There is a fatigue epidemic in Australia. More and more people are reporting feeling tired ALL the time and it shouldn’t be shrugged off or dismissed as just “being a bit tired” or “working too much”. There can be many different reasons why this can be the case- nutrient deficiencies, sleep problems, stress, hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction- the list goes on. Post viral fatigue is also a common reason for feeling tired all the time and refers to constant low energy after a viral infection.
Most of the viruses we contract are self-limiting meaning they will eventually be killed off by the immune system and cleared from the body. There is however a subset of viruses that can decide they would rather call your body home and establish a permanent infection that can remain underlying for months to years.
Chronic underlying infections often don’t have the obvious symptoms you might see in an acute infection but one of the biggest signs to look for is fatigue, particularly fatigue that started after an acute infection.
Epstein Bar virus or Glandular fever is a classic example of this. I think almost everyone knows someone who has had glandular fever and for a lot of these people they often feel they never fully recovered. This is because the virus is can hang around causing what is called a low-grade infection, that from the outside might only look like they are just super tired with maybe some swollen glands every now and then.
So why is it so important to treat these low-grade infections? First of all, fatigue is horrible. Ask any parent with young children, they’ll tell you how fun it is. And I’m not just talking about that 3pm slump, I’m talking constant fatigue- waking up tired, going to work tired, making decisions tired, cooking dinner tired. That’s a significant decrease in productivity, motivation and generally happiness.
The second major reason why we need to address low grade infections is that more and more research is beginning to show that these stealth pathogens may have the ability to drive more serious chronic diseases like autoimmune conditions.
Very commonly fatigue will begin gradually so in many cases people genuinely forget how much energy they used to have and it’s not until they get it back that they realise just how bad it was.
Thankfully herbal medicine works extremely well in treating these pesky underlining infections and often results in dramatic changes to energy levels. If you or someone you know is struggling with low energy or feeling like you are living your life in constant fatigue, is not something you have to put up with.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash