Illness-related fatigue: More than just feeling tired

A common refrain during the COVID-19 pandemic is, “I’m so tired.” After months of adjusted living and anxiety, people are understandably weary. Parents who haven’t had a break from their kids are worn out. Those trying to juggle working from home with homeschooling are stretched thin. Between concerns about health, finances, and isolation, everyone is feeling some level of additional stress during this unusual time, and that’s tiring. We all could use a good, long nap — or better yet, a vacation. But while a break would be nice, most people — except those who are actually sick with COVID-19 or other illnesses — are able to push through their fatigue, precisely because they aren’t sick. “Tired” is a nebulous word that covers a broad spectrum of levels of fatigue. A crucial distinction, however, is between regular fatigue and illness-related fatigue. Regular fatigue Everyday fatigue that is not illness-related starts with a baseline of health. You may feel sleepy, you may in fact be sleep-deprived, or your body and mind may be worn out from long hours, exertion, or unrelenting stress — but you don’t feel sick. Your muscles and joints don’t ache like when you have the flu. You are capable of getting out of bed and powering through the day, even if you don’t want to. A cup of coffee or a nap might perk you up. This type of fatigue is usually related to external factors: lack of sleep, stress...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Autoimmune diseases Fatigue Source Type: blogs

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