Fever and breathing problems…
That’s what most doctors are looking for in new COVID-19 patients.
But this nasty virus doesn’t limit its attack to just the respiratory system.
There’s another major telltale sign that this bug could be setting up shop in your body.
In fact, it might be where this thing starts for some folks.
An Early Warning
A new study with a small sample size published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology has revealed some critical information…
Around 30% of hospitalized patients in China with COVID-19 said that stomach issues (diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc.) were their main symptoms… above and beyond any breathing problems.
The study’s author notes that digestive issues can be an early warning sign in folks with COVID-19 and sometimes arise before any breathing issues, coughing or fever.
But these gut issues were more than just precursors to respiratory issues. And they weren’t symptoms that eventually disappeared. In fact, they tended to get worse.
And in rare cases, stomach issues were the only symptoms that came to light.
Even more concerning, patients who suffered from COVID-19-induced digestive issues had an overall worse prognosis than those with only respiratory issues.
The theory is that as the virus’s pathogens take over and kill more and more cells, these digestive problems become increasingly worse.
And once the virus starts reproducing itself in the gastrointestinal tract, it grows quickly and becomes more relentless.
Because these symptoms weren’t even on the radar for most folks (including doctors), people with digestive issues weren’t going to see their doctors to get tested right away.
Now, the study used a small sample size. So digestive issues are not necessarily a guarantee that someone has the virus. But it’s important to keep an eye on it.
New information about this rotten virus is coming out at a breakneck pace. So there’s a lot to wade through.
For doctors working on the front lines of this thing, it’s impossible to keep up with it all while working double and triple shifts.
That’s where you come in…
If you’re dealing with a loss of appetite, an outright inability to eat or diarrhea (the major digestive issues noted in the study referenced above), call your doctor.
Even for those who did manage to recover from this virus getting in their gut, recovery times were longer. And it required much more antimicrobial treatment.
We’ve all got to try our best to stay ahead of this thing.
And just like the rest of our immune system, a healthy gut needs to be able to defend itself against outside invaders.
If you’re not taking probiotics (or eating yogurt and other fermented foods), right now’s a helluva time to start.
Probiotics help the production of virus-fighting antibodies. They also inhibit the growth of harmful growth in the gut.
And in yet another example of how our whole body is interconnected, a steady dose of probiotics has been shown to reduce the possibility of respiratory tract infections and even cut recovery times significantly.
We’ve got a ways to go in defeating this thing. But as long as we stay proactive, we’ll all be stronger for it.
Stay safe, and stay healthy.
For all of our ongoing coverage to help you get through the coronavirus crisis healthy and strong, click here.