Why am I always so tired – Is tiredness a sign of Covid?

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Coronavirus is on our minds day in, day out at the moment. Its prominence in the news, on social media, and our changed habits mean we are likely to be paranoid and think symptoms unrelated to the virus are caused by the virus. We all know that coughing, a high temperature, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste are symptoms… but is tiredness a sign of Covid?

Feeling exhausted every day, also known as TATT (tired all the time), is extremely common.

Everyone feels tired sometimes, and most of the time this is caused by too many late nights, working hard, or a baby keeping you up at night.

Tiredness or exhaustion that goes on for a long time isn’t normal and it could be caused by a number of psychological, physical, and lifestyle issues.

For example, insomnia, grieving the death of a loved one or drinking too much alcohol can all make you feel tired.

In the midst of a pandemic, many of us are more conscious of our health than ever.

If you feel extra tired at the moment, you’re probably wondering if that is a symptom of coronavirus or not.

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Is tiredness a sign of Covid?

Tiredness is a sign of coronavirus, and according to the World Health Organisation, tiredness is in the top three most common symptoms alongside a fever and dry cough.

If you have caught the virus, you may feel drained, weak, or sluggish.

On top of this, the virus makes you feel less motivated to stay active and this means you avoid activities and therefore have less energy and feel tired.

However, it’s important to note that tiredness is more common in people who have the flu or vitamin D deficiency than it is coronavirus or the common cold

You are likely to become less tired as you recover, but for some people, it works the other way around.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, when recovering from COVID-19 you may need to sleep more.

This is because when you were ill with coronavirus your muscles did not have to do any work and now they need time to build their strength again.

Simple things you can normally do with ease such as taking a short walk, washing and dressing can leave you exhausted.

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To manage the fatigue, the doctors at Guys and St Thomas’ recommend imagining you have a jug of energy.

Think about what you want to use the energy for, but always leave something in the jug so it is never empty.

This way you have some energy in reserve for when you need it.

You should slow down your activities, speech, eating, and coughing, so that you use less energy.

Don’t sleep during the day, even if you didn’t get any sleep in the night.

If you desperately need to sleep when it’s light outside, have a short nap.

While you feel tired, avoid sitting or standing for too long without changing your position.

It’s important to move your body without straining it, and things like bending and twisting will make you feel worse.

If you have recovered from the virus but still feel tired, go for a gentle walk, run or do some light resistance training to boost your energy.

Be patient with yourself, your body will feel less tired eventually.

What are the other symptoms of coronavirus?

It is unlikely that tiredness is a sign of coronavirus if it is the only symptom you have and it is fixed by rest and sleeping.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

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