A look into long COVID, and the tests that can help you and your doctor learn more
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, news began to spread about people experiencing several long-term health effects post-infection. After most of the initial symptoms subsided (e.g., cough, congestion, fever), days, weeks, and even months seemed to pass where people continued to experience lingering symptoms such as:
- Memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Shortness of breath
- Anxiety and depression
- General pain and discomfort
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Health care authorities began describing these various symptoms collectively as long COVID (or post-COVID syndrome), a condition that now affects over 1.4 million Canadians—even those that were asymptomatic during their initial COVID-19 infection.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, where four or more weeks have passed since you had COVID-19 or suspect you had it, and you’re still experiencing lingering symptoms, consider having a discussion with your health care provider about the importance of long COVID assessment testing.
Wondering if you have long COVID?
If you think you might be experiencing long COVID, you’re not alone. Talking to your doctor about what you’re currently experiencing is the best place to start. Your doctor might consider running specialized tests, recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you’re still experiencing symptoms for 12 or more weeks after you had COVID. Based on your symptoms, they may order a group of tests, or certain specific individual tests like a Vitamin D test.
What is long COVID assessment testing and why consider it?
Long COVID assessment testing is a part of an overall medical evaluation that can help determine the cause of the lingering symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of having had COVID-19.
To support health care providers and their patients, LifeLabs offers two test menus, based on CDC recommendations, to assist with evaluation. There’s a Basic test menu option that your doctor can use to select from to complete a follow up to related tests that may have already been completed. And there’s also an Expanded test menu that includes additional tests that your doctor can choose for patients that have not had any tests done before.
Anyone who had, or thinks they had, COVID-19 and is experiencing ongoing symptoms should talk to their doctor about whether long COVID assessment testing is right for them. This is an important step in understanding the long-term health effects of COVID-19 and for determining the best course of treatment for ongoing symptoms.
For further information about long COVID assessment testing options available through LifeLabs, please visit Testing Options for Long COVID Assessment.
If you’d like to learn more about the Vitamin D test specifically, please visit 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Test.
What are the testing options?
Print this helpful guide and bring it with you to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss available Long COVID testing options.