Post Covid, there have been several people who although were cured of the viral infection, have been complaining of fatigue and body aches. Prashant (name changed) is one of them. The 38-year-old was affected by Covid last year and although he recuperated quickly, has been experiencing extreme tiredness and lethargy. “Body aches are frequent and prolonged,” he says. “My tastebuds too seem to be affected.”

His doctor has confirmed that his health parameters are all fine, but Prashant is convinced he is yet to bounce back to his usual healthy self. Keen to explore if Ayurveda could help his problems, he approached Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner Dr V L Shyam.

“Common symptoms of post-Covid fatigue are muscle weakness, depression, sleep disturbances, loss of smell or taste, myalgia and muscular aches, headache or foggy brain, headaches, dizziness and nausea, impaired motor skills, moodiness and irritability and loss of appetite,” says Dr Shyam.

“More serious symptoms can include reduced immune system function, blurred vision, recall and memory problems, poor concentration, inability to pay attention to surroundings, poor motivation, delusions, and hallucinations.”

As fatigue is invisible, sometimes it is not properly understood, explains the doctor. So, explaining the impact of fatigue can be difficult. Tiredness can get better with enough rest, while fatigue persists even after good rest and sleep.

Fatigue is very common after viral infections such as Covid. Usually, it settles after two or three weeks. However, in some people it can remain for weeks or months. Disturbed daily routine, poor sleep patterns, demanding work, depression, anxiety, and stress can make fatigue worse.

Common symptoms of post-Covid fatigue are muscle weakness, depression, sleep disturbances, loss of smell or taste, myalgia and muscular aches, headache or foggy brain, headaches, dizziness and nausea, impaired motor skills, moodiness and irritability and loss of appetite.

More serious symptoms can include reduced immune system function, blurred vision, recall and memory problems, poor concentration, inability to pay attention to surroundings, poor motivation, delusions, and hallucinations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is another disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months. Potential triggers of CFS include viral infections, immune system problems, hormonal imbalances, injury, surgery, or emotional stress. You also need to rule out sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia. Fatigue is a common symptom in several medical conditions, such as anaemia, diabetes, and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

Ayurveda use two terminologies to explain the pathology of post-Covid fatigue – Ojus and Ama. Ama is produced by incompatible diet, indigestion, sedentary work; it has no correlate in modern chemistry. As per Ayurveda, formation of Ama clogs the micro-channels of circulation in the body, preventing the unrestricted flow of nutrients to the cells and organs. Many of the symptoms listed above are the classical symptoms of Ama accumulation. An Ayurveda doctor will be able to suggest therapies and medication to treat the symptoms.

The word Ojus means the state of excellence of the tissues of the body. Just as ghee is refined from butter, which is refined from cream, which is refined from milk, so Ojus is refined from progressive transformations of our bodily tissues. The term ojus is used in Ayurveda as a measure to assess the health of an individual.

Factors responsible for reduction of Ojus are excessive physical exertion, fasting for long period, constant worries, consumption of dry food, excessive exposure to sun and wind; anger, fear, grief and sorrow, keeping awake at nights, physical and emotional trauma.

Dr VL Shyam’s home remedies to help overcome fatigue

• Try to improve your sleep pattern; avoid sleeping in the daytime and staying awake late into the night.

• Consider relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, pranayama.

• Both physical and cognitive (thinking) activities use energy. Rest is very important for your body.

• Mix one part each of dried ginger, black pepper and long pepper powders with two parts of turmeric powder. Consume ½ to 1 teaspoon mixed with honey or ghee daily.

• Eat easy digestible food items. Reduce fried items, cold food and yoghurt. Eat only cooked food after sunset.

• Avoid trying new food patterns. Kanji (gruel of red rice) or kichdi is a healthy and easy digestible option.

• Consume water boiled with one or more of these herbs - Dried ginger, black pepper, coriander seeds, basil leaves, cumin seeds. Half teaspoon should be enough for preparing a liter of herbal water.

• There are a few Ayurvedic ghee preparations too.

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