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Long Covid & its Effects on Men’s Health

long covid and its symptoms

In the early months of 2020, India was hit by a sudden outbreak of one of the most destructive diseases for mankind. Many people didn’t take the disease very seriously in the early months, but as time passed, they slowly realized its adverse effects on overall human health and wellbeing. Environmentally, it added many many years to the earth’s life, humans on the other hand, faced irrevocable consequences. Of course there are always different kinds of experiences but most will agree that either, it was a happy time for them or a tumultuous one.

For many, it was an opportunity to connect with family, find work-life balance and live a simpler life. For others, the pandemic meant a big loss on a financial, personal and professional level. Their hardships and loss during the pandemic affected their mental and physical health. The loss of loved ones was the most shocking experience during the pandemic. Men, in particular, faced major issues during these times that are still not recognized by the majority of people. In this article, we will understand the effects that Long Covid had on men’s health

Long Covid

Long COVID, post-acute COVID-19, Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC), long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID are some of the popular terms that are used to describe post-COVID conditions.

Long COVID is used to describe signs and symptoms that last for a few weeks or months after having a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Post-COVID symptoms may include a variety of health issues that could last for weeks, months, or even years.

General Symptoms 

long covid symptoms

Physical Health

Some people, particularly those who had severe COVID-19 illness, experienced multiple organ effects or autoimmune disorders that continued for weeks or months after the disease. Most of the organ systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain, could be affected by multi-organ effects. People who had COVID-19 started to develop new illnesses like diabetes, cardiac problems, or neurological conditions as a result of the virus’s effects. 

Mental Health

COVID-19 could have a significant psychological impact on men’s mental health. 

Based on the Interagency Gender Working Group’s Male Engagement Task Force research, 36.8%  of men indicated feelings of depression, and 33.8% experienced anxiety.  Furthermore, almost 44% expressed concern regarding food insecurity and 68% regarding household finances. 

For each indicator, the occurrence was significantly greater among younger men and dropped dramatically as they aged. Between 3 and 6 months after the onset of COVID-19-related symptoms, a sizeable percentage of patients with proven COVID-19 had reported experiencing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, or depression as long covid symptoms. The rate of PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms were comparable between hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients.

Effects on Men’s Health

Apart from the recognized Long Covid symptoms and causes, some lesser known but critical health-related issues could be seen in men. Let us look at some of the effects that were caused on Men’s Health.

Physical Health

covid affected physical health

Constant fatigue, breathlessness, and loss of smell could be noted along with the significant Long Covid symptoms in men. However, some of the symptoms that were discovered after 12 weeks of COVID such as loss of hair and loss of libido were unexpected and less recognized. Heart failure, fever, intestinal bladder problems, erectile dysfunction, and limb inflammation were also seen among the other symptoms.

Sexual Health

According to research, Long Covid symptoms lead to Erectile Dysfunction through multiple pathogenetic mechanisms and now, may require custom treatment. COVID-19 has been linked to a drop in the body’s levels of testosterone. Lower testosterone levels lead to male wellness issues like Erectile Dysfunction, in addition to reduced energy, libido, and muscle mass. 

Erectile Dysfunction is usually a symptom of a larger problem. Men who have poor health are more likely to develop ED and have a severe reaction to COVID-19. Because the virus can cause a variety of health problems, general poor health is a cause for concern for both ED and other complications.

Mental Health

Along with feeling anxious and depressed during and after the pandemic, men could also feel psychological baggage because of the negligible sexual activity during severe times. Sexual activity is closely associated with men’s mental health. The stress and despair caused by the virus and pandemic can be linked to Erectile Dysfunction and poor mood.

Conclusion 

The global epidemic showed that the world was unprepared for dealing with this unknown virus and taught us the importance of good health and immunity.

The pandemic also had a serious impact on Men’s Health. Be it physical, social or financial, men were affected the most due to the social & financial responsibilities placed on them. As a result, many experienced sexual health-related issues like Erectile Dysfunction, premature ejaculation and infertility. Those who didn’t experience sexual problems, faced other problems like hair loss, breathlessness, anxiety, & depression. Everybody is trying to cope with the loss that they went through and are now slowly starting to move forward with their lives.

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