COVID-19 fatigue syndrome: signs, treatment and maintenance

Do you still feel debilitating fatigue after your COVID-19 illness? It could be the fatigue syndrome linked to COVID-19.

Fatigue is a common symptom of COVID-19, which usually resolves within 2-3 weeks. But if it persists for weeks or even months after your illness, it may be COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome.

COVID-19 fatigue is different from the “pandemic fatigue” reported by those who are tired of isolation and restrictions.

A 2021 report from the International Association for the Study of Pain suggests that one million cases of long-term fatigue could emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent research estimates that those who contract the coronavirus have persistent symptoms, of which fatigue is the most common.

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that while most people recover from COVID-19 within weeks, others may experience new or persistent post-COVID-19 symptoms — including fatigue — for an extended period of time.

Research from 2021 on post-COVID-19 fatigue explains that it is the most common persistent symptom and anyone who has had COVID-19 can experience it, not just those who have had severe cases.

Post-COVID-19 fatigue is not the type of fatigue you normally feel after strenuous activity, such as cleaning your house or finishing a long day at work.

This tiredness:

  • goes beyond fatigue
  • limits your activity
  • persists despite rest and a good night’s sleep

Some research shows that it is in many ways similar to chronic fatigue syndrome (encephalomyelitis).

A 2021 report from Columbia University’s School of Public Health showed that the two conditions share symptoms, such as:

  • non-restorative sleep
  • fall after exercise (post-exercise sickness)
  • a general feeling of being unwell after minor physical or cognitive exertion
  • memory loss and attention problems

Other research 2021 shows that people with post-COVID-19 fatigue often report other symptoms that closely accompany fatigue, including:

  • exhaustion
  • unexplained muscle and joint pain
  • poor concentration
  • headache

Certain mental health conditions, including burnout, may accompany post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome.

Symptoms of COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome

the CDC recognizes the above as post-COVID-19 fatigue symptoms and adds a range of related symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • a worsening of your persistent symptoms after any physical or mental activity
  • brain fog

Ed Yong, who won a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, said tens of thousands of people have been identified as showing ‘long-distance symptoms’ months after their COVID-19 illness. . He said he suspects the real number is much higher, in the hundreds of thousands.

Symptoms of COVID-19 long-haul are often debilitating and vary from day to day. Fatigue is perhaps the most common of these.

It’s well known that chronic fatigue can be triggered by viral infections, according to Yong. The work of the researchers is now to determine How? ‘Or’ What COVID-19 triggers long-term fatigue and its proximity to chronic fatigue syndrome.

Long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) starting in July 2021, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

You can go here for more information on disabilities and learn how to apply for a disability if you need help.

People always want to know how long post-COVID-19 fatigue lasts. The answer is that doctors currently don’t know. This can take weeks or even months.

The best thing you can do to manage fatigue from COVID-19 is to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.

Here are some tips from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) on how to take care of yourself while you recover.

In the meantime, you might want to:

Let people know

People probably won’t intuitively understand that you have medical fatigue. You could talk with friends, family members and co-workers that you feel comfortable with. You can explain that you may need more time to do things in the next month – and understanding when juggling personal and professional activities.

Get enough sleep

You will need enough quality sleep to overcome fatigue. But with COVID-19 fatigue, you may need even more. The NHS offers these tips for “sleeping well” during and after a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Plan your day

It can help to be realistic when planning your days, taking into account necessary breaks. You might consider asking for help and delegating when you can. Try to be nice to yourself. You can only do the best you can, and your best can change every day.

On days when you feel good, you might want to take care to keep your pace, not to overdo it, to avoid that post-exercise discomfort.

Try relaxation or meditation exercises

Some people report post-COVID anxiety. Intentionally calming your body and mind can be helpful.

You will probably feel refreshed and at least a little more energized. Deep breathing techniques for anxiety can help you feel calmer and more positive about your condition.

stay active

It may seem counterintuitive to stay active when you’re tired. But the NHS stresses that energy levels are boosted by an active lifestyle. Maintaining a low level of activity can increase your fatigue.

The NHS is providing advice for ‘getting moving again’ after a period of illness.

According to the NHS, it may be time to see a doctor if your fatigue persists long after you recover and limits your daily life. You may want to consider making a doctor’s appointment if:

  • your fatigue is getting worse instead of better
  • your fatigue is unchanged one month after your COVID-19 recovery
  • your symptoms worry you
  • you have new symptoms

COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome occurs when debilitating fatigue persists after your medical recovery from COVID-19 illness. It may also include symptoms such as brain fog, headaches, and increased fatigue after mental or physical exertion.

Your best treatment might be self-care such as:

  • limit your daily activities
  • stay active
  • eat a nutritious diet
  • practicing relaxation exercises

It may be time to see a doctor if your symptoms start to get worse or if after a month you see little improvement.

Health experts are learning more about long-term COVID-19 every day, and many post-COVID-19 treatments are becoming available.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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