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Thread: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?




  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer Bahtya's Avatar
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    How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    I had, what I assume was the flu (bones ached, could barely move, headache, cough) three weeks ago and I am STILL not back at 100%. I am back to exercising (keeping it light in aerobics class) but find I tire easy and cough a bit (not hacking) during the workout.

    NO shortness of breath, and I didn't have a fever during the flu, but I did notice a horrible pain in chest, like a pressure whenever I would bend at the waist, say to brush teeth. I had to be in a semi reclined position for 2 days. The duration of the worst part of the flu was about 4 days. I coughed and coughed but (TMI alert: no phlegm or anything. There never WAS anything that came up) Nose was moderately stuffed up. NO sore throat.

    Could I have walking pnemonia or something? Am I just older and slower to bounce back? I mean this sluggishness combined with our blah NW weather doesn't help my mood much sort of depressed... I know I feel better mentally when I can exercise, but I don't want to push it.


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer SummerSahar's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    The flu can really leave your system trashed long after you feel better. I had it in early Feb, and while the duration of the flu last about 3 days, the tail end of it lasted about 3-4 weeks (coughing, feeling slightly tired, etc). I'm a big weightlifter and crossfitter, and I noticed that post-flu I wasn't performing nearly at the same level as I was pre-flu, even when I felt like I was perfectly fine and completely over it. I really felt a lack of pure strength, like really struggling to lift about 60-70% of what my personal best was pre-flu. It worried me a little (was all my hard work gone??), but everything returned. I still exercised during these 3-4 weeks, but I didn't push it and wasn't hard on myself when I wasn't able to perform like I knew I could. Still, it bummed me out, too. I'm used to bouncing back from these things!


  3. #3
    Mega BHUZzer Lesedi's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Yeah, the actual flu like you had/have takes a toll on your body and a while to recover from. I had swine flu last year and it took about 6 weeks before I was feeling normal and energetic again. A lot of people don't realize till they have it, that the flu is much more intense than, not the same as, the common cold. I hope you start feeling better soon! :)
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  4. #4
    I could get used to this! Avradoorn's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    See the doc. If it's nothing to worry about, hurrah. Last Easter (starting on Maundy Thursday- which was spectacularly rotten as I'm a paid organist and it's peak season for overtime!) I picked up flu. I actually worked throughout, because the organ loft is fairly isolated, although I did cancel my students' lessons- people told me it couldn't possibly be swine flu, until they heard me throwing up in the sink behind the organ and scurrying back to play the next hymn before anybody noticed. The chest pains started almost immediately but it was about a week later that I woke on the Sunday night in agony and terrified. I'd tried to turn over in my sleep and got stuck- the pain was excruciating (on a par with dental abcess) and I genuinely thought my number was up. And did I go to the docs? Did I heck.
    Yes, that was downright stupid, but up here in the North we won't bother the doc unnless something's started to turn green and drop off...and just over a week later, it seemed like it was starting to lessen a bit. It's just the flu, right? I can throw that off!
    So I went for nine weeks, coughing piteously, losing weight, no energy, unable to breathe because the tightness in my chest felt as if, if I breathed in too deeply, it'd split open like a melon, I broke three ribs through coughing and played the Northumbrian pipes at a wedding the same week (if you haven't seen Northumbrian smallpipes, they're blown through a bellows...strapped to the ribs...the broken ribs...I cried all the way home...) before the Other Half, who'd been getting increasingly worried and frustrated, dragged me to the docs and made an appointment. I stood there in the waiting room, looking at him miserably. I was ridiculously, embarassingly pathetically weak and didn't have the energy to whinge.
    No wonder. I had double pneumonia, bronchitis and pleurisy. Doc asked me how long I'd been off work. "Two weeks" I told her, "almost two months ago". "You've WORKED through it?" "I've BELLYDANCED through it..."
    I was fine, as far as my chest's concerned, within a fortnight after heavy-duty antibiotics, but it was months before I was completely fit, all through what I can only call bloody-mindedness and downright stupidity. Just go to the doc's, please, if you have the slightest doubt about what's going on in there. A year on, I still get the odd rib twinge if I cough. You seriously don't want to mess about.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    I had walking pneumonia that sapped all my energy, but evaded diagnosis by the first doc I saw because there were no "slurpy" sounds coming from my lungs and I was not coughing anything up. The second doc told me it was a "consolidated" pneumonia -- the infection was dry, probably because I was doing field biology work in the desert and got dehydrated. I was in the hospital for a week getting an arsenal of antibiotics pumped into me. I never coughed anything up so they could never culture what was causing it, but the specialist told me it was probably a mycoplamsa infection.

    I've also had respiratory infections that resolved but left me with inflammation in my lungs that caused a self-perpetuating cough that went on and on for weeks/months until I went on several weeks of steroids and codeine cough syrup. These sapped my energy almost as badly as the pneumonia. This happened to me twice in grad school. I'm sure the long work hours and sustained stress levels played a role.
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  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    As I understand it, there have been two strains of the flu this year. one of which seems to like to stick around for about 6 - 8 weeks. Sometimes a little longer. Just expect it to last and if it lingers for longer than YOU are comfortable with, go see your doctor. Otherwise, use this as an excuse to take care of yourself.

    {{{HUGS}}}


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer Bahtya's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Quote Originally Posted by SummerSahar View Post
    The flu can really leave your system trashed long after you feel better. I had it in early Feb, and while the duration of the flu last about 3 days, the tail end of it lasted about 3-4 weeks (coughing, feeling slightly tired, etc). I'm a big weightlifter and crossfitter, and I noticed that post-flu I wasn't performing nearly at the same level as I was pre-flu, even when I felt like I was perfectly fine and completely over it. I really felt a lack of pure strength, like really struggling to lift about 60-70% of what my personal best was pre-flu. It worried me a little (was all my hard work gone??), but everything returned. I still exercised during these 3-4 weeks, but I didn't push it and wasn't hard on myself when I wasn't able to perform like I knew I could. Still, it bummed me out, too. I'm used to bouncing back from these things!
    This is exactly what I was feeling/thinking


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Flu means suffering for 3 weeks so recovery time has to be added to that. I had a virus last year..possibly winter vomiting,ended up on a drip in hozzy and felt very weak and disorientated for weeks after. Eventually was sensible enough to go to the GP who took blood tests and it was low potassium ( evidently common after such illnesses). The cure : chocolate and bananas.
    I'd always say be safe..see the doc.
    jesennia likes this.


  9. #9
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Not to get graphic but did you cough anything up or did you have a rattle in your chest? It sounds more like a bronchial infection because usually the flu brings fever and sometimes a good case of the barfs (but depends on what strain you had)

    Any time you have any respiratory upset, your oxygen exchange is going to be compromised ..if your lungs aren't exchanging air to their maximum capacity then the rest of your body won't get the oxygen either, so fatigue is what you are hit with..even after recovery ..especially since you mention you were still coughing during practice..your body is still repairing.

    I had bronchitis for two weeks not long ago..bad bad baaaad cough I'm betting my neighbors were ready to kill me, was coughing up yucky stuff. It was all I could do to make food and get back in bed..it SUCKED ..am just now starting to feel back to normal but of course now my kid just brought home a new illness from school so here we go again :)


  10. #10
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    shot of jagermeister might knock it right outta ya


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer Bahtya's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Quote Originally Posted by jesennia View Post
    shot of jagermeister might knock it right outta ya
    Yeaaah! I never did cough anything up. But the cough hurt so bad I tried like heck NOT to cough. It felt like a thousand needles pricking my lungs.


    I am doing a lot better now though.


  12. #12
    Just Starting! zimba's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    That takes no longer time to stay weak for much long time. It takes just 2 day or maximum of 3 day's. After this period I feel very much better and have normal routine which I have before the flu.....

    Walnut Creek Personal trainer
    Last edited by zimba; 03-26-2011 at 05:49 AM.


  13. #13
    Just Starting! Adamsmith's Avatar
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    Re: How long is it common to feel weakness after the flu?

    Hi guys,,,
    Most of the people feel the weakness after the Flu.Its natural and there is no need to worry about it.Influenza can take a lot out of a person.There should be no more lingering symptoms. The weakness is more probably caused by some unrelated illness.


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