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Long covid & hEDS are linked in female patients, according to a new study. The small-scale study was carried out by Tulane University School of Medicine. They found that long covid increases the risk of being diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD).
Long covid & hypermobility study
We know that hypermobility has links to other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, but this research shows a brand new link.
Tulane University School of Medicine assessed five women who had all had covid-19. None of the women had previously been diagnosed with hypermobility. After having covid, the patients had ongoing debilitating symptoms, including fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint pain, and dysautonomia.
The researchers felt that the five women’s symptoms were similar to the symptoms experienced by people with hypermobility syndromes.
After testing, four of the women were given a hEDS diagnosis. The fifth was diagnosed with HSD.
Does long covid cause hEDS?
It’s very unlikely that long covid causes hEDS or any other hypermobility syndrome. It’s much more likely that the participants in this study had an underlying joint hypermobility disorder that was effectively benign. After developing covid, an immune response was then triggered, which resulted in them experiencing hypermobility-type pain.
Does covid affect hypermobility?
Yes, it appears so.
A previous study by Alan J Hakim, Philip Bull, and Gez Medinger found that widespread and generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) was seen more frequently in people with long covid than expected. The particpants in the study were described as being ‘a risk for neuromuscular symptoms in Long Covid.’
Other key findings from their study include:
- People with long covid and hypermobility were between 70 and 80% more likely to have joint pain, nerve pain, and numbness.
- People with long covid and hypermobility were between 30 and 40% more likely to say they have muscle pain and brain fog.
There’s an interesting link between covid and hEDS that’s emerging. And, it’s certainly got me thinking about my experience with hypermobility, covid, and fibromyalgia. So, it’ll be interesting to see how research in this area develops.