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84 Burnett St Bundaberg

Simple Tips For Managing Post-Viral Syndrome

post viral syndrome

Do you suspect you could be suffering from post-viral syndrome? Humans are exposed to viral illnesses frequently throughout their lifetime, but a small percentage go on to develop this condition after recovering from a viral infection.  

Let’s take a closer look at what post-viral syndrome is and how to manage it. 

What is post-viral syndrome? 

As the name might suggest, post-viral syndrome is a condition that develops after you have had a virus such as a cold or flu. But instead of bouncing back to health, you have symptoms that linger for months or even years on end, including: 

  • Low energy and fatigue 
  • Feeling generally unwell 
  • Brain fog 
  • Headaches 
  • Aches and pains in the muscles and joints  
  • Sore throat 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 

What causes post-viral syndrome? 

We know that post-viral syndrome develops as a result of a viral infection. But what is less clear is the mechanism that causes some people to develop this condition, whereas most people recover normally and fully from the same infection.  

Some of the theories behind post-viral syndrome include: 

  • High levels of inflammatory compounds called cytokines 
  • Inflammation in the nervous system and brain 
  • Immune reaction to try and clear out a virus that remains latent in the body e.g. Epstein-Barr virus 

From this, we can conclude that effectively managing post-viral syndrome will likely include a combination of symptom control, reducing inflammation and supporting immune function. 

How is post-viral syndrome diagnosed? 

It can be hard to get a diagnosis of post-viral syndrome because there are many other health concerns that need to be ruled out first.  

Mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, heart conditions, insomnia, sleep apnoea, thyroid conditions and autoimmune conditions all have overlapping symptoms with post-viral syndrome. This means you may need multiple appointments including tests to rule out the most likely candidates. 

However, with the growing understanding and awareness around post-viral syndrome since 2020, more GPs are quickly diagnosing their patients with the condition. 

Simple tips to manage your post-viral syndrome naturally 

As doctors aren’t 100% sure on what causes post-viral syndrome, their treatments are limited to symptomatic relief. However, there are some ways you can reduce the impact on your life and increase your energy levels. 

Get plenty of rest 

As fatigue is often the primary symptom, it’s the one we want to tackle first. And the best way to alleviate fatigue is to include plenty of rest in your schedule. This includes: 

  • At least 7-9 hours of sleep per night (you may even need more than this in the initial stage) 
  • An afternoon rest or nap 
  • Regular breaks to rest your body and brain when working/studying 

Remember it is not lazy or unproductive to rest up when you have this condition. In fact, it may help you to recover sooner and get back to your usual way of life! So, make sure it’s always the top priority of your day. 

Include gentle forms of physical activity 

When it comes to exercise, it can feel like a bit of a catch-22 – physical activity supports the production of energy, but you might be too tired to actually move! That’s why we suggest including very gentle forms of movement into your day.  

Depending on your specific symptoms and stage, this could mean: 

  • A walk around the block or even to the mailbox and back 
  • Yoga 
  • Pilates 
  • Tai chi 
  • Qigong 
  • Stretches 
  • Swimming or paddling in water 

Make sure that if you want to increase the amount, you do so slowly. Otherwise, you might overexert yourself and end up unable to move for days afterwards! 

Work on reducing your inflammation levels 

As many of the potential mechanisms of post-viral syndrome include inflammation, it makes sense to minimise your levels.  

When you first fall sick with an infection, inflammation is normal and even needed. But when you’re looking at a post-viral condition, that inflammation has become chronic and begun to cause more damage than good. 

To start working on your inflammation, give these tips a try. 

Eat a nutrient-dense diet full of wholefoods 

Falling sick can use up a lot of nutrients. And when you develop a syndrome on top of that, your body is churning through even more nutrients just to keep you functioning! That’s why we want to focus on a nutrient-dense diet – to replenish what has been used up. 

Make sure that at least 80% of your diet consists of wholefoods such as: 

  • Fruit 
  • Vegetables 
  • Herbs & spices 
  • Nuts & seeds 
  • Beans & legumes 
  • Wholegrains 
  • Eggs 
  • Fish & seafood 
  • High-quality meat and poultry 

Include some stress management techniques 

Being sick for weeks, months or even years on end can be incredibly stressful. You might worry about your future, your financial situation, or simply whether you’ll ever feel like ‘yourself’ again.  

Finding a way to process and manage that stress is important – not just so that you can cope, but also to alleviate any pressure on the nervous system. Remember, the nervous system is believed to play a role in post-viral syndrome! Stress can also sap the little energy that you do have. 

If you’re looking for useful stress management techniques, give this article a read. 

Seek personalised support 

When you are exhausted and unwell for weeks or months on end, it’s often impossible to do it all by yourself. That’s where reaching out for some support and personalised advice can make all the difference. 

If you’re struggling with post-viral syndrome and need a helping hand, the team at Burnett House are here for you. 

Our acupuncturist Jamie combines acupuncture with other tools such as dry needling and remedial massage to relieve symptoms such stress that could be contributing to your symptoms, as well as alleviating any pain you might be experiencing. 

Our naturopath Trish can look at diet and lifestyle factors that can help to support your recovery. She can also assess whether you would benefit from herbs and supplements to support your energy levels, reduce inflammation and calm the immune system. 

To book an appointment with Jamie or Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, book an appointment online here or call us on (07) 41522372 

 

© 2019 by Burnett House
84 Burnett St
Bundaberg South QLD 4670
ABN: 88 973 250 774
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