Ask Dr. Jen Tan

Fatigue and flu

An intense feeling of exhaustion is common when suffering from flu


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  • Billy's photo avatar
    Billy — 14.07.2018 18:11
    Been working crazy shifts for the past month i been feeling flu like symptoms no cold no fever just headache and stomach aches like a stomach bug but no vomiting off and on fatique


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 15.07.2018 10:13
      Hello Billy. Working too hard can stress the body both physically and mentally. I won't be surprised if your immune system is run down leaving you feeling tired and in addition, stress can affect the digestive system, accounting for some of the symptoms you report. These should resolve with rest. If this does not happen, you should really see your doctor to get checked out in case there is something else going on.


  • Brian Beck's photo avatar
    Brian Beck — 07.03.2018 16:00
    I've been battling the flu with antibiotics for the last two weeks. I'm an ultramarathoner, and had to pass on a 50k this past weekend just to make sure I was over the flu. I ran a quick 5 miles this morning and toward the end, legs felt tired, could be because of no running for two weeks. But I have a 50 miler in one month. Hoping I can be ready. Is the slight fatigue in my legs related to flu? My lungs felt good this morning, still have my fitness. Thank you.


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 07.03.2018 18:13
      Hello Brian. You do run a lot of miles. Yes, flu can lead to muscle aches and fatigue and could be an explanation for your symptoms. The viral strains doing the rounds currently have a greater tendency for causing tiredness in general and it seems that even one as fit as you are will not be immune to this symptom. From what we have seen, tiredness and fatigue should settle well within one month of the initial infection. There will of course be other reasons for your symptoms which we are not able to rule out here so if your lingering symptoms are of concern, please seek further advice from your GP. Best of luck with your run in one month's time.


    • Maggie Silver's photo avatar
      Maggie Silver — 08.03.2018 00:24
      You can't battle the flu with antibiotics-it's a virus. Antibiotics kill bacterial infections, they have no effect on viruses.


  • Tyler's photo avatar
    Tyler — 05.03.2018 15:37
    I got the flu on 2/21/18. Last time I even had a cold was 10 years ago. I am normally a very healthy person with a strong immune system. My flu started with the sensation of being stuck with pins across my back and chest and in my lungs. Several hours later I experienced a weird hallucination of smelling rotting meat. It was so strong it woke me from sleep and I had to check the entire house for the source of the smell. The next morning I had a fever and severe headache. Then my eyes watered uncontrollably and I could not keep them open. Fever for 6 days. Stayed between 100-102 the entire time. I am over the worst part, but I still have a little bit of a lingering cough which isn't too bad. The worst part is the exhaustion and the constant feeling of being nauseated. I feel like every single ounce of energy has been drained from my body. I feel "off balance" and my appetite still has not recovered. I'm not myself at all and I'm starting to get depressed because I have no energy to do anything but work and go home to bed. I feel like I will never be the same again.


    • Debbie's photo avatar
      Debbie — 15.03.2018 21:04
      I got influenza b 3 weeks ago. I am over the flu symptoms now and am back to work but I am exhausted. I can't even make it through a full day. Have to go home at lunch hour and sleep. I am taking 2 hour lunches just to get through the day. And I understand the "off balance" feeling. It's awful and I too feel like I am never going to recover. It is actually comforting to hear someone else is going through this and its not just me. I wonder how long it takes to get our normal strength back.


    • Tyler's photo avatar
      Tyler — 19.03.2018 13:15
      Hi Debbie, I hope you are feeling better. It's now been almost a month since I got sick with the flu. I am STILL not right. The feeling of being "off balance" is still with me. I still have a lot of fatigue. The nausea is a bit better though, thankfully. It's not constant like it was, but I still get bouts of it during the day. Will I ever feel the way I did BEFORE the flu again? I felt strong and happy and healthy before the flu. Life looked good. Now I'm totally off balance, depressed and anxious. I feel like this flu has fundamentally changed me.


    • Denise's photo avatar
      Denise — 24.03.2018 19:51
      I got the flu early Feb and still have not recovered. I am now on a sick leave from work. The fatigue is overwhelming. Anxious also. Sick about 6 weeks now.


    • Glenda's photo avatar
      Glenda — 05.04.2018 08:51
      I got the flu about 4 weeks ago, coughing was the worst part - that has almost gone but the exhaustion is about to get the better of me! I normally don't need a lot of sleep but feel like I could sleep all day! Muscles feel weak - dizzy - balance is off. I thought it was just because I am getting older (59) but this is not like me at all! How long does this exhaustion last? Fortunately I work from home so I can lay down when I get really tired!


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 06.04.2018 16:14
      Hello Glenda. Tiredness is a significant feature of the viral infections going round at the moment. Our experience is that most will get their full strength back within 6 weeks of the initial infection - so with some luck, it won't be too long before you start to feel more like your normal self.


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