Do you have the pandemic body too? Find out what it's done to us – Times of India

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Even if you have been lucky enough to dodge COVID-19 infection, staying indoors and working from home for the past one-and-a-half years has taken a toll on everyone’s health. The pandemic changed our lifestyle in numerous ways and its outcome could be easily seen in our physical and mental health if we choose to look closely.
Muscle ache, digestive issues, hair thinning, which emerged out of nowhere during this period are all consequences of the pandemic, which collectively is referred to as the pandemic body. Dr Amy Shah, double board-certified MD with training from Cornell, Columbia and Harvard Universities, recently took to her Instagram handle to share how our long stay at home and rise in the levels of stress has affected our health. Here are a few things most people have noticed:
Hair loss has been a general problem among those infected with the coronavirus. About 79 per cent of people infected with the virus reported the problem of hair loss post-COVID. The issue was mostly noticed 4-5 weeks after the infection. Besides, stress was also the reason which led to a spike in cases of hair loss. The stress and anxiety related to lockdown and rising cases of coronavirus across the globe lead to a condition called telogen effluvium. It led to disruption to the hair’s normal growing and shedding cycle.
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The problem of irritable bowel syndrome flared up in most people during this time. It was also due to excessive stress and anxiety linked with the pandemic. IBS occures when your brain and gut stop working together. When you are stressed, your brain sends the message to the colon muscle to contract more than usual, leading to cramps and pain.

Experts have also reported a spike in heart and liver-related problems during this phase. Most of the cases were due to weight gain, stress, agitation, lack of physical activity.
Skin conditions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis also worsened during this stressful time. For some people, it was due to excessive stress, while for others it was due to excessive hand washing to maintain hygiene. Excessive hand washing stripped away natural oil of the skin leading to dry skin and irritation. Wearing a mask all the time is also leading to face acne called maskin.

The problem of weight gain and obesity also rose during the pandemic. Sitting at home, less physical activity and overeating due to stress and boredom all lead to a fluctuation in the weighing scale. Studies suggest that during the pandemic an average person gained about 7 to 10 kilos.

Dr Shah suggests that one of the easiest ways to improve your health is by living your life as per the circadian rhythm. That means sleeping on time, eating on time and practicing healthy habits. She said that these might look small, but can have a major effect on your health.

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