Corona may make you smell your favorite food like sewage and rotting meat
How does COVID-19 affect the senses of smell and taste? And what happens in the lungs in long-term Covid patients? And how do those who suffer from it to return to their normal lives? The answers are in this comprehensive report.
How does COVID-19 affect the senses of smell and taste?
We start with the story of Heloise Deutel, who, 4 months after contracting COVID-19, could not eat anything at all. “I just wanted to vomit. I vomited all over me.. I couldn’t even stand my smell. I showered 5 times a day,” she said, according to a report by writer James Tapper in Guardian British Guardian.
The coffee, toothpaste, shampoo and grilled meats were the worst. By the time she went to the hospital, she weighed only 46 kilos.
Severe weight loss and kidney failure are the effects of abnormalities in the sense of smell and taste that make people unable to eat or drink the things they love, such as coffee or meat, because they smell like rotting meat or sewage.
Loss of taste or smell was identified as a symptom of COVID very early in the pandemic, and there is mounting evidence that a significant number of people continue to develop long-term abnormalities of their senses.
Scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet published a study that found nearly half of those studied in the first wave had an olfactory malformation, a condition known as parosmia. One-third were less able to detect odors.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that more than half a million people in the UK have had symptoms of Covid for more than a year.
“There’s been an explosion of these kinds of syndromes and symptoms,” said Simon Gein, a consultant rhinologist at the Royal National Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital and Eastman Dental Hospital in London. “It’s more prevalent than before.”
He said that many people with parosmia and dysgeusia (a distorted sense of taste) began to feel this after weeks or months of recovering from Covid. Some have experienced a complete loss of their sense of smell and are starting to recover it.
There is no known cure, and although some parosmia professionals say smell training can be beneficial, it has not been clinically proven.
Dotille remains optimistic, and has been enjoying food again, 15 months later. “It was a really long process, but today I ate chicken… I couldn’t do that 6 months ago. And it was fun. So there is hope.”
Stephanie Hedrick realized she needed help and that the healthcare provided by her therapist would not be enough, as months after contracting Covid, she still had shortness of breath, blurred vision and disoriented mind.
The 62-year-old retired American teacher from Virginia considers that “a doctor alone can’t handle everything.”
After months of follow-up in a specialist clinic in Washington, Hedrick was finally able to play with her five grandchildren this summer.
New clinics have emerged dedicated to treating those with long-standing COVID-19, a post-infection syndrome that can affect nearly all bodily functions, sometimes causing disabling symptoms. “The clinic gave me hope that life would go on,” Hedrick says.
And in these clinics across the United States, thousands of people infected with the Corona virus (even if their symptoms are mild) and who are still suffering from the repercussions of the disease after recovery are treated, according to a report by the French Press Agency.
Doctors have known for years that some patients develop post-viral syndromes, but the exact cause is still unknown.
“There is something. It’s clearly not a figment of people’s imagination,” says Hannah Axelrod, who directs the COVID-19 recovery clinic at George Washington University’s Care Unit.
The long-term prevalence of Covid varies widely, according to studies, from 10% of those who recover from Covid to 35% or even 50%.
After her injury, Hedrick, who says she was usually “active”, suddenly developed an irregular heartbeat, joint pain and shortness of breath. “It’s like someone took all of your energy, your strength, your motivation,” she explained.
sense of smell
Some restore their sense of smell by inhaling essential oils several times a day.
To improve her endurance, Hedrick was advised to perform short, easy exercises. When things get mixed up at the store, she relives what she’s learned from the speech therapist: slow down and review her list, item by item.
She admitted she’s not fully back to normal, but “my good days are getting longer.”
Alba Azola, co-director of a specialist team at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, says she has “several theories” about what could cause long-term Covid disease, from residual effects of the virus in the body to immune system dysfunction.
“I think there is more than one mechanism at work, and the science should help us understand,” she added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines prolonged COVID-19 as a series of “new or persistent” symptoms 4 or more weeks after an acute infection has resolved. However, there are controversies regarding which cases can be attributed to the disease.
For many patients, simply being aware of their pain can bring relief.
Marijk Sutter, 39, a nurse in Baltimore, contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, and sure enough, you think, because of her work, she had to resign when she realized she needed to take a break. She has vague memories of her first four months between fatigue and insomnia, and began consulting doctors at Johns Hopkins in June 2021.
The nurse pointed out that what helped her recover the most is the practice of meditation and yoga. She is now back to working part-time and teaching remotely. But she still needs a 3-hour nap most days. She emphasized that “intellectual performance is as stressful as physical work.”
The results of a new study revealed that Covid-19 may cause microscopic damage that is not detected by normal tests, as abnormalities were identified in the lungs of a number of patients who suffered from long-term effects, which may explain why some people suffer from shortness of breath after a long period of infection. virus.
In a newspaper report Guardian, author Hannah Devlin quotes Dr. Emily Fraser, consultant at Oxford University Hospitals and co-author of the study, that the researchers’ findings are the first evidence that reveals that the safety of the lungs can be affected in the long term after infection with the Corona virus.
“It’s the first study to show lung abnormalities in people with long-term COVID-19 who suffer from shortness of breath, as it really indicates that the virus causes some kind of persistent abnormal changes within the microstructure of the lungs or pulmonary blood vessels,” Fraser said.
She added that more research is needed to confirm these findings, including how the abnormalities relate to shortness of breath.
For her part, lecturer at King’s College London, Claire Steves, who was not involved in the study, believes that the results will be of great importance to anyone who suffers from shortness of breath in the long term after infection with Covid.
“They hypothesize that the efficiency of the lung function, the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, may be compromised, even though the structure of the lung appears to be normal,” Steves said. Its ability to explain what is happening to patients, and what the implications are for upcoming treatments.”
This study is one of the latest studies that shed light on the physiological differences observed in those suffering from long-term COVID-19. The study included 400 volunteers, and was published on the “biorxiv” platform.