April 22, 2024

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Unveiling the Parallels: Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Unveiling the Parallels: Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome



Unveiling the Parallels: Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The phenomenon known as “Long COVID” appears to have strong similarities with chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to a survey conducted in 2023 on 100,000 Japanese individuals, a staggering 78.5% reported feeling “tired.”

In contrast, in Western societies, working while feeling tired is often seen as a sign of poor self-management, leading to the scientific study of fatigue being somewhat neglected.

Japan, with its unique culture where “fatigue” is considered a virtue and people often praise each other with “otsukaresama” (thank you for your hard work), has been at the forefront of fatigue research globally. Leading researchers in Japan have uncovered several groundbreaking studies, akin to Nobel Prize-level achievements, revealing the astonishing reality of fatigue.

Here, we will explain the relationship between Long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome. Long COVID is thought to closely resemble chronic fatigue syndrome in terms of its pathophysiology.

The reason for this will be explained step by step, but unfortunately, it has only been through the advancement of Long COVID research that this has become apparent.

As seen in Chapter 2, research on chronic fatigue syndrome had been underway before, so ideally, the results should have been used to solve the problem of Long COVID.

However, the reality is far from it, and with the progress of Long COVID research worldwide, the understanding of chronic fatigue syndrome is starting to emerge.

So, why is Long COVID said to be a disease similar to chronic fatigue syndrome? Let’s look at the reasons.

Unveiling the Parallels: Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


  1. Similarity in Symptoms

Long COVID is defined as a condition where some symptoms persist for more than two months after the acute symptoms of COVID-19 have disappeared. These symptoms include fatigue, depression, loss of smell, and hair loss, among others. Among these, fatigue and depression are the most frequent.

On the other hand, chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition where fatigue and depression persist for more than six months, so the symptoms of both are very similar.

Another common symptom is post-exertional malaise (PEM), which occurs at a high frequency in both conditions.

  1. Similarity in Causes

In Long COVID, several candidate causes have been reported based on the analysis of patients’ blood samples. Among them, the following are particularly considered:

  • Residual effects and thrombosis from COVID-19 pneumonia
  • Production of some autoantibodies
  • Reactivation of the herpes virus

Among these, the production of autoantibodies and reactivation of the herpes virus are also considered as strong candidates for the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, as explained in Chapter 2. Therefore, from the perspective of the cause as well, Long COVID is considered a disease similar to chronic fatigue syndrome.

From these (1) and (2), it can be said that Long COVID shows strong similarities with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Research on chronic fatigue syndrome faces the problem of “unknown viruses as the cause,” as discussed in Chapter 2. However, the emergence of viruses that cause symptoms similar to chronic fatigue syndrome may provide a breakthrough in this issue.

By elucidating the mechanism of onset of Long COVID, which deviates from the common sense of virology, it is now hoped that the problem of chronic fatigue syndrome, and ultimately the problem of pathological fatigue, will be solved at once.

In addition, the series of articles  is actually leading the world in fatigue research… Understanding Fatigue vs. Feeling Fatigued” will continue to provide detailed explanations about fatigue.

Unveiling the Parallels: Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(source:internet, reference only)


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