Fatigue after a hard day’s work, a stressful day or an illness is a condition – and it goes away quickly. But what if it lasts for weeks or even months? It’s a sign that the body is saying “enough”.
Let’s talk more about chronic fatigue, which is increasingly common in busy lives.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic fatigue is persistent or recurrent chronic tiredness, overwork and sleepiness that persists even after a good night’s sleep and significantly reduces our natural daytime activity.
Fatigue and viruses
We often don’t realise that flu, let alone the common cold, are infections that we often don’t take seriously. We treat ourselves, forgetting to “cure” the illness. Because who has time to rest today?
According to a 2018 study “Diagnosing European Fatigue”, one in four of us work 6-7 days a week, even taking weekends off to finish work. According to European statistics, in Eastern Europe, out of almost half a million flu cases each year, only 300 000 workers are on sick leave. Not only is coming to work sick and infecting colleagues a huge problem in Eastern Europe, but also the lack of rest and recovery. We forget that rest is necessary and mandatory for everyone. Negligence in this matter will still have a negative impact on our lives sooner or later. It is therefore worth taking care of ourselves before it is too late and before the symptoms of constant fatigue appear.
Where does chronic fatigue syndrome come from?
Chronic fatigue syndrome can occur after an infection in the body. This is a situation where the body is fighting a serious illness. It does not have to be a clinically serious illness. An aggressive virus is enough. After such a struggle, the organism is sufficiently exhausted. There are groups of diseases that are followed by a kind of immune depression. These include influenza, and the coronavirus is also of particular relevance to us at the moment.
"Quality rest is one of the main recommendations of doctors."
Another is when the signs of persistent fatigue last for several months and are accompanied by other symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes, headaches, drowsiness, and general malaise. The doctor should then rule out diseases in which fatigue is only one of the symptoms – such as anaemia, diabetes, diseases of the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Sometimes it happens that unnoticed and untreated Lyme disease also manifests itself as persistent chronic fatigue.
Workaholism and chronic fatigue
The new scourge of mankind is chronic fatigue caused by overwork, inappropriate lifestyles and too many responsibilities. Problems with mental strain, memory, distraction, irritability and physical exhaustion are symptoms that are systematically and continuously ignored. Often, it is only in doctors’ surgeries that patients learn that their condition requires treatment. “Eurostat figures show that on average we work around 1929 hours a year. Only the Greeks in Europe are even less free than us. By comparison, the Germans work 500 hours less than we do.
Chronic fatigue is thus characterised by weakened immunity, reduced concentration, poorer tolerance to stressful situations, irritability, sleep problems, anxiety and lethargy.
Can sport help reduce chronic fatigue?
Recently it has become very fashionable to do sports such as triathlon, crossfit and marathon running after long hours in the office. Some people say that running 10 km after work gives them a good rest. This is an incorrect and erroneous assessment. Working 10 hours a day in an office and then running a marathon is not easy for our body. Intense exercise only increases the level of fatigue in the body. So it is a mistake to think that chronic fatigue can be reduced by intense sport.
To think that chronic fatigue will go away after a week’s holiday, without any change in lifestyle and workload, is unfortunately naive. Doing so will only make the condition worse and affect all aspects of life.
To prevent this from happening, we must take care of our bodies by taking enough time to rest every day.
If you often feel tired, lethargic and apathetic, don’t forget to take preventive tests and pay more attention to yourself. And don’t forget to sleep. Quality and deep sleep is very important for our body. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or if you are often disturbed at night, we recommend that you take a closer look at a weighted blanket, which can help you get a better night’s sleep.