Friday, March 19, 2010
Post-viral fatigue syndrome can flatten you
Ever had a virus that “hung on” and you felt so tired you could not lift your arms to brush your hair?
It could have been “post-viral syndrome.” This is now a recognized problem after viruses work their magic in you.
It refers to prolonged (months or years) or severe (the hair thing) tiredness following a viral illness. It can also be categorized as “chronic fatigue syndrome.”
Besides the draining, desperate tiredness and muscle pains, it can morph into cognitive problems, such as short-term memory loss and mood swings. Nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite can accompany this.
The docs have to rule out diabetes, anemia, and kidney/liver problems. This means blood tests.
There is no real cure. You can take over-the-counter pain killers if the muscle pains get bad. You can rest. Ask family members to help.
You will have good and bad days.
Does the severity of the initial viral infection influence whether you will be knocked out by this later? Some studies say yes, others no.
Patients often have a hard time getting a solid answer from the doctor, too.
Personally, I think whenever you get a virus, have an operation of any sort, or just mess with your body by reproducing or climbing Mt Everest or anything, on some level the body says, “Wait a hot second there.” You are never the same.