Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
Symptoms and Treatment for Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
Post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) is a relatively rare illness that causes extreme and disabling exhaustion following a serious viral infection. Sometimes referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, this condition produces a level of fatigue that can permanently disable the sufferer. Because the symptoms can be somewhat vague, this condition can be tough to diagnose.
There is no certainty about the cause of PVFS. Since it can come on after a serious viral infection, there is some thought that PVFS may be caused by a virus. What is known facts about this illness is that it most commonly attacks women who are between the ages of 30 and 50. Environmental factors, stress and genetics may also play a role in causing post viral and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The symptoms of PVFS are similar to a few other illnesses, so diagnosis usually means ruling out other conditions like anemia, diabetes or liver and kidney problems before determining that the problem is PVFS. In most cases, symptoms have been present for 6 months or more before a diagnosis of PVFS is reached.
Symptoms of Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
The symptoms of post viral and chronic fatigue syndrome and not much different than what comes with a severe viral infection – achy, headache, tired – although they may not be as severe. The worst part is that PVFS symptoms can go on for months at a time, sometimes lasting close to a year.
Obviously, overwhelming fatigue is the most noticeable sign of PVFS. The difference between the degree of exhaustion that is felt with this illness and ordinary sleepiness is that it is chronic and at a level that is very out of the ordinary. People with PVFS feel a kind of tired that they have never experienced before, and it frequently prevents them from performing normal, everyday activities. This extreme fatigue can continue for months on end, and it is not relieved by sleep.
Besides extreme and ongoing exhaustion, other symptoms include:
> confusion, problems concentrating and forgetfulness
> easily worn out by common tasks or light exercise
> lack of appetite
> low grade fever (under 100 degrees F)
> mood changes and irritability
> overall weakness
> sore throat
> tenderness in lymph nodes in the neck or under the arms
> unexplained aches and pain, especially in the joints and muscles
Treating Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
Unfortunately, there is not cure for PVFS – most likely because a definite cause has not yet been found. There are, however, certain treatments that can be used to relieve the symptoms of this illness and make it a bit easier to live with.
Pain medication – both over-the-counter and prescription – is used to treat the aches and pains that come along with PVFS. This treatment should always be made with the advice of a medical professional to be sure the fatigue and other symptoms are not made worse by a certain type of medication.
It is not uncommon for PVFS sufferers to also be plagued with depression and anxiety. As such, depression meds and anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed to patients with PVFS.
Diet and exercise can also help treat some of the symptoms of PVFS. Strenuous exercise is out of the question, but a light program of walking can build up the body’s strength and help fight off the fatigue. It is also important to eat a healthy diet, even during times when the appetite is low. Keeping a consistent schedule can also help the body fight off the symptoms.