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Post-COVID fatigue: When should you worry and what to do about it – expert reveals

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Fatigue is more than just being tired or drowsy. It’s a feeling of tiredness that remains despite rest or adequate sleep.

It’s most likely due to our bodies’ powerful immune response to the coronavirus.

However, for some people, weariness persists even after the virus has passed. This can be irritating and debilitating. It doesn’t make a difference if you sleep more.

Here’s what we know about post-COVID fatigue, and what can help.

Is it fatigue or tiredness? What’s the difference between the two?

To various people, the term fatigue might indicate different things. Some people use the term “easily weakened” to describe their muscles. They feel as if they’ve run a marathon just to get to the mailbox. Others experience a feeling of general fatigue, regardless of whether they are moving or not. Physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion, or any mix of these, can occur.

The distinction between tiredness and fatigue is that tiredness improves with adequate rest, whereas fatigue continues even when a person is sleeping and resting more than ever before.

How serious is this issue?

Because there is no universally accepted description of post-COVID fatigue, it is impossible to estimate how many people are affected.

Estimates differ greatly around the globe. 13-33 percent of participants were fatigued 16-20 weeks after their symptoms began, according to an analysis of 21 research. This is an alarmingly common condition.

Is it something along the lines of a long COVID?

According to Natasha Yates – Assistant Professor at Bond University, early in the outbreak, some patients experienced a cluster of terrible symptoms that lasted months, which we now refer to as chronic COVID.

Fatigue affects 85 percent of long COVID patients, making it one of the most common long COVID symptoms, according to the expert.

People with prolonged COVID, on the other hand, experience a number of different symptoms, including “brain fog,” headaches, and muscle aches. Patients with a long COVID experience more than just fatigue, and in certain cases, no weariness at all.

Is this similar to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

A viral infection, such as Epstein-Barr virus, is a common trigger for chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis condition, according to the doctor. As a result, there has been some worry about the possibility that the coronavirus can produce chronic fatigue syndrome in some people.

The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID are strikingly similar. Debilitating fatigue, brain confusion, and/or muscle aches are all symptoms of both.

However, experts are currently trying to figure out if there is a link between post-COVID fatigue, protracted COVID, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

For the time being, according to the expert, many people will have post-COVID fatigue, but they will not develop long-term COVID or chronic fatigue syndrome.

What helps me deal with my tiredness?

Vaccines contribute to the reduction of post-COVID fatigue by reducing the risk of contracting COVID in the first place. People who have been vaccinated are less likely to report fatigue and are less likely to develop long-term COVID.

Vaccination, however, is not 100 percent effective, and many people who have been properly vaccinated have long-term weariness.

But regular workouts, good sleep patterns, and eating a range of nutritious foods can help you overcome fatigue.

When should you worry?

There are numerous potential reasons for fatigue. Fatigue was one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctor even before the pandemic.

Fevers, unexplained weight loss, unusual bleeding or bruising, discomfort (anywhere) that wakes you from sleep, or drenching night sweats are all signs to be concerned about, according to the expert.

If your fatigue is growing worse rather than better, or if you are unable to properly care for yourself, you should seek medical help.

Image Credit: Getty

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