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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Fatigue

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Covid-19 is new, but the ME/CFS community has dealt with long-haul-like symptoms for years. Here’s how they cope.

A young woman lies down and stares at the ceiling, holding her phone and feeling worried
A young woman lies down and stares at the ceiling, holding her phone and feeling worried
Photo: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

As the pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that a good chunk of Covid-19 patients suffer symptoms for weeks, even months, after first getting sick. Many of them deal with fatigue, muscle and body aches, difficulty breathing and concentrating, and other issues that make “normal life” feel out of reach.

While SARS-CoV-2 is new, the problem of long-term symptoms after an infection isn’t. Many in the chronic illness community, particularly those affected by myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), understand some of what the long-haulers are going through. ME, sometimes referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a complex, multisystemic neuroimmune disease…


Why some people are self-diagnosing this condition—and what they may have instead

Photo: Shidlovski/Getty Images

In a subreddit dedicated to adrenal fatigue recovery, contributors post about their fatigue-related symptoms, ask for advice, and recommend supplements. One Redditor, who identifies himself as a 39-year-old male, describes his symptoms: “For many years now, I have felt that something just isn’t right with my body,” he writes, going on to describe his tiredness, fatigue, and persistent anxiety and depression.

There’s plenty of evidence that long-term exposure to stress can cause myriad health issues, from an increased risk of anxiety and depression to digestive problems, headaches, disrupted sleep, a reduced immune response, and even heart disease — in part…


A comprehensive look at the causes of fatigue

A young woman yawning at her desk while looking at her computer.
A young woman yawning at her desk while looking at her computer.
Photo: PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

Feeling tired all the time is incredibly common. Dr. Sharon Bergquist, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, says that about a quarter to a third of primary care visits are due to fatigue. Feeling tired isn’t an automatic reason for concern — some level of fatigue is normal. “I think people expect themselves to do too much, so they’re just fatigued because they’re mentally or physically exhausted,” she says.

For some people, a few good nights of sleep will do the trick, but for others, fatigue can become an ongoing problem that interferes with everyday…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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