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Is Myasthenia Gravis Similar to Long COVID?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes weakness or atrophy in voluntary muscles, like those that control your arms, legs, facial expressions, and even eye movement and breathing. The condition is caused by a defective antibody response that destroys muscle receptors, weakening the effective muscles. For most people with MG, the worst symptoms of it tend to flare and recede or remit in intervals.

Complications caused by MG often include:

  • Exhaustion due to constant muscular weakness
  • Difficulty with chewing and swallowing
  • Speech impediments
  • Eye pain or vision problems
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Painful or unbalanced walking
  • Significant arm and hand weakness

As concerning as MG already is, the new prevalence of Long COVID has only added to its complications because the two health conditions can look and act very similarly. Furthermore, both can look like myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), adding to the frustrations and worries of medical experts in recent years.

How Does MG & ME/CFS Look Like Long COVID?

MG, ME/CFS, and Long COVID each have a long list of symptoms. However, the most commonly diagnosed symptom among all three is chronic fatigue. Even after a long period of sleep and rest, people with these conditions can feel as if they have not slept at all, making tasks as small as brushing their teeth a struggle. Also, all conditions tend to have flareup periods during which the symptoms are significantly worse than before, only to lessen again in a few days, weeks, or months. Flareups can also be started by specific triggers, such as high levels of stress, viral or bacterial infections, surgery, or even menstruation.

Medical experts have also noted that all three conditions can be considered “snowflake” diseases because every patient will have a unique set of symptoms. What one patient experiences will likely not match what the next does, not entirely, with the exception that chronic fatigue is very common, as mentioned.

Better Diagnostic Methods are Needed

With Long COVID, ME/CFS, and MG looking and behaving so similarly, it can be a challenge for a medical provider to know what is affecting their patient. The similarities among the diseases are making it necessary for medical providers to refine their diagnostic testing methods. Blood tests, antibody tests, and even simple ice tests—the application of putting ice on an eye muscle to see if it will strengthen, which can happen in MG patients but not ME/CFS or Long COVID patients—should be used when a patient is presenting a variety of symptoms with an unclear origin like chronic fatigue. As diagnostic methods improve with the expansion of our understanding of these conditions, especially Long COVID, the ability to treat patients should improve, too.

Currently, MG is considered treatable with tested and proven medications, but it is not curable. An accurate MG diagnosis that isn’t confused for Long COVID or ME/CFS would allow an MG patient to get the medication they need sooner rather than later.

LTD Insurance for Chronic Fatigue

There is another common thread among patients with Long COVID, ME/CFS, and MG that hasn’t been discussed yet: the need for long-term disability insurance benefits.

Living with any of these conditions can include daily struggles, especially when trying to hold gainful employment. Completing even a part-time shift can be outright exhausting for someone with MG, Long COVID, or chronic fatigue. Depending on the work that they do, a worker can be put in unreasonable danger if they try to “just work through” the fatigue.

The problems with chronic fatigue are often compounded by less-than-helpful disability insurance companies, too. When reviewing an LTD claim, an insurance adjuster will look for clear evidence of medical symptoms and the disabilities those cause. The symptoms of chronic fatigue can be difficult to put into words on paper, though, because it affects everyone differently. As a result, an insurance company may reject a disability claim for someone with MG or Long COVID after not realizing just how life-changing their health condition really is.

Who Can Help with MG or Long COVID LTD Claims?

Have you been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, Long COVID, or chronic fatigue syndrome? You might be eligible for long-term disability insurance benefits, but you might also be in for a fight with the insurance provider.

To get the support and guidance you need, come to Dabdoub Law Firm. Our attorneys are known nationwide for dedicating our practice and careers entirely to disability claims and ERISA law cases like yours. Whether you live in California, Florida, Texas, New York, or anywhere in between, you can talk to us about how to file for LTD insurance after MG or Long COVID has made it unsafe or impossible for you to continue working.

Talk to a member of our law firm today. Schedule a free consultation by dialing (800) 969-0488.