Why headaches, insomnia after Covid-19? – VnExpress

The direct entry of nCoV into the central nervous system through the ACE-2 receptor may be the reason for the post-Covid-19 headache.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Minh Duc, Head of General Internal Medicine, Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, said statistics from 15 studies around the world recorded that 44% of people had headaches, 11% had insomnia after recovering from Covid-19. -19. After 6 months, these symptoms persisted with a fairly high frequency, with about 50% of cases persisting.

According to the German doctor, symptoms of headache, insomnia, dizziness … after Covid can be sequelae of the neuroinflammation process. Inflammatory damage can produce many harmful free radicals, which over time cause rapid nerve degeneration. Some scientific studies show that nCoV enters the central nervous system directly through the ACE-2 receptor, while ACE-2 is expressed in brain regions such as motor cortex, posterior gyrus, and bulbar gyrus. olfactory bulb and other locations.

nCoV can also enter the central nervous system indirectly through hypoxia and metabolic disturbances as well as dehydration and systemic inflammation. Additionally, cytokine storms can trigger migraines. A published survey indicates that migraines are the most common type of post-Covid-19 headache.

Along with that, health has not completely recovered after being infected with Covid-19, anxiety and invisible pressures caused by the pandemic such as unemployment, reduced income, new normal life still have many limitations, pain of loss of life. go to loved ones… Stress and pressure stimulate the body to produce many free radicals that attack the brain, leading to symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, memory loss, loss of concentration, and depression. These long-term mental problems are the cause of more free radicals, causing rapid deterioration of the body and higher stress levels.

nCoV enters the central nervous system through the ACE-2 receptor. Photo: – Pandemic: Faculty of Pham

The German doctor advised that to limit the post-Covid-19 neurological sequelae, it is necessary to combine methods such as creating positive living habits, relieving stress, eating nutritiously, exercising in moderation and especially , supplement anti-free radical nutrients to increase resistance for the brain.

Accordingly, after recovering from Covid-19, it is necessary to start establishing a healthy lifestyle. Go to bed, wake up at a fixed time (eg always go to bed before 11pm and wake up at 6am every day); Eat brain foods (salmon, avocado, sweet potatoes, watermelon, spinach, yogurt). Do not abuse caffeine and alcohol, exercise regularly every day (at least 30 minutes a day).

Do some exercises to relax your brain and form new neural connections, like closing your eyes and remembering successful, happy moments in your life; relax the body completely for 10 minutes; Meditating for 20-30 minutes/day… Besides, patients need to spend a reasonable amount of time resting to relieve stress and regain positive energy for the brain through useful activities such as: Read a book, go for a walk or have a picnic, go camping… If you find yourself under too much stress, seek help from relatives, friends or a psychologist.

More importantly, according to Dr. Duc, to be able to get rid of persistent headaches and insomnia, it is necessary to have an optimal treatment strategy, combining many different methods such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and internal medicine. , neuropsychiatric… Therefore, in addition to proactively taking care of and restoring brain health at home, if you feel headaches, persistent insomnia, you should see a doctor.

Huong Nguyen


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