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‘Restless anal syndrome’: This new post-COVID complication left doctors in surprise

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
‘Restless anal syndrome’: This new post-COVID complication left doctors in surprise

New Delhi: While the world is still fighting the deadly pandemic, survivors who have defeated the Coronavirus are now reporting a varied range of post-Covid complications. In the latest, a 77-year-old man in Japan reported ‘deep anal discomfort’ just days after recovering from Covid-19. Doctors at the Tokyo University Hospital have diagnosed the condition as ‘restless anal syndrome’.

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Earlier, many patients recovering from the Covid infection have come up with problems like ‘gangrene‘ in the gall bladder but in this case, the man was hospitalised with mild COVID-19 that included sore throat, cough and fever. In the hospital, he received treatment for mild pneumonia after developing low-grade fever for 10 days. He was discharged after his respiratory functions improved to normal 21 days.

Weeks after the man was discharged from the hospital post-COVID-19 recovery he began to experience restless, deep anal discomfort. The  77-year-old senior citizen experienced restless, deep anal discomfort, approximately 10 cm from the perineal region. 

His case study was published in BMC Infectious Diseases. The doctors at the Tokyo University Hospital found that the symptoms shown by the man were consistent with those shown by patients with restless leg syndrome (RLS) and except for a few haemorrhoids, the senior citizen was absolutely fine. There were no issues such as brain abnormalities, bladder disturbances etc. Restless feeling, anxiety and insomnia were the only health issues that he faced after recovering from Covid-19. The ‘anal discomfort’ was, however, resolved through a course of Clonazepam, a drug used to treat seizures, BMC Infectious Diseases stated.

Exercise such as walking or running gave some relief to the man from the symptoms while taking rest made them worse. Additionally, the symptom tended to aggravate during the evening time. The patient also had to take pills to sleep, as per the case study.

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Restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome or RLS is a ‘common neurological, sensorimotor disorder’, which is caused by the dysfunction of the central nervous system. Patients suffering from this disorder feel an urge to move and this syndrome worsen if the body is at rest. 

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