Cureus. 2021 Sep 16;13(9):e18024. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18024. eCollection 2021 Sep.
INTRODUCTION: During the initial phase of the pandemic, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms were less frequent but during the later stages, GI manifestations have become more frequent. This study aims to explore the prevalence of GI symptoms in COVID-19 patients, and also focuses on the frequency of these symptoms.
METHODS: This longitudinal study was conducted in a COVID-19 unit of a tertiary care hospital, Pakistan. Data of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection between June 2021 and July 2021 was included in the study. A total of 412 participants were enrolled in the study via consecutive convenient non-probability sampling. Participants' symptoms and demographics were noted in a self-structured questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 23.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY).
RESULTS: A total of 261 (63.3%) participants had a minimum of one GI symptom. The most common symptom was anorexia (43.9%), followed by diarrhea (24.7%) and nausea/vomiting (17.9%).
CONCLUSION: Our study indicates high frequency of COVID-19 patients reporting GI symptoms. Anorexia, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting were commonly reported symptoms. Therefore, COVID 19 testing should be considered with patients presenting with GI symptoms.