Tips regarding Long COVID
Please keep in contact with your GP if you have been suffering many corona symptoms during the first few months after being infected. He or she will assess, together with you, whether additional tests or treatments are necessary. For example, your GP can refer you to a physio- or occupational therapist for recovery care. And when you’re suffering from mental symptoms, your GP can help you by referring you to a psychologist or mental health care assistant.
Are your fitness level and muscular strength decreasing? The physiotherapist can help you increase them in the right way. He or she will first measure your fitness level and muscular strength and will then create a training schedule. You will also be given some tips and exercises so you can practice at home. Physiotherapy is subject to the Dutch paramedical recovery care scheme. For more information about reimbursements and treatments, please contact your health insurance company.
Go to coronaplein for more information and tips (Dutch only). Or read ‘A well-balanced life, occupational therapy after corona’ (Dutch only).
Are you having difficulty performing the daily activities? Do you happen to be very tired for example? And are you having trouble balancing your energy? The occupational therapist can help you regain the right balance. Furthermore, he or she can help you improve your concentration. And give you tips when you have to return to work. Occupational therapy is subject to the Dutch paramedical recovery care scheme. For more information about reimbursements and treatments, please contact your health insurance company.
Go to Coronaplein for more information and tips (Dutch only).
Please visit a speech therapist if you are having voice problems, such as a hoarse voice. Or if you are having difficulty swallowing or breathing. Watch the video about voice problems when suffering from corona. And about what you can do to improve your voice. (Dutch only.)
Speech therapy is subject to the Dutch paramedical recovery care scheme. For more information about reimbursements and treatments, please contact your health insurance company.
A healthy, balanced diet can help speed up recovery. However, the definition of a healthy diet differs per person. Some people have been very sick due to corona and have lost a lot of weight. They suffer from muscle weakness. They need extra protein to regain their strength and their food should contain sufficient energy and vitamins.
Other people have gained a lot of weight after being infected with corona. This is usually due to a less active lifestyle and lack of energy. Possibly, the lockdown also had its impact. Or their eating habits may have changed. A healthy weight helps recovery and contributes to a good health. It is not wise to lose weight too quickly. This may lead to muscles breaking down and to nutritional deficiencies. A dietician may help you regain a healthy balance. Go to nvdietist.nl to find a dietician close to you (Dutch only).
If you have a healthy and well-balanced diet, you will have an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. There is no proof that extra vitamins or food supplements will speed up recovery. Taking excessive amounts of certain vitamins (e.g., vitamin A and D6) may even be harmful.
Go to the website of the Netherlands Nutrition Center and to coronaplein.nu (Dutch only) for tips on a healthy, well-balanced diet.
In addition to physical symptoms, you may also suffer from mental symptoms. Such as sadness, anxiety, stress and depression. Talk to your GP about these symptoms. He or she can assess which help is best for you. This help can often be provided by the mental health care assistant at the medical practice.
Go to Steunpunt Coronazorgen for tips, advice and information on how to best deal with your feelings and concerns regarding corona (Dutch only).
Many people have completely or partially lost their smell and taste. In most cases, they regain their smell and taste after a few months. You can do a smell training to speed up recovery. You can do this training at home, using a smell kit and an app.
Go to the website of the patient organization for people who have lost their smell and/or taste for more information about problems with smell or taste after corona (Dutch only).
Symptoms such as forgetfulness, irritability and difficulty concentrating are common after being infected with corona. These symptoms are called cognitive symptoms. We do not yet know why these symptoms are brought on by corona.
An occupational therapist can help you identify these symptoms. And help you better handle them. For example, an environment with few stimuli may be of help. Make sure your energy is well-balanced. By effectively spreading activities during the day, you can reduce fatigue and often improve your concentration.
Watch the webinar ‘Cognitive symptoms after corona’ for more information about cognitive symptoms like loss of memory, poor concentration and sensory overload (Dutch only).
Frequently asked questions
A temporary scheme has been set up for people who are suffering from long-term corona symptoms: the paramedical recovery care scheme. Under this scheme, paramedical recovery care is covered by your basic health insurance policy. You do however have to pay the deductible excess. This paramedical recovery care may consist of physiotherapy, exercise therapy, occupational therapy, dietary therapy and speech therapy. However, the scheme is subjected to a number of rules:
- You need a referral from your GP or medical specialist.
- You must request the referral within six months after the acute phase of the disease has passed. For example, did you suffer from fever and were you coughing during the first three weeks of illness? The six-month period will start after those first three weeks.
- Did you get a referral? You need to make an appointment for recovery care within one month.
- Recovery care will last for a maximum of six month. Sometimes you will receive additional recovery care.
- You take part in medical research.
Go to the website of the National Healthcare Institute for more information about the recovery care scheme and the rules the scheme is subjected to (Dutch only).
Are you still suffering from corona symptoms six months after you have started with paramedical recovery care? Consult your GP for additional recovery care. Your GP can usually write a letter of referral for you. In some cases, you need to request a referral for additional recovery care from a medical specialist.
No, we cannot help you with any (additional) physiotherapeutic treatments or other paramedical recovery care. We can only give you advise regarding the various options. You can only request a referral for paramedical recovery care from your GP or medical specialist. Contact your health insurance company for more information about the treatments. Please note! Paramedical recovery care is subjected to a number of rules. Go to the website of the National Healthcare Institute for more information (Dutch only).