The truth about post-viral fatigue
Post-viral fatigue is when you don’t bounce back easily after an illness such as a cold or the flu.
You might feel tired and weak or dizzy.
Your appetite might not be back to normal yet, so you find yourself snacking because you don’t have the energy to shop or cook properly.
It’s not a good feeling, and it can feel awkward to be past the normal amount of days you’d expect to be off sick from work.
The link between stress and fatigue
Every time you need to do something quickly or urgently your brain sends signals to your adrenal glands.
They immediately produce adrenalin and cortisol: ‘stress’ hormones that make you rush around and get things done.
Your body is designed to do this occasionally.
Not all day every day.
Basically we’re still hunter-gatherers, just the same as we were hundreds of years ago.
Back then, we would only need to act quickly or urgently if we were hunting an animal or perhaps defending ourselves against an attack from an invading tribe.
Nowadays it’s common to work long hours, with many demands and deadlines.
The impact on our health is often:
- poor immunity
The link between stress and low immunity
Work demands take a lot of energy and emotional stress is draining.
Relationship breakups, friendship betrayal, family stress, divorce, abuse, bereavement and loss can really affect your well-being.
It’s impossible to separate emotional and physical health.
When we are busy or stressed it can be hard to eat the right food or get enough sleep.
When we ‘run on empty’ our body has to use all available resources to simply keep going.
This means it can’t carry out essential ‘repairs’.
That’s when we start getting sick.
Colds are normal and not fun but most of the time we can cope.
One virus or infection can follow another and that’s when you know you have low immunity.
If you’ve also needed antibiotics, maybe for a UTI, this could have had a negative impact on your natural immunity.
This often contributes to low immunity, maybe with digestive issues or even thrush.
If you’ve had a high fever, you can even find yourself losing hair a few months down the line.
3 ways to help reduce short-term fatigue
Here are 3 simple steps to make a difference quickly:
- Pay attention to your sleep routine. [Related post: 7 simple rituals to help you unwind when it’s time to sleep]
- Simplify your life. What can you say no to? [Related post: 9 steps to simplify your life]
- Eat more fresh food to support your gut microbiome.
- Spend time in nature.
When I was a young teacher I was in a permanent cycle of low immunity and thrush.
My skin was awful, I felt tired all the time and I was regularly needing to take a week off work as I was so fatigued.
When I was struggling to recover my health after strong antibiotics for pneumonia I saw a homeopath for the first time.
My first homeopathy prescription gave me relief from my chronic sinus issues, which was incredible.
A lifestyle shift including homeopathy, probiotics and more rest enabled my immunity and periods to transform, and my skin cleared too.
I stopped needing time off work and I felt happy and healthy again.
A holistic approach
During the 13 years I’ve been a homeopath I’ve helped many people with low immunity and fatigue.
My approach to low immunity includes homeopathy and botanical remedies.
Good nutrition is essential, and I encourage seasonal, fresh food rather than relying on supplements.
Post-viral fatigue can lead to chronic fatigue if there has been a lot of stress in the past.
When treating chronic fatigue I always look for underlying causes, especially emotional stress, including grief and trauma.
I also look at diet and lifestyle. Deficiencies in key nutrients such as vitamin D3, vitamin B12 or iron can be underlying causes of fatigue.
Medical drugs can affect our absorption of nutrients, and this includes the pill.
Everyone is different and to address chronic fatigue you have to look at the person as a whole.
That’s what I do.