How long does fatigue last after COVID?

girl experiencing fatigue after covid
Written by: Jennifer

If you’re wondering, “How long does fatigue last after COVID?” – you’re not alone. 

Fatigue is the most common COVID-19 symptom, and many people are starting to figure out that it can linger for weeks. And in some cases, even months…

This being said, how long can fatigue really last after testing positive for COVID-19, how can you manage this symptom, and when should you consider talking to a doctor?

Let’s break it down.

How long does fatigue last after COVID?

For many people who contract COVID-19 and experience symptoms, fatigue may only linger for 2 to 3 weeks.

Fatigue can affect people differently. For example, it may make it more difficult to concentrate, limit your day-to-day activities, or cause sluggishness. 

While this symptom could continue weeks post-infection, in some cases, it may be nothing to worry about. In fact, according to some studies, over 55 long-term effects (including fatigue) have been identified that could be a result of ongoing symptoms of COVID-19.

What are common symptoms of post-COVID fatigue?

After testing positive for COVID-19, you may experience a variety of side effects associated with fatigue – which extend beyond simply feeling “tired.”

COVID fatigue symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Blurry vision and headaches
  • Body aches and muscle weakness
  • Decreased motivation and overall coordination

How to manage post-COVID fatigue syndrome

In many cases, fatigue after COVID may go away without serious medical intervention. In fact, with proper rest and nutrition, it is possible to overcome fatigue associated with Long COVID without a trip to the doctor’s office.

How to deal with fatigue after COVID:

  • Rest: Avoid strenuous activities that drain your energy, and give your body time to heal itself. Take a few sick days, relax from your bed or couch, and postpone any exercising, cleaning, and errands. 
  • Sleep: Your body loves sleep, so give it some! Allow your body the opportunity to heal and your mind to fully relax. Make sure you go to bed early and create a sleeping environment that promotes a full night of rest.
  • Nutrition: It’s important to give your body everything it needs to restore itself. For this to happen, stay away from sugary or caffeinated drinks, eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and stay hydrated. 

What is fatigue after COVID-19?

Whether you have a mild or severe case of COVID-19, certain symptoms could develop and linger for months – something many people are calling Long COVID. According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an average of 54% COVID-19 survivors continue to experience at least one symptom (which can include fatigue).

If you experience chronic fatigue (also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or CFS), you may experience bodily pain and heavy brain fog, along with traditional fatigue side effects. While research is still being conducted on chronic fatigue post-COVID, experts believe this symptom could be due to your body’s response to a viral infection.

Although most patients recover from acute COVID-19, some experience postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (PASC). One subgroup of PASC is a syndrome called “long COVID-19,” reminiscent of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). ME/CFS is a debilitating condition, often triggered by viral and bacterial infections, leading to years-long debilitating symptoms including profound fatigue, postexertional malaise, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive deficits, and orthostatic intolerance. – PNAS

When should I see a doctor about COVID fatigue?

While chronic fatigue may not seem like a serious issue, it could be. Chronic fatigue post-COVID can have a serious impact on your quality of life and constantly affect your overall well-being. This being said, there are a few instances that may indicate you need to seek professional medical advice. 

When to seek medical advice:

  • You’re starting to notice new symptoms that impact your activities of daily living
  • The fatigue is staying the same or getting worse 
  • You’re concerned you’re experiencing symptoms outside of fatigue
  • You need advice on how to better manage your symptoms

One way to manage fatigue from Long COVID

Fatigue associated with Long COVID doesn’t have to become a permanent fixture in your life. With Flow Therapy, you could improve your quality of life and experience less shortness of breath, chest pain, and chronic fatigue. 

Emerging data shows that long COVID is a disease that impacts the health of vessels, also known as endothelial function. EECP is a disease-modifying, non-invasive therapy that has previously shown to improve endothelial function in controlled clinical trials.

Sachin A. Shah, PharmD, Chief Scientific Officer at Flow Therapy
American College of Cardiology

If you’d like to learn more about Flow Therapy and how it works, check out these additional resources, take our online Long COVID assessment, or reach out to us online.

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