The rise seems to be growing. Fatigue is one of the symptoms most commonly reported by people suffering from COVID-19, and their fatigue may be delayed. Add this to many other causes of the symptoms that existed in the pandemic – such as undernutrition, mental health problems, and health conditions such as anemia or heart disease. In general, it seems that we are one tired nation.
Fatigue can be useful. It may be a warning sign that you need to relax after severe physical exercises. Or it can make you rest, if you are ill. But fatigue often creates problems. This can be an unpervreable and long-lasting feeling of exhaustion, which prevents the daily tasks.
“There are different aspects of the tone. It is generally recognized that the feeling of drowning may include difficulties with the start or continuation of activities,” says Dr. Viki Vittemor, who participates in NIH research programs related to the volume. “It can include a perception that the effort to execute an activity is greater than necessary.”
Fatigue itself is not a disease. It is rather a symptom. It can be caused by virus infections, certain drugs, incorrect nutrition, cancer and its treatment, depression or anxiety, etc.
Since there are so many possible causes, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose the origin of a person’s fatigue. This can make it difficult to develop an effective treatment plan. But your doctor can help you figure out where to start.
Lifestyle changes can bring relief to some people (see the “Smart Choices” box). However, these changes are not enough for everyone, and certain health conditions can contribute to fatigue. Some of them are treatable, such as a vitamin or mineral deficiency, but not much is known about other causes of fatigue.
One cause of paralyzing fatigue is a severe disease called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). ME/CFS leads to long-lasting, severe fatigue and flu-like symptoms (called post-acute malaise). People with ME/CFS may also have sleep problems, pain, or “brain fog”. Brain fog means you have difficulty thinking or concentrating. Physical or mental activity can worsen ME/CFS symptoms.
The researchers have not yet found an effective method for diagnosing or treating ME/CFS. However, the symptoms overlap with those that occur in people with long COVID. Long COVID occurs when the COVID-19 symptoms persist weeks or months after infection. Experts estimate that about 20% of people with Langer COVID are also diagnosed with ME/CFS.
These similarities open up new possibilities for scientists to explore the biology behind fatigue. The NIH therefore brings together researchers from different fields and provides new means to help scientists discover the secrets of this and other forms of fatigue.
“The investigation of Long COVID sheds light on many questions that the ME/CFS community has been researching for years,” says Whittemore.” I think this research will help us better understand fatigue and the underlying mechanisms.
How Can I Feel Less Tired?
- Nutritious foods can give you energy for things that you enjoy, but they can also help you stay healthy.
- Experts recommend healthy adults at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. People with ME/CFS or Long COVID should talk to their doctor before exercising.
- Adults need at least seven or more hours of sleep per night, so you need to have enough sleep.
- Smoking is associated with many diseases that can rob you of energy. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or https://smokefree.gov/
- Experts recommend not to drink more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
- Talk to a doctor if you have been tired for several weeks and there is no improvement.