They are among several women whose condition can be characterised as having high levels of stress hormone, cortisol, during Covid treatment, doctors have said. Patients who have recently recovered from Covid have also complained about other problems like rashes, stomach disorders, piles, hair fall, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Dr Bhumesh Tyagi, assistant professor of medicine, Sharda University, said most amenorrhoea cases are mainly due to stress and dysregulation of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA).
“If you get Covid, it puts stress on the body and on the HPA, which is the body’s central stress response system. During times of stress, the HPA stimulates the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, to help the body prepare to fight a threat. Increased cortisol levels may affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. Also, with prolonged periods of stress, the response system can burn out, which may lead to suppressed HPA. This can bring down estrogen and progesterone levels that ultimately affect the menstrual cycle. With complete suppression of HPA , a woman may experience amenorrhea. With partial suppression, there may be bleeding every few weeks,” he said.
According to Dr Sunil Kumar, medical superintendent, Yatharth Hospital, they are getting around 50 patients with various kinds of post-Covid complications daily. “Itching and rashes can be some of the side effects of steroids. We are getting around 50 patients every day with skin, ENT and other problems,” he said.
Dr Saurabh Srivastava, chief medical superintendent (CMS), Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), Greater Noida, said they are getting several patients with swollen fingers and feet, hair fall, high blood pressure and increased blood sugar levels.
Dr Tyagi added that people who have prior skin conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis are prone to other skin problems with use of steroids and due to stress. “Even among doctors, because of prolonged use of masks, acne and rosacea have been reported,” he added. Some of the complications, like hair loss, high blood pressure and palpitations could also be anxiety induced, doctors said. Dr Ajay Agarwal, director and head of department, internal medicine, Fortis Hospital, Sector 62, said most of the post-Covid complications reported during the second wave are different from the first one.