Yet another nasty symptom of long Covid discovered – as 1million affected
PEOPLE who survive Covid-19 could be plagued by another nasty symptom, a new study has warned.
Up to four out of 10 people who catch the virus still feel ill three months later and experts have revealed that a third of those suffering with long Covid could now also be plagued by kidney issues.
Long Covid can cause dozens of symptoms but tiredness and breathing problems are common.
Researchers from the Veterans Health Administration in the US found that Covid could age your kidneys by 30 years.
Writing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology the experts said they analysed data from 89,000 veterans who overcame Covid.
They also looked at data from 1.6 million people who overcame the virus.
They found that 35 per cent of people were likely to suffer from kidney damage or loss of function.
Kidneys are a vital organ as their main job is to cleanse the blood of toxins and transform the waste into urine.
The NHS states: "Each kidney weighs about 160 grams and gets rid of between one and one-and-a-half litres of urine per day.
"The two kidneys together filter 200 litres of fluid every 24 hours."
In order to measure the risk of kidney damage, the experts specifically looked at several different metrics – including how well a kidney can filter toxins from the blood.
On every test the experts said patients who had previously overcome Covid had higher risk scores and were therefore more likely to have kidney disease.
The studies senior author, Dr Ziyad Al-Aly said for the first six months after infection, Covid patients were 35 per cent more likely to develop kidney disease compared to those who had not had Covid.
Covid patients had a 25 per cent higher risk for a 30 per cent decline in kidney function.
They also had a 44 per cent higher risk of 40 per cent decline in function, alongside a 62 per cent higher risk for a 50 per cent decline.
At least 220 patients of those who participated in the study experienced loss of 85 per cent of kidney function.
What is kidney failure?
Your kidneys are located towards your lower back, either side of your spine, and help to remove toxins from your body and filter your blood.
They then send toxins to your bladder to be removed from the body during urination.
Kidney failure happens when the pair of organs lose their ability to fulfil their function sufficiently.
If your kidneys fail your body can become overloaded with toxins and this can be life-threatening if the condition is left untreated.
Symptoms of kidney failure:
- a reduced amount of urine
- swelling of your legs, ankles, and feet
- unexplained shortness of breath
- excessive drowsiness or fatigue
- persistent nausea
- pain or pressure in your chest
The experts explained that people who had suffered more severely with Covid were also more likely to suffer kidney damage.
For example those who were hospitalised with the illness were more likely to suffer more severe kidney damage.
There is no clear explanation as to why Covid damages the kidneys, but previous research has linked to inflammation caused by the virus.
Commenting on the study, Dr. F Perry Wilson, a medical professor and kidney researcher at Yale said the findings mean that Covid is akin to adding 30 years onto the age of your kidneys.
He told The New York Times: "Covid is probably a little more of a kidney-toxic virus.
"I do think that the Covid syndrome has some long-term adverse effects on the kidney."
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