Feeling lazy and lethargic after you’ve defeated COVID-19? Then you may be suffering with Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome. Probably you are not lazy but still sick! You may be possibly mistaking your tiredness with laziness.
As of August 2020, there are more than 20 lakh survivors of COVID-19 in India. There are various reports coming up throughout the country reporting patients suffering from a wide range of conditions including minor symptoms such as weakness, loose motions, vomiting, etc., to severe symptoms such as thromboembolism, myocarditis, lung fibrosis, etc. These numbers may be limited presently, but with increasing number of COVID infections and subsequently it's survivors, the post COVID complications are likely to increase.
Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Neurasthenia or systemic exertion intolerance disease in most cases is triggered by an obvious viral infection. It has not always been given much recognition probably because either people don’t realize it as a medical condition or because the direct cause and pathology of it is not really known. In the current scenario the pandemic of COVID-19 is posing a threat to burden our society with a chronic morbidity for decades to come. The true scope of the pandemic has therefore been underestimated. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of the long-term sequela or outcomes of the novel coronavirus infection, which has been thoroughly discussed in this article.
As said earlier that only little is known about the syndrome but what is known is that it is commonly associated with a respiratory and gastro-intestinal viral infection and is related to a resulting abnormality in the immune system leading to a feeling of tiredness all the time. Usually it is more common in females and is seen from early 20s to mid-40s.
While no single cause of CFS has been identified, there are known triggers (“ailments from” or “never well since”). Most cases of CFS are triggered by an obvious viral infection including influenza, glandular fever (Epstein Barr Virus), viral meningitis, viral hepatitis, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 – the novel coronavirus), etc. Physical injury or trauma such as an accident or operation, vaccinations and organophosphate pesticides also occasionally appear to be triggers of the same.
The severity of CFS is defined by the degree to which the condition affects a patient’s functioning and daily life. Depending upon it, CFS can be mild, moderate and severe.
- In case of mild to moderate CFS people are mobile and may be able to work, although they need to rest and sleep a lot.
- In severe cases they are unable to do any activity for themselves, may spend most of their time in bed and have severe cognitive problems such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs), uncontrolled anger, etc.
The leading symptom is fatigue or the constant feeling of tiredness. Patient feels unwell and tired all the time. This malaise has flu-like symptoms with aching muscles, stiff joints, sore throat, prolonged diarrhoea, headache, dizziness, poor balance, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. These patients usually require a long sleep and which is usually un-refreshing or broken. It may be intermittent with episodes lasting for few hours. Fatigue after exertion may occur immediately, or it may begin a day or two later and this delayed reaction is a distinctive feature of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and should help in diagnosis.
The fatigue is debilitating both physically as well as mentally. Mental functioning can be disturbed with irritation, difficulty concentrating and poor short-term memory, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, uncontrolled anger, difficulty in organising thoughts and expressing oneself, etc. It can be well understood that the hypothalamus which regulates sleep, temperature, appetite, etc. is more or less affected.
Diagnosis is not easy. No laboratory tests exist to confirm the diagnosis. It is a diagnosis of exclusion. It can be thought of when tests have ruled out other conditions and symptoms persist for at least four months in an adult or three months in a child after the exposure of a viral infection. Conditions that have symptoms very similar to CFS include diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, glandular fever, Hepatitis B or C, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers of any type, etc.
What can Homeopathy offer you?
There are 63 medicines listed in Murphy’s Repertory under the rubric, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, while there are 310 medicines under the rubric, “Weakness, sensation of being”; which means there are a hell lot of medicines which can be used to treat the condition. Amongst them some of the important remedies frequently used are Acid-phos, Alumina, Carbo-veg, China, Gelsemium, Kali-phos, Lycopodium, Merc-sol, Muriatic-acid, Picric-acid, Scutellaria, Veratrum-alb, Zinc, etc. Moreover, Bach Flower remedies like Centaury, Hornbeam, Olive, etc. can also be used in support.
Choosing the right medicine from these is definitely a herculean task and solely depends upon the totality of symptoms that the patient presents and should only be done by an expert in the field. Therefore self-diagnosis and self-medication is never recommended. Visit your Homeopathic physician before taking any medicines. For online consultation book an appointment with our expert physicians.
Note: The author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.