Post-viral syndrome is term used to describe a group of symptoms that happen after a viral infection. These are chronic symptoms that persist even after the acute phase of the infection has passed. They can last for days, weeks, months, and in some cases, even years after recovering from the initial infection.
You can develop post-viral syndrome after any viral infection including, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes, Ross River fever and HIV. A COVID-19 infection can also lead to post-viral syndrome or as it’s known - "long-hauler syndrome" or long-COVID.
Signs and symptoms of post-viral syndrome can vary from person to person. You may only have one or two symptoms, but you may have a laundry list of them. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. They may interrupt your work, social life, and daily activities.
One of the most common symptoms of post-viral syndrome is extreme fatigue which is not restored by rest.
Additional signs and symptoms of post-viral syndrome may include:
· Sleep problems
· Brain fog
· Trouble concentrating
· Memory troubles
· Headaches or migraines
· Muscle pains
· Stiff joints or joint pain
· Sore throat
· Loss of smell or loss of taste
· Swollen lymph nodes
· Hormonal issues
· Digestive issues
The underlying cause of Post-viral Syndrome is extremely complex. However, in simple terms, at a cellular level all the host’s energy reserves are recruited to defend against the initial infection or threat.
A failure of the immune system to effectively clear the virus, or alternatively to recognise that the ‘threat’ has passed, results in a continual state of inflammation. This constant state of low-grade cellular inflammation can create diverse neurological, vascular, immunological, endocrine and digestive symptoms. It also depletes the energy reserves at a cellular level which explains the chronic fatigue which is often the most debilitating aspect of Post-viral syndrome.
Functional Nutrition provides a framework for understanding the underlying cause of Post-viral syndrome and thereby guiding personalised nutrition, supplement and lifestyle strategies to restore optimum cellular health. Adequate nutritional intake of key nutrients is essential to support cell recovery and energy generation. Poor diet, insulin resistance, lack of sunlight exposure, unresolved infections, poor sleep and chronic stress all contribute to the development and persistence of post-viral syndrome. A wealth of information can also be found at www.worldcouncilforhealth.org