Symptoms Overview

Long COVID has a variety of very different symptoms. These can be combined into different groups. There are helpful tips for some groups such as breathing or sleep (yellow keywords). Tips for other groups will be added soon. This page is in development.

Appetite and digestion

The symptom group "appetite and digestion" includes complaints such as nausea, diarrhea, cravings or, conversely, loss of appetite. The appetite can be influenced by complaints about "taste and smell", but also independently of it.


Since COVID-19 attacks the airways, shortness of breath and dyspnoea can occur during the acute infection, but also afterwards. Fear and feelings of suffocation or the limitation of physical performance can seriously affect everyday life.

Thinking and perception

Difficulty concentrating and being unusually forgetful are possible cognitive symptoms of Long COVID. This also includes slowness in thinking or difficulty in expressing yourself. Impairment of the eyes has also been described.


"Fatigue" describes a great amount of exhaustion that does not go away even with a lot of sleep. Such an all-encompassing fatigue is also known from other viral diseases. It is important to avoid, if possible, that the exhaustion becomes chronic.

Taste and Smell

COVID-19 can cause a loss of taste and / or smell. This impairment can partially persist, or the perception of smell and taste can change, so that foods no longer smell and taste the same as before.

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Throat, nose, ears

This group includes cold symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, earache, headache or fever. Tinnitus has also been reported. The dry cough that is characteristic of COVID-19 can in some cases become permanent.

Skin and hair

Various dermatological complaints have been observed: These include, for example, rashes, pustules on the cheeks, hives (severe redness / wheals on the skin with itching), changes in the tongue ("Covid tongue") or hair loss.

Cardiovascular system

Above all, this group of symptoms includes sudden, strong palpitations, which can occur without prior exertion, for example when falling asleep. A high heart rate and circulatory problems have also been observed.

Mental Health

Long COVID can affect mental health in all its forms. Symptoms include feeling out of balance, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and decreased resilience, such as when dealing with pain.


Due to Long COVID, both issues with falling asleep and staying asleep can occur. Those who lie awake before falling asleep or in the middle of the night are more likely to be physically and mentally tired during the day. This can also unbalance the sleeping / waking rhythm.


This is one of the most common group of symptoms. These include muscle, limb and joint pain, stomach and chest pain, cramps and stiffness, or headaches and migraine attacks. Pain and tightness can also occur in the area of the lungs.


People affected by Long COVID report feeling weak: physically with reduced performance (muscle weakness) and mentally with apathy and listlessness. Some can hardly walk, others have to force themselves enormously to perform every activity.

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A feeling of dizziness, possibly in combination with balance problems, is also described by those affected as a symptom of Long COVID. Dizziness can also manifest itself as a feeling of lightheadedness, as if you are about to pass out.

Sexual and reproductive health

Long COVID can affect sexuality. Symptoms include decreased desire and increased pain. Erectile dysfunction has been reported in men. Changes in menstruation and premenstrual syndrome have been reported in women.


The following people supported us with their technical expertise in creating the Vademecum section:

  • All those affected people who help with the development of Altea by sharing their experiences and needs;
  • Dr. med. Otto Brändli,specialist in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, ApoDoc Hardbrücke Zürich practice and adjunct (visiting) professor, Bellevue Hospital, NYU Medical Center, New York, USA;
  • Dr. phil. Johannes Glarner, Yogi, Yoga Therapist, Lecturer in Yoga;
  • Helena Hefti Wenger, Wim Hof Instructor & breathing trainer;
  • Nicole Kessler, dipl. Physiotherapist FH, dipl. AEK therapist (acupressure and energetic bodywork according to Coaz);
  • Brigitte Ruff, complementary therapist with a federal diploma in respiratory therapy, recognized supervisor OdA KT, respiratory therapist after Middendorf and after Buteyko, trainer NeuroScanBalance, certified nurse AKP;



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