Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been a hot topic of debate in the past few years, especially after the discovery of long COVID. The latter might be responsible for triggering CFS in patients who recently recovered from COVID.
This article will detail both conditions and suggest an innovative treatment that could improve your quality of life.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition characterized by exhaustion that persists despite rest without a clear explanation of the underlying cause. Formally, scientists refer to CFS as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
The causes of CFS are not yet fully clear. Some theories suggest that viral infections, psychological stress, or a combination of factors could trigger this disease. Because this condition shares several symptoms with other ailments, it can be quite challenging to diagnose it.
Unfortunately, no specific tests exist for CFS. Therefore, your doctor will need to rule out other potential causes of your fatigue to confirm the diagnosis of CFS.
While CFS was once a controversial diagnosis, it is now widely recognized as a legitimate medical condition. CFS can affect individuals of any gender, although it is most prevalent among women in their 40s and 50s.
What Is Long COVID?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long COVID is defined as a variety of new, recurring, or persistent health issues that individuals experience for at least four weeks after being infected with the virus.
While healthcare professionals paid most of their attention to the physical symptoms of long COVID, such as fatigue or cough, emerging research is shedding light on its mental health effects.
In a recent analysis, scientists found that individuals with long COVID were more likely to start taking anti-depressants compared to those who fully recovered.
Reports regarding individuals with long COVID have presented varying numbers. For instance, in 2022, the CDC reported that 19% of adults who had COVID-19 were experiencing long COVID. On the other hand, a 2021 study highlighted that long COVID manifests in 4 to 66% of pediatric patients.
Additionally, a study from 2022 suggested that the risk of developing long COVID was 24 to 50% higher among individuals infected with the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant.
How Are The Two Conditions Connected?
Researchers managed to pinpoint numerous commonalities between long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Here’s a summary of the latest data:
- A meta-analysis covering 52 studies with 127,117 participants in Iran revealed that 42.5% of individuals with Long COVID also have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which persists for months despite medical care.
- Preliminary research suggests that the antiviral drug nirmatrelvir may decrease the risk of developing Long COVID by 26% in individuals aged over 60.
- Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can reactivate dormant viruses in individuals with CFS, leading to a resurgence of CFS symptoms. Increased antibody levels against herpes viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), occurred in people with CFS who had contracted COVID-19, suggesting viral reactivation as a cause.
- Long COVID sparked renewed interest and study into CFS, a complex and poorly understood condition. CFS affects various organ systems and has historically received little attention from the research community. Misdiagnosis and dismissal of CFS as a psychological condition are common, which can hinder proper treatment.
- Both Long COVID and CFS lack established treatments, and there is controversy surrounding the approach to their management. Graded exercise therapy, which gradually increases exercise intensity, has been recommended for CFS but faces criticism due to the challenges met by patients.
How Meldonium Can Improve Your Quality Of Life
Meldonium is a promising drug that could help people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Long COVID. Most popular form of Meldonium is brand name product Grindex Mildronate capsules 500mg. CFS and Long Covid cause extreme tiredness, and there is currently no cure. Meldonium works by improving energy production in cells by increasing glucose transport into the mitochondria, which are like energy factories in our bodies.
Studies demonstrated that CFS patients often have reduced blood supply to the front part of the brain, and Meldonium can help improve this blood flow. In a small study, some CFS patients who didn’t respond well to other treatments reported feeling better and having more energy after taking Meldonium. One patient even had better blood flow to their brain after using the medication.
Long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome are relatively common conditions that could severely impact your quality of life. Luckily, meldonium showed some promising effects in patients with these conditions.
We hope that this article managed to shed some light on the topic of chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID, as well as how we can mitigate these symptoms.