COVID-19 is gone. However, why am I feeling fatigue?
At the clinic, we have received many enquiries from people who have a condition of extreme fatigue after having coronavirus. They say: “it is like some symptoms are never gone”.
It is not possible for them to return to normal health levels for weeks or even months after acquired the virus, they reported a huge lack of energy among other symptoms, such as:
- Persistent fatigue and loss of energy
- Muscular aches and pains
- Generally feel unwell
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Diffuse or general myalgia
- Depressive symptoms and increased anxiety
- Non-restorative sleep or insomnia
- Brain fog, bad memory, difficulty reading and concentration
- Dry skin
Health experts describe this condition as Post Virus Fatigue (PVF) or Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS). There are also reports from people with ME/CFS (Myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome) who have described the same symptoms. Experts are concerned about the potentially long lasting effect of the Covid-19 and they are studying ways to treat those effects.
We have put together some tips based on our experience as a Lymphatic drainage clinic treating patients with autoimmune diseases, to help you to recover faster from this condition. Let’s have a closer look at this syndrome.
What is PVF/PVFS?
After a viral infection it is normal to have some degree of post-viral fatigue (PVF), but in most cases is for a short period of time (few weeks). However, coronavirus recovered patients can spend months to get back to normal. Covid-19 is a very aggressive virus that weakens the immune and lymphatic systems so your energy levels are going to improve when your systems stabilise.
Experts don’t know what causes PVF/PVFS, but they catalogued it as autoimmune disease. However they realized that the main reason patients have fatigue, pain, and loss of energy when they have an aggressive respiratory infection, is the overproduction of cytokines or what experts called “cytokine surge” (chemicals released by the immune system to communicate and coordinate the fight of infection).
How can I help my immune system recover faster from PVF/PVFS?
In spite of the lack of knowledge related to Covid-19 syndrome. Experts recommend trying to resume regular activities as soon as possible and avoid resting too much, as your immune system will recover faster if you move.
- Create a healthy sleeping routine. Do not eat later, no caffeine and no electronic devices before bed. If you have difficulty sleeping, look for advice at the NHS Every Mind Matters.
- Drink a lot of fluids; check the frequency and volume of your urine to know if you are well hydrated.
- Create healthy eating habits. Do not eat inflammatory foods such as sugar, processed foods, refined flour, and others. Remember your lymph system is swollen, so some kinds of foods can cause rashes on your skin and slow recovery.
- Have lymphatic drainage to release toxins out of your body sooner, allowing your immune system to recover faster.
- Get up and move around slowly, gently and often during the day. This is good for your body mobility and circulation and your lymphatic system.
- See a physiotherapist if you are finding it difficult to resume your fully daily life activities; recovery time is different for everyone and you could need help to recover muscle strength.
- As you get better, resume some daily activities. Routine helps your body to stabilise itself. Remember to take short breaks, do not rush.