Life After Sepsis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I used to be very active but since I have had sepsis, I am continually exhausted. I can’t enjoy many of the things I used to. Will I ever feel the energy I had before I became ill?

Complaints of fatigue after any serious illness, including sepsis, are very common. Your body has gone through a tremendous ordeal as it battled not only an infection, but it also dealt with sepsis, which could have resulted in death. Now that your body has successfully recovered from the immediate danger of sepsis, you need to rest and begin to regain the strength and rebuild your body’s reserves.

If you continue to be exhausted, there may be other issues going on aside from recovering from sepsis. You may want to consider a check up with your doctor or nurse practitioner to be sure that other body parts, such as your thyroid, are functioning properly.

Other suggestions to help rebuild stamina and strength include ensuring you are eating a healthy, balanced diet, and that you are getting enough physical exercise.

Getting exercise when you are already tired may not seem easy, but if you begin slowly, such as with regular walks around the neighborhood, you may be able to build up your stamina. Another option may be to see if there are any health rehabilitation programs available to you. In these programs, qualified personnel help devise simple exercise programs and they help monitor your progress over time.

In a study that was published in 2008 in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, researchers looked at patients aged between 50 and 80 years old who had been hospitalized in an ICU because of sepsis. The researchers found that the health-related quality of life dropped significantly while the patients were in the ICU, which is to be expected, and there were gradual improvements during the six months after the ICU stay. However, after six months, many patients still had not reached the same physical functioning that they had before they had become sick.