Post-Viral Fatigue: What You Need To Know
After falling sick due to a viral infection, it’s normal to take time for a full recovery. You even feel fatigued for one to two weeks after clearing the viral infection. However, if the fatigue is persistent and continues for more than two weeks for several months or years, you’re suffering from post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS). This fatigue may seem similar to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and may have long-term weakening symptoms. However, CFS has no particular reason but PVFS occurs after a viral infection.
In this post, we share with you all the details about post-viral fatigue to ensure you manage the symptoms well and get back to your normal life without any hassle.
What is Post-Viral Fatigue?
Post-viral fatigue is a constant feeling of tiredness and weakness even after you’ve recovered from a viral infection or disease. It may often arise from certain common viral infections, like flu, COVID-19, SARS, etc.
If your fatigue and weakness symptoms do not seem to go away and are lingering all the time, you are facing post-viral syndrome. The experts are still not aware of the exact causes of this condition, but some studies say that it happens to the release of cytokines by the body’s immune system in response to a viral disease/infection.
Symptoms of Post-Viral Syndrome
Here are some common symptoms of post-viral fatigue syndrome:
- Activity-induced fatigue – You feel tired even after doing an activity for a short period.
- Cognitive dysfunction – The condition impacts your mental and physical energy levels.
- Sleep disturbance – You’re not able to sleep properly even after a viral infection recovery.
If any of these symptoms persist for over 6 months and cause disruption to your daily activities, you need to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Some other symptoms that you may experience due to fatigue after viral infection are:
- Feeling dizzy
- Alcohol intolerance
- Feeling unsteady/wobbly
- Sore throat
- Post-exertional malaise
- Tender glands
- The issue with temperature control
Causes of Post-Viral Fatigue
The post-infectious fatigue triggers are a reaction to viral infections, like Rubella, coronavirus, HIV, etc. All these infectious diseases are likely to cause this prolonged viral fatigue. However, the reason why it happens has not been understood completely. But it may be something related to the body’s immune response to combating infection.
Whenever an individual is fighting a virus, the body’s immune system produces cytokines, which are the chemicals that lead to inflammation. These chemicals also cause certain symptoms of infection, like aches, tiredness, pains, and malaise.
It is part of the body’s frontline attacking mechanism for invading the virus. This mechanism only stops when the virus clears from the body. However, recent studies also reveal that in certain cases, the cytokines levels fail to get back to normal and cause symptoms of post-viral fatigue.
Some other reasons for this kind of fatigue can be an individual’s body’s unusual response to the virus that gets dormant inside the body for a while. Or it may be due to inflammation caused in nervous tissues. No matter what’s the exact cause, these symptoms are quite frustrating for an individual, as they can impact their daily routine.
Therefore, it is best to consult a healthcare provider to help you manage these symptoms and get you back to your normal routine.
How to alleviate symptoms of post-infectious syndrome?
So, what to do when you’re suffering from this particular condition? According to experts, there is no exact treatment for it because the reason for this condition is also not certain. However, you can do certain things to ease your symptoms while aiding recovery.
You may intake over-the-counter medicine, like paracetamol, for pain relief. With pain management, you can also improve your quality and quantity of sleep at night. Hence, you may even overcome fatigue throughout the entire day.
You even need to follow a proper routine to sleep at the same time at night and get up at a specific time in the morning. This will help your body to follow a regular sleeping schedule while repairing it over the sleep. While resting is crucial for your body to recover, too much rest can lead to more fatigue. Therefore, individuals also need to indulge in certain physical exercises, like yoga and other forms of exercise. They even need to practice meditation to keep their mental state healthy.
After all, when individuals are healthy both mentally and physically, they are most likely to feel more energetic and less fatigued. Furthermore, exercises and meditation can also help in improving conditions like depression and disease-related tiredness. But when dealing with post-infectious fatigue, you need to take things slowly to heal the body gradually over time.
Recovery from this condition may vary from individual to individual. While some people may get back to their normal life within a month or so, others may need more time for recovery. But there is evidence showing that early diagnosis is good for faster recovery.
If you are stressed over suffering from a long viral infection, it’s vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider can investigate more and refer you to a specialist if needed. Some healthcare professionals also recommend joining a post-infectious fatigue recovery program. Such programs help you provide tailored treatment, like specific activities and exercises, to get better soon.
So, consider searching for professional medical care providers to help you get back to your routine without any inconvenience. Only the experts can guide you about the right fatigue management and alleviation techniques to feel better.