Although several sequelae of covid-19 are already known, a new case study drew attention to a rare and yet unreported condition: polyphagia.
The picture is characterized by overeating and was presented by a 41-year-old woman in Uganda.
After recovering from covid-19, the patient, who had no history of eating disorders, reported having an insatiable appetite. The uncontrollable eating caused her to gain 40 pounds and develop high blood sugar levels—above the normal range.
The authors of the article on the condition say that, although it is a rare case, it may be worth investigating to know how to help if more people are affected by the same symptoms.
Even after nearly two years of the pandemic, science is still surprised by new effects caused by the disease, and it is likely that others will be discovered.
Exactly how covid-19 could result in such a long-lasting change in appetite remains unclear, but the case study authors suspect it may have something to do with the central nervous system.
Known symptoms of covid-19, such as headache, dizziness, brain fog, and confusion, are also related to the central nervous system.
The study authors also suggest other ways in which vascular damage and ischemia can cause post-covid-19 polyphagia, or the possibility that it may not be related to infection.
“For individuals who have a high appetite after recovery from covid-19, polyphagia should be a possible differential,” they concluded. “However, further studies are needed to understand the etiology, diagnosis and management of polyphagia related to post-acute covid-19 syndromes.”