research team observed muscle damage, characterized by scarring, inflammation, and blood clots, before and after physical activity. These findings provide valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of long COVID and highlight the complex interplay between the virus and the body’s physiological responses.

Written by Telha

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