Woman Sees Weight Loss After COVID-19 Infection 確診體重降.行動難 診斷為「新冠後肌少症」

A Taichung woman in her 70s became infected with COVID-19 and shortly after lost 10 kilos. She also found it difficult to stand and walk. She was diagnosed with "post COVID-19 sarcopenia." Foreign studies show that the mortality rate is 2.1 times higher than COVID-19 if left untreated.

Seventy-year-old Ms. Wu climbs the stairs slowly, but at least she doesn't need to hold onto the handrail anymore. She became infected with COVID-19 in May, and then lost 10 kilos in one month's time, going from 64 kilos to 54 kilos. At one point, she found it difficult to even stand. She was diagnosed with "post COVID-19 sarcopenia." 

Ms. Wu, Patient: “I kept losing weight after I tested positive. Then about one month ago, I couldn't even stand and I kept feeling I had to sit down.”

China Medical University Hospital says foreign studies show that COVID-19 patients have a 48 percent chance of developing sarcopenia. The mortality rate is 2.1 times higher compared to COVID-19 if it is not actively treated. It's already known that the novel coronavirus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and causes the loss of smell and taste. This will in turn affect the appetite, resulting in acute sarcopenia.

Wu Pei-ching, TCM Practitioner, China Medical University Hospital: “If patients see sudden weight loss, weakened grip strength, and difficulties walking a short time after testing positive for COVID-19, then the possibility of the novel coronavirus causing this is comparatively higher. It takes more than six months for sarcopenia to become chronic.”

Doctors say traditional Chinese medicine classifies sarcopenia as a deficiency syndrome, and milk vetch and codonopsis root can be used to nourish the liver and kidneys. People can also consume foods high in Vitamin D and protein to increase bone strength and muscle mass, and complement this with core exercises to recover muscle strength.