Understanding symptoms during your COVID-19 recovery
Information on how your symptoms might affect your food and drink intake
On this page you will find some information to help you understand how your symptoms are linked to nutrition.
Choose a part of the body or health aspect to find information on:
- how the symptoms are linked to diet and nutrition
- relevant links for more information and useful tips.
The advice given here will help you improve your symptoms to minimise the impact on your nutrient intake. It is not possible to give highly specific advice since a change in one aspect of your diet will change your diet overall. This means that you need personalised advice from a dietitian or registered nutritionist.
It is important to remember that some symptoms caused by the COVID-19 virus can be improved by changing your diet. Changing your diet cannot cure them.
- post-critical care recovery, mental health and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
To date, it is unknown if over the counter vitamins and supplements in general are helpful, harmful, or have no effect in treatment of ongoing symptoms of COVID-19.
Vitamin D plays a role in preventing COVID-19. For long term consequences of COVID-19 this can be helpful particularly when living in an environment with lack of sun or during UK winter (10 micrograms or 400 International units) per day between October and March. More than this can weaken bones and harm kidneys. Obtaining advice from healthcare professionals is vital.
You can watch our Q&A session with topic experts where they discuss the use of supplements.
Keeping a diary
It can help to keep a diary of your symptoms. This will help you to learn what works best to manage your symptoms. It can also help health care professional understand the pattern of your symptoms. There are many ways to keep a diary by using an app or keeping a paper copy.
- Print and copy as many pages as you need from Allergy UK [PDF] to fill in on a hard copy
- Or download a Food diary [Word.doc] that is expandable and fill it in your electronic device
You may also be interested in looking at a video about how to use a food diary and its benefits. Our expert Hannah Hunter recorded a 'Diet and COVID' video that you can access for free on our Nutrition and COVID-19 Recovery webpage.
Post-care recovery, mental health and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
Post critical care recovery
- Trauma Group – Covid Trauma Response Working Group
- Psychology Tools have a number of guides, including ‘Patient Guide – Critical Illness, Intensive Care, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder' [PDF]
Patient literature for other conditions
- The Action for ME charity provides detailed booklet to support making an informed decision about various pacing approaches to address fatigue, weakness and other related symptoms – Pacing for people with ME [PDF]
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- Cawood AL, Walters ER, Smith TR,
Sipaul RH, Stratton RJ. A Review of Nutrition Support Guidelines for
Individuals with or Recovering from COVID-19 in the Community. Nutrients. 2020
- COVID-19 rapid
guideline: vitamin D. vitamin D. :15.
- Louca P, Murray B, Klaser K, Graham MS, Mazidi M, Leeming ER, et al. Modest effects of dietary supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from 445 850 users of the COVID-19 Symptom Study app. BMJ Nutr Prev Health [Internet]. 2021 Mar [cited 2021 May 25]; Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061565/
- (National guidance for post-COVID syndrome assessment clinics (6 November 2020) [Internet]. Patient Safety Learning - the hub. [cited 2021 Jan 9]. Available from: https://www.pslhub.org/learn/coronavirus-covid19/guidance/national-guidance-for-post-covid-syndrome-assessment-clinics-6-november-2020-r3465/