How To Boost Your Energy
These days, were so used to luxury that even the most basic physical activity can tire us out. So, if you find yourself out of breath after climbing a few stairs, you need to stop and ask yourself Am I treating my body right?.
Staying up late all night binge-watching movies and hogging on pizza is exactly the kind of lifestyle that would get your body in trouble.
Some fundamental lifestyle changes can go a long way toward increasing your life expectancy.
Here are a few easy and natural tips to boost your energy levels and stay fresh and active all day long:
How To Cope With Chronic Pain And Fatigue
Fatigue is defined as the lack of energy, or lethargy of body and mind, possibly caused by sleep deficit. Fatigue has many effects on daily life. It has been proven to cause insufficient sleep, associated with cognitive problems, reduced job performance, reduced motivation, increased safety risks, and physiological changes. In this article, we will take a look at the connection between chronic pain and fatigue, and what you can do to remedy exhaustion.
Fatigue-related problems are also believed to cost the U.S. an estimated $18 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and accidents. More than 1,500 fatalities, 100,000 crashes, and 76,000 injuries annually are attributed to fatigue-related drowsiness on the highway.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Eating a healthy diet, and using herbs and homeopathic remedies as recommended, may help reduce the debilitating symptoms of CFS, and may improve overall energy. Counseling, support groups, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation are stress management techniques that may help as well.
- Save your energy. Your doctor may suggest that you slow down and pace yourself, so that you do not overdo it one day and pay for it the next. The goal is to maintain a steady, moderate amount of activity that includes regular exercise.
- Get regular exercise. Your doctor may suggest that you see a physical therapist to create an appropriate exercise program. At least one study shows that people with CFS who exercise have fewer symptoms than those who do not exercise.
- Reduce stress. Stress can make CFS symptoms worse. Guided meditation or deep breathing may help you relax. Studies show Qigong, in particular, helps reduce symptoms of fatigue and poor mental functioning.
Nutrition and Supplements
Avoid refined foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and saturated fats. Eat more fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains, protein, and essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, and cold-water fish.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, take herbs only under the supervision of a health care provider.
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When Your Cfs Symptom Is Pain
If a patients most serious CFS symptom is pain in his muscles and joints, his doctor may pursue pain management via such tactics as medication , massage, water therapy, relaxation techniques, and/or a stretching and exercise program.
If a CFS patients most disruptive symptom is depression, his physician may recommend psychological counseling as well as movement therapies , deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques, massage therapies, or an antidepressant prescription.
The first step, though, is to meet with your healthcare provider to review your symptoms. From there, you and your healthcare team can pursue the most appropriate chronic fatigue treatment.
Meanwhile, its important to find out everything you can about chronic fatigue syndrome. Besides useful summaries at the U.S. National Library of Medicine and at the CDC, you can access these free University Health News posts:
Is It Like Long Covid
Early in the pandemic, we realised some patients had a cluster of debilitating symptoms that dragged on for months, which we now call long COVID.
Some 85% of long COVID patients experience fatigue, making it one of the most common long COVID symptoms.
However, people with long COVID have a range of other symptoms, such as brain fog, headaches and muscle aches. Patients with long COVID therefore experience more than fatigue, and sometimes dont have fatigue at all.
This often develops after a viral infection . So, understandably, there has been concern around the coronavirus potentially triggering chronic fatigue syndrome.
There are striking similarities between chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID. Both involve debilitating fatigue, brain fog and/or muscle aches.
But at this stage, researchers are still untangling any link between post-COVID fatigue, long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome.
For now, we know many people will have post-COVID fatigue but thankfully do not go on to develop long COVID or chronic fatigue syndrome.
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Give Supplements / Nutraceuticals A Try
There are a variety of supplements and nutraceuticals that may help to boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue. While there is certainly no magic-bullet to stop chronic fatigue, a combination of lifestyle changes, healthy eating, and dietary supplements is inevitably beneficial and is certainly worth exploring.
1. Supplements that boost dopamine levels
These are products that help to increase the activity of neurotransmitters or reduce their metabolism, thus improving the levels of dopamine or serotonin in your brain. Dopamine and serotonin help to support a healthy mood as well as to improve your energy levels. Examples include supplements like L-Tyrosine, Phenylethylamine and CDP-Choline .
2. Nutraceuticals that improve energy levels on a cellular level
These are supplements that work more systemically, improving energy production on a cellular level, throughout your body. Examples include powerful antioxidants like Quercetin, Rutin, or SAL-Glutathione, which destroy harmful free radicals that may interfere with your bodys energy production. Another example is Inositol Trispyrophosphate , which improves the ability of hemoglobin to deliver oxygen to your muscles and tissues.
3. Natural immune-supporting products
4. Adaptogens to beat fatigue
Keep A Blanket And Pillow In Your Office
Rheumatoid arthritis and fatigue go hand in hand for me, says Marco S., 37, of Mission Viejo, California. When its at its worst all I want to do is sleep but, you know, I have a job. His solution? I keep a small pillow and blanket under my desk so if I have some downtime I can shut my door and take a nap.
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Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
Get Rid Of Bad Food Choices Give Your System A Rest
It takes willpower to change bad dietary habits, particularly when cravings have taken over and your body is crying out for fuel. However, its easier to stick to a healthy eating plan once you understand that the cravings are your bodys way of telling you it is crying out for fuel as it has limited energy for your needs.
Instead of being tempted to go for the quick fix of yet another coffee or sugary snack from the vending machine, take a minute to recognize what your body is trying to tell you. Make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand for times when the cravings hit, so you can fill your body with healthy fuel.
Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome have one or more food sensitivity. These can include a sensitivity to gluten, dairy, peanuts, soy, yeast and shellfish. Even some foods which are considered healthy can be detrimental to your health if you are sensitive to them. Its important to remove any allergens from your diet to give your body a rest and help it heal.
When your body senses a particular food as harmful it sets up an immune response and produces histamine. This is what causes the symptoms of itchy watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, a scratchy throat, or hives. Food sensitivities can also contribute to feelings of fatigue.
An IgG test is carried out from a blood sample and can quickly identify which foods you are sensitive to. It will provide vital information to help you refine your new healthy way of eating to suit your particular needs.
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Diagnosis Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The symptoms of CFS are very variable and can also occur with a number of other conditions. There is no special test to confirm the diagnosis of CFS usually tests are done to exclude other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, abnormalities of the thyroid gland, sleep disorders, mental health disorders and anaemia, all of which which can produce a similar picture.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. If you have symptoms suggesting ME/CFS and there are no physical findings or test results suggesting another condition, you may be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
According to the US Institute of Medicine , chronic fatigue syndrome can be diagnosed if you meet the following criteria.
You have been experiencing 3 main symptoms of:
- unexplained, severe fatigue that has lasted for 6 months or longer, is not improved by rest and significantly interferes with your daily activities and work
- post-exertional malaise extreme tiredness after an activity that takes several hours or days to recover from and
- sleep problems including unrefreshing sleep, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
You also need to have experienced at least one of these 2 additional symptoms:
- problems with memory, thinking and concentration or
- orthostatic intolerance worsening symptoms of dizziness, weakness, seeing spots or blurred vision or feeling light-headed when you are standing up or sitting upright.
Causes And Risk Factors
The cause of CFS is not known. Its possible that there are several causes, or that several factors together can lead to the development of CFS. Doctors have moved away from the idea that CFS is a psychological disorder.
Infectious illnesses such as glandular fever and other viral infections have been suspected as a possible cause or trigger for CFS. Hormonal imbalances, stress, abnormalities in energy production, genetic factors and immune system problems may also play a role, but there is no firm evidence that they cause CFS.
Its also possible that unbalanced gut microbiota may contribute to the development of some CFS symptoms.
Chronic fatigue syndrome most commonly affects people aged 40 to 60 years old, but people of any age can be affected. Women tend to be affected more than men. It is thought that CFS has a significant impact in Australia, but recent figures on the number of people affected are scarce.
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Causes Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
We still know very little about chronic fatigue, and sadly, the cause is still unknown. While researchers continue to search for the root cause of CFS, there are preliminary findings that hormonal imbalances, poor immune system response, viral infections, chronic low blood pressure and nutritional deficiency are contributing factors.
In addition, research indicates that chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to oxidative stress, Celiac disease, and food sensitivities or food allergies.
Most researchers believe that its a combination of factors that can vary from individual to individual. Viruses that can cause CFS include HHV-6, HTLV, Epstein-Barr, measles, coxsackie B, parovirus and cytomegalovirus.
How Is Fatigue Treated
To find out what is causing your fatigue, your doctor will ask you about any other symptoms and do a full examination. They may order blood tests or imaging tests, depending on what they think your condition might be.
Treatment will depend on the condition that is causing your fatigue. Sometimes, after treatment, you will feel better almost straight away. However, it might take several weeks for your fatigue to lessen.
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Can A Dietitian Help Me Fight Cancer Fatigue
Dietitians can provide suggestions to work around any symptoms that may be interfering with caloric intake. They can help you find ways to take in calories despite an early feeling of fullness, swallowing difficulty or taste changes. Dietitians can also suggest ways of maximizing calories and proteins in smaller amounts of food. They may suggest powdered milk, instant breakfast drinks and other commercial supplements or food additives.
Look At Your Personal Situation
Evaluate your level of energy. Think of your personal energy stores as a bank. Deposits and withdrawals have to be made over the course of the day or the week to balance energy gained and spent. Keep a diary for 1 week to identify the time of day when you are either most fatigued or have the most energy. Note what you think affects your fatigue.
Be alert to your personal warning signs of fatigue. Fatigue warning signs may include tired eyes, tired legs, whole-body tiredness, stiff shoulders, decreased energy or a lack of energy, inability to concentrate, weakness or malaise, boredom or lack of motivation, sleepiness, increased irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or impatience.
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Chronic Fatigue Treatment: Whats Next
Theres currently no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, nor have prescription drugs been developed to relieve the condition. Healthcare providers instead talk about managing CFSa challenge because it affects each patient in a different way. Plus, symptoms can vary over time, further complicating matters.
The most effective treatment of CFS, experts say, involves a team approach: doctors who specialize in different areas working with the patient himself. By working together, they have a better chance of creating a customized treatment program.
Doctors typically set out to relieve the most disruptive symptoms in a chronic fatigue syndrome patient. For example, some patients may experience a serious sleep disorder as one of their symptoms, whether its insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or nocturnal myoclonus . A sleep specialists treatment might involve the establishment of a hard-and-fast bedtime routine, the elimination of napping during the day, regular exercise, and the avoidance of caffeine after lunch and of alcohol and tobacco altogether.
How Can I Conserve Energy When I Have Cancer Fatigue
Plan and organize your work
- Change storage of items to reduce trips or reaching.
- Delegate when needed.
- Combine motions and activities and simplify details.
- Balance periods of rest and work.
- Rest before you feel tired.
- Frequent, short rests are beneficial.
- Do not hold your breath.
- Wear comfortable clothes to allow for free and easy breathing.
Identify anything in your environment that may contribute to cancer fatigue
- Avoid extreme temperature.
- Eliminate smoke or noxious fumes.
- Avoid long, hot showers or baths.
- Use your energy on important tasks.
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Immune Dysregulation And Inflammation
An array of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been elevated in patients withCFS, including interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha .4,52 One study found that increased levels of pro-inflammatory mediators correlated with CFS symptom severity.53 A small 2014 brain imaging study found individuals with CFS had significantly more neuroinflammation in many areas of the brain compared with healthy controls. Furthermore, inflammation in different brain regions correlated with depression and cognitive impairment scores.54 Evidence from an animal model suggests induction of an activated, pro-inflammatory state in the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, microglialcells, may be involved in the heightened pain sensitivity observed in CFS.55 Animal models also demonstrate that fatigue arises when a stimulus induces activation of microglial cells and/or there is an increase in inflammatory chemicals within the brain.56 A literature review on the mechanisms underlying depression and CFS concluded that neuroinflammation and activated microglia play a key role in both conditions, and present an important therapeutic target.57
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
If youre not sleeping well, its a given that youre going to feel fatigue. People with autoimmune or inflammatory diseases have to work even harder to get good rest, so you have to make quality sleep one of your top priorities, Dr. Cohen says. We could write a whole article on sleep tips for people with arthritis but the short version: make sure your room is dark, cool, comfortable, and quiet. Dr. Cohen also suggests you keep your bedroom solely for low-stress activities, move electronics out of the room, and get evaluated for sleep problems if you snore or have insomnia.
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What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The cause of CFS is not yet fully understood, but it is likely that several factors contribute to its development. There are changes in the immune system and body chemistry.
CFS is usually triggered by a viral infection, such as glandular fever or influenza, but any infection may be the trigger. It is likely that the potential for getting CFS is genetic and runs in families. Some people experience ongoing effects of COVID-19 infection, known as long COVID, which are very similar to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Other factors that may contribute include:
- emotional or physical distress
- multiple joint pain without joint swelling or redness
- headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
- unrefreshing sleep
- tiredness that can last for more than 24 hours after physical or mental effort.
Some people also report a range of other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome , bloating, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, jaw pain, night sweats, increased sensitivity to alcohol or medication, chronic cough, dizzy spells or dry eyes.
The severity of symptoms can vary from day to day, or even within a day.