Fatigue is normal. Everybody gets tired. A long day at the office, a big test at school or a hard exercise session at the gym can make you tired. If the fatigue is persistent and it lasts longer than two weeks you should seek medical help. Fatigue can be the result of physical or emotional problems. Physical fatigue usually happens at the end of the day and usually goes away will a good night’s sleep. Emotional fatigue often peaks in the morning and goes away during your daily activity.
Some common causes of physical fatigue include:
1. Poor eating habits
2. Lack of sleep
3. Being out of shape
4. Extreme temperatures at work or at home
5. Carbon monoxide poisoning
6. Prescription or over the counter drugs
Some common causes of emotional fatigue include:
1. Too heavy of a work load at work or home
2. Boredom or lack of stimulation from your social circle
3. A major crisis
5. Unresolved past emotional issues
6. Repressed anger
Other causes of fatigue include:
1. Low red cell count
2. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity)
3. Chronic infections
4. Heart disease
5. A Sleep disorder
9. Rheumatoid arthritis
These causes are usually in combination of other symptoms such as pain, fever, weight loss or nausea.
With your doctors help you can consider what issues you can handle to control your fatigue. Here are a few lifestyle changes that may help:
1. Get enough sleep. You need at least 7 to 9 hours everyday of uninterrupted sleep. Start a sleep diary. Find out how much sleep you are getting and add ½ hour to your sleep time each week. Set a time to go to bed.
2. Organize your day. Don’t put more in your day than what is humanly possible to handle. Remember other can help.
3. Unwind everyday. Do something fun.
4. Exercise everyday. You need 30 minutes of strenuous exercise everyday. Challenge your body. You need both aerobic and strength building exercise. This will help you lose body fat while increasing muscle and bone density.
5. Get more sunlight. The sun will trigger healthy hormones in your body.
6. Eat a balanced meal. You need 2 servings of protein, 2 to 3 servings fruit, 3 servings of vegetables, 2 to 3 servings of gain everyday and 2 servings of dairy. And 6 to 8 4oz glasses of water.
7. Quit smoking. Smoking cuts down your oxygen transport in your blood. A lack of oxygen will make you feel fatigue.
8. Reduce or eliminate alcohol use. Alcohol can interferes with every function in the body.
9. Get a check up for the whole body. That includes your head. Your mental and physical health is equally important.
10.Reduce your use of caffeine. Coffee, energy drinks and herbal stimulates can affect your energy level. They give you a boost at first but will lower your body’s ability to recover.
“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is an extreme form of fatigue. This disorder is not understood very well. It’s a flu like condition that can completely drain your energy and may last for years. People that were once healthy and full of energy experience intense fatigue. Fatigue can last for a long period of time, the presence of chronic fatigue is different than chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition is also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Sometimes it’s abbreviated as ME/CFS.
There’s no one test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. You will need a number of medical tests to rule out other health issues that have similar symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may include:
2. Loss of memory or concentration
3. Sore throat
4. Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck
5. Unexplained muscle and joint pain
7. Unrefreshing sleep
8. Hair loss
9. Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
12. Weight changes
13. Low or high body temperature
Some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection. Scientist are trying to find what viruses trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses.
The immune systems of people who have developed chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired. It’s unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands and adrenal glands. The link between these abnormalities and chronic fatigue syndrome is still unknown.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may develop at any age, but it affects more people in their 40s and 50s. Women develop chronic fatigue syndrome much more often than men. This may be because women are more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor. Difficulty in managing stress can contribute to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Most treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on the relief of your symptoms. Each person has different symptoms and will require different types of treatment to manage the disorder and relieve their symptoms. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen are used but rarely help. Low doses of antidepressants can help relieve pain and depression. Exercise should be very important to a person with chronic fatigue syndrome. Exercise can help raise your energy level. Acupuncture has also been used with varying success. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps with mental fatigue. The best treatment comes from working with a team of healthcare providers to create the best treatment plan for you. They can go over the possible benefits and side effects of your plan.
Before starting your fitness program, consult your physician.