Chronic Stress And Long
Aches and pains are common symptoms of stress, however, ongoing pain or stiffness may be a sign of a more serious problem.
A 2018 study published by PubMed revealed Stress-related disorders were significantly associated with risk of subsequent autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to produce antibodies which attack and damage the bodys healthy tissue instead of fighting infection. In certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, the antibodies attach to connective tissue within the joints leading to pain, stiffness, swelling, andwithout treatmentpotentially permanent joint damage.
Autoimmune diseases are often incurable however, early intervention and treatment can help prevent further damage and joint deterioration.
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How Can I Ease Or Relieve Fatigue
If a medical condition isnât causing your fatigue, lifestyle changes may improve your symptoms. To reduce fatigue, you can:
- Practice good sleep habits: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Donât drink caffeine, use electronics, or exercise right before bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Avoid toxins: Donât use illegal drugs, and drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
- Eat a healthy diet: A balanced diet and plenty of water will keep your body nourished and hydrated.
- Manage stress: Yoga, mindfulness, meditation and regular exercise can help you relieve stress and gain more energy.
- See your healthcare provider: Make an appointment to rule out infections, disease, illness, vitamin deficiencies and other health conditions. You should also talk to your provider about medications youâre taking to see if they are causing your symptoms.
- Exercise often: Regular exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, vigorous exercise can help you feel more energetic once you get used to it. But exercising too much can cause fatigue, so talk to your provider about whatâs best for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Talk to your healthcare provider about your ideal weight, and try to stay within that range.
If You Complain Of A Generalized Lack Of Energy You Are Complaining Of:
Fatigue refers to a lack of energy. It is different from weakness, which refers to a loss of strength or power, and drowsiness, because you can feel tired without feeling drowsy or sleepy. Although people sometimes use these terms interchangeably, from a medical perspective the symptoms are distinctly different.
Chronic fatigue is one aspect of the specific medical condition myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, but ME/CFS involves more than just fatigue. You can have chronic fatigue without having chronic fatigue syndrome. ME/CFS is extreme, long-term fatigue that is associated with other multiple symptoms. Also, in ME/CFS, other possible causes of fatigue have been ruled out.
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Eosinophilic Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis
Formerly known as Churg Strauss syndrome, this autoimmune disease is characterized by elevated levels of white blood cells called eosinophils, which often leads to inflammation in blood vessels. That, in turn, can lead to damage in the lungs, kidney, heart and other systems in the body. Most people with this disease have asthma and allergy symptoms first.
Symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflamed joints
Rheumatoid arthritis , a type of inflammatory arthritis, is another cause of excessive fatigue. Because joint damage can result in disability, early and aggressive treatment is the best approach for rheumatoid arthritis.
Medications that may be used early in mild RA include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
Other drugs used in more serious forms of RA include the anti-cytokine therapies , as well as shots and other forms of treatment.
Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Sjogrens disease, may also cause fatigue.
How Much Sleep Do People Need
It varies, but on average studies say we need at least 7 to 9 hours every day. Studies have reported that most night shift workers get about 5 to 7 hours less sleep per week than the day shift. Humans follow an internal or biological clock cycle of sleep, wakefulness, and alertness. Although these circadian rhythms are influenced by external clues such as the sun setting and rising, it is the brain that sets your pattern. Most cycles are 23-25 hours long and there are natural dips or periods when you feel tired or less alert even for those who are well-rested.
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Fatigue Cause No 1: Heart Disease
When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it’s becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.
Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.
Symptoms Of Fatigue In Inflammatory Arthritis
Just like there are many causes of fatigue, there are also many symptoms that may indicate what you have is inflammatory arthritis-related fatigue. Its very subjective and not quantifiable with a lab or measurable outcome, which is why fatigue can feel so frustrating and overwhelming, says Dr. Cohen. You cant quantify it, but you know its not normal.
Heres a look at some of the key symptoms to discuss with your health care team:
Dr. Khattri says that while symptoms of fatigue and feeling tired do overlap, fatigue is often at the extreme end. You feel like you have no control.
With normal tired you know sleep can fix it, says CreakyJoints community member Lel. Fatigue decides when its over youre just a helpless bystander.
Change in energy levels
While some patients wake up feeling fatigue, others experience sudden, overwhelming changes in energy levels and simply hit a wall.
RA fatigue stops me in my tracks. I feel myself fading out suddenly, then I have to rest . It feels like sandbags dropped on me, says CreakyJoints community member Kristina H. It hits me around the same time every day, or sometimes I wake up knowing its going to be a low energy day.
Increase in flares
Research shows that poor sleep can make the symptoms of fatigue worse, increasing sensitivity to pain, irritability, and making it that much harder to concentrate, says Dr. Cohen.
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Getting Adequate Rest Can Fight Short
In most cases, chronic fatigue is not substantially improved by rest. Chronic fatigue often makes it more difficult to get adequate rest. Similarly, fatigue can interfere with sleep, resulting in unrefreshing sleep, difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakening, or sleep apnea.
Rest is unlikely to relieve fatigue caused by a medical condition.
Food Allergies Food Intolerance And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, sleepiness, continued exhaustion
Although food is supposed to give you energy, medical research suggests that hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. In fact, fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance or food allergy. Celiac disease, which happens when you cant digest gluten, may also cause fatigue.
Ask your doctor about the elimination diet. This is a diet in which you cut out certain foods linked to a variety of symptoms, including sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them, for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test — or invest in a home test such as ALCAT — which may help you identify the offending foods.
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Fatigue Due To Insufficient Or Poor Quality Sleep
Not surprisingly, if you are not getting a sufficient number of hours of sleep, you will feel tired. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that adults sleep 7-8 hours each night, yet one in three of us are not getting that. You may be able to function on more or less than the recommended number of hours, but its important to get in the habit of achieving them every night.
You may also feel extreme tiredness if your sleep is of poor quality. Signs that your sleep quality needs to improve are:
- You take more than half an hour to fall asleep after getting into bed
- You tend to wake up more than once per night
- Once awake in the middle of the night, it takes you more than 20 minutes to get back to sleep
- You are asleep less than 85% of your time in bed
Generally, poor sleep is due to bad sleeping habits which can be improved. There are also medical causes of poor sleep quality, such as sleep apnea.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If youre worried you may be experiencing symptoms of an autoimmune condition, be sure to see a healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation, which will include a thorough physical examination, blood tests, and possibly imaging tests.
If your primary care or family healthcare provider suspects an autoimmune process, you will likely be referred to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist , an endocrinologist , or a gastroenterologist .
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How Will Your Doctor Treat Fatigue
Your doctors recommended treatment plan will depend on whats causing your fatigue. To make a diagnosis, they will likely ask you questions about:
- the nature of your fatigue, including when it started and whether it gets better or worse at certain times
- other symptoms that youve been experiencing
- other medical conditions that you have
- your lifestyle and sources of stress
- medications that youre taking
If your doctor suspects you have an underlying medical condition thats causing your fatigue, they may order some medical tests. For example, they may order blood or urine tests.
Types Of Mental Health Professionals
Your doctor might refer you to any of the following mental health professionals:
Psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. A psychiatrist’s training starts with four years of medical school and is followed by a one-year internship and at least three years of specialized training as a psychiatric resident. A psychiatrist is trained to differentiate mental health problems from other underlying medical conditions that could present with psychiatric symptoms. They also monitor the effects of mental illness on other physical conditions , and the effects of medicines on the body .
As a medical doctor, a psychiatrist is licensed to write prescriptions. Many mental disorders — such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, or bipolar disorder — can be treated effectively with specific drugs. If you are working with a psychiatrist, a lot of the treatment may be focused on medication management. Sometimes medication alone is enough to treat the mental illness. Sometimes a combination of medication and psychotherapy or counseling is needed. If that is the case, the psychiatrist may provide the psychotherapy, or the psychiatrist may refer you to a counselor or other type of mental health professional.
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Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people’s lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog — a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Shift work can wreak havoc on your bodys 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. When you work nights or rotate shifts, your body doesnt know when to be awake and when to sleep, which causes fatigue.
Daylight is often a cue to be awake. If you must sleep during the day, try to make your sleeping area as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. If you must work at night, keep your workplace brightly lit. Try to work night shifts all in a row and avoid frequently rotating shifts. Stay away from caffeine, and stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible on days off.
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Never Ignore Chronic Body Aches & Fatigue
Chronic body aches and fatigue can affect anyone- no matter what your age- and can be a quite stressful experience.
Some of the most common body aches include neck/back pain, muscle pain, headaches, and joint pain. In addition, there is neuropathic pain, which is a condition that results in a malfunction of the nervous system.
Chronic body aches and fatigue can be a serious medical condition that needs medical attention and should never be ignored.
Following are some of the most common causes of body aches and fatigue that you should be aware of.
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Fatigue Cause No : Hidden Uti
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection , you’re probably familiar with the burning pain and sense of urgency. But the infection does not always announce itself with such obvious symptoms. In some cases, fatigue may be the only sign. A urine test can quickly confirm a UTI.
Fix: Antibiotics are the cure for UTIs, and the fatigue will usually vanish within a week.
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Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
When Is Being Too Tired A Problem
Let’s face it: We aren’twhat we used to be as we get on up there. Aging has many wonderful aspects, butone of the many problems is that we do not have the stamina and energy we didwhen younger. That is a normal part of aging and just something that comes withthe territory. However, being excessively tired or listless can be termedfatigue.
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Fatigue Cause No : Hypothyroidism
The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck. It controls your metabolism, the speed at which your body converts fuel into energy. When the gland is underactive and the metabolism functions too slowly, you may feel sluggish and put on weight.
Fix: If a blood test confirms your thyroid hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed.
Nerve Conditions Which Damage Muscles
Conditions affecting nerves tend to lead to true muscle weakness. This is because if the nerve to a muscle fibre stops working, the muscle fibre cant work either and it will become floppy and eventually shrivel.
Neurological conditions: muscle weakness can be caused by cerebrovascular disease such as stroke and brain haemorrhage and spinal injury. Tumours in the brain can also lead to muscle weakness. Muscles which become partially or completely paralysed lose their normal strength and will eventually waste. Some recovery is possible but it will be slow and may not be complete.
Spine-related conditions: when nerves are damaged as they emerge from the spine , weakness can result. When the discs slip out, they press on nerves headed lower down in the body. The weakness affects only the muscles served by the irritated or compressed nerve.
Other uncommon nerve conditions:Multiple sclerosis : this is caused by damage to nerves in the brain and spinal cord and can cause sudden paralysis. This can recover partially but does not always do so.
: this is a post-viral paralysing disease which causes weakness and loss of muscle function from the fingers and toes upwards. It may last many months, although complete recovery is usual.
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