Rushden dietitian shares her knowledge on long Covid and the signs to look out for

Statistics show that one in ten who have suffered from Covid-19 may have symptoms persisting after 12 weeks

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 4:26 pm

An expert on diet and nutrition has shared her knowledge on long Covid and the signs to look out for.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

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Dr Blades has been sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in recent months, helping us follow a balanced diet and look after ourselves during the pandemic.

This week she is talking about long Covid.

Dr Blades told the Northants Telegraph: "This time last year the term long Covid was not known and medical services were coping with the pandemic.

"It was clear that there was no diet which could prevent or cure Covid-19 and that remains the position.

"A year later a condition known as long Covid has presented which can affect those who have been severely ill or had relatively mild symptoms.

"Statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that one in 10 who have suffered from Covid-19 may have symptoms persisting after 12 weeks.

"These symptoms vary and can include breathlessness, fatigue, joint pain as well as bowel and gastrointestinal tract issues.

"Centres have been set up providing multi-disciplinary team support from doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists plus dietitians.

"Normally an assessment of the diet is made as well as weight.

"Those who have been extremely ill may have lost weight while in hospital, while others feel so fatigued that they are not able to cook so just snack.

"Some may have lost the sense of taste and do not feel like eating or enjoy items.

"If people are not eating well supplements of vitamins (including vitamin D) and minerals or other nutrients are often advised.

"Regular meals with adequate protein to maintain muscle mass are encouraged, as well as adequate fluid.

"Improvements are often quite slow but sustained and it is important this is recognised as overdoing rigorous diets can be counterproductive as can taking excessive exercise."

Dr Blades added that anyone who wants specific advice on diet should consult their dietitian, doctor or health professional.

To read more from Dr Blades about eating well and looking after yourself during the pandemic, click here for her piece on malnutrition or follow her on Twitter @blades_mabel.

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