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Living With Chronic Pain And Fatigue

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Be Mindful Of Your Energy

Fibromyalgia Flare // Living With Chronic Pain & Fatigue // April 2019

Ladhani says it is important that people with chronic pain and fatigue be mindful of their energy levels. If they feel their symptoms rising, they can tell themselves, “I need to do something that’s kind to myself to give back so that I feel that I’m ready to do the rest of my day.”

This could be reading a book or engaging with a self-care activity. “I also try to teach them to be insightful as to what are their energy drainers. What are the things that suck energy from them and to start to be aware of that,” Ladhani says.

She also recommends, if possible, that people with chronic pain and chronic fatigue outsource some of their energy drainers, like cleaning, so they have the energy to do taskswork-related or for funthat they want to do.

Boost Your Vitamin D Intake

Many people are deficient in vitamin D, a nutrient that is vital for a healthy immune system and may play a role in energy and fatigue. Your body can produce its own vitamin D when exposed to sunshine and you can get some vitamin D from your diet, such as from fish and fortified milk, but if your vitamin D levels are very low you may need to take a vitamin D supplement. You can talk to your doctor about whether you should get a blood test to check your vitamin D levels.

Tips To Avoid Living With Chronic Pain And Fatigue

Sometimes it can be difficult to predict how life will be in the future hence the need to expect both sides of life. A lot can happen to the body that may lead to chronic pain and fatigue making it impossible to continue with the normal ways of your life. No part of the body is immune to the pain hence the best way to continue living with the pain calls for proper management.

The fact that you are living with multiple chronic conditions and pain doesnt necessarily mean death, and you can still live a reasonable life. Even though the pain that you experience may drain your joy and create depression, you can still work closely with your doctor to manage the pain. Some of the pain experienced in the body are normal while others may lead to extreme fatigue. Ways that will help you leave positively with chronic pain include:

  • Understand the pain

  • You must first understand the pain that you are going through and the best way to deal with them. Dont build much pain on the mind and feel its taking control of what you are experiencing. Work with professionals who understand the cause of fatigue and how to manage the pain.

  • Avoid being lonely

  • Being lonely can easily drain your strength when you have pain and fatigue. Keep the company of what entertains you most to help control the impact that pain will have on your body. You can enhance your social life and meet new people that will help you forget of bad and the painful moment of the past.

  • Dont neglect yourself

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    How Diabetes Causes Pain

    Diabetes causes pain by damaging tiny blood vessels all over the body due to sugar accumulation within arteries. Around 20 to 60 percent of diabetes patients report chronic pain to their physicians. Diabetes patients are also prone to back, neck, and joint pain, as well as abdominal pain caused by damage to the nerves in the gut.

    Peripheral neuropathy is another common pain for those with diabetes to experience. This is when poor circulation causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet. If not treated by regulating blood sugar levels, neuropathy can lead to tissue death and amputation.

    What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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    Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis , is a complex, chronic neurological condition affecting the brain, muscles, digestive system, immune system, cardiac system and other areas of the body .

    ME/CFS is characterised by post-exertional malaise , which describes the worsening of symptoms after physical or mental activity. Some people might experience PEM after going on a walk, while those with a more severe illness might trigger it by simply brushing their teeth or reading a sentence. Once triggered, PEM may persist for days, weeks or months .

    Note that PEM may not occur immediately after exertion and can start 24 hours later in some cases .

    The cause of ME/CFS is not yet understood and there is no cure .

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    Ask About Flexible Work Arrangements

    On days when the fatigue overwhelms Marco, he has the option of working from home. Its not an option for everyone but if you think your job might allows it, its worth asking about it, he says. My boss is pretty understanding and I try to limit it to days when the flare-ups are really bad, he explains. My last boss would never have let me do it though, so it really is about your office culture. Here are more tips for navigating work with chronic illness.

    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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    Our App Helps Reduce Persistent Pain

    • Monitor patterns in your fatigue

    Monitoring when your fatigue is at its highest can allow you to see patterns you can identify times in the day when you have the most energy and plan activities to utilize these times.

    • Maintain a good sleep routine

    When sleep is challenging to achieve, its vital to give yourself the best chance possible. Going to bed and rising at the same day each day winding down before bed using relaxation techniques keeping your bedroom comfortable being active during the day and more, can all help you to sleep more peacefully.

    • Eat a nutritious diet

    Ensuring that you are eating energy rich foods and healthy balanced meals to help your body fight fatigue. Replacing foods that contribute to inflammation or provide empty calories like processed foods and junk food with healthy alternatives, such as fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins, can make a significant difference.

    • Drink enough

    Dehydration is often overlooked without the right amount of liquids your body can struggle just as much as without the right nutrients. Your body needs water to carry nutrients around your body, to help keep your digestive system moving, to help rid the body of harmful bacteria and more: every system in your body uses water!

    • Avoid caffeine
    • Stay active
    • Rest regularly
    • Reduce stress
    • Maintain your mental health
    • Use mindfulness or talking therapies

    Please note: This article is made available for educational purposes only, not to provide personal medical advice.

    Everything Became More Pronounced After Getting Covid

    Top 5 Tips for living with ME/CFS. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

    It has been a long, hard road 12 years to be exact and I am still not sure I am properly diagnosed as I am almost positive I have ME/CFS. I developed Covid in early 2020 before testing was available. Right now I have been told to take vitamins, but last year I was on a steroid and an antiviral and felt much better, but I cant find a doctor to put me back on those medications right now. Everything became more pronounced after getting Covid and I developed new symptoms mainly shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, which were ongoing for over 15 months. It can be quite frustrating being passed off to specialists, only treating symptoms they know and not looking at the full picture. Rose, 57, former legal secretary, Florida, US lives with long Covid, endometriosis, chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic low back pain.

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    Psa Can Cause Chronic Joint Pain

    PsA is a chronic disease characterized by arthritic inflammation of the joints, including dactylitis and enthesis. Enthesitis is inflammation where tendons and ligaments connect to the bone, while dactylitis is inflammation of the small joints of the hands and feet. This inflammation in the hands can make fingers look like sausages, such as Klockow experienced. In addition, PsA can affect the spine, similar to ankylosing spondylitis.

    About 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop PsA. According to the Joint American Academy of Dermatology/National Psoriasis Foundation Guidelines of Care for the Management and Treatment of Psoriasis with Awareness and Attention to Comorbidities: In the vast majority of adult patients, skin manifestation of psoriasis precedes PsA, often by years. Some people develop PsA and never notice or develop psoriasis. Technically, Klockow says, she was never told she has psoriasis.

    As a chronic inflammatory disease, PsA is associated with joint pain, says rheumatologist Dafna Gladman, M.D., professor of medicine at University of Toronto and senior scientist at Toronto Western Research Institute in Ontario, Canada. The joint pain from PsA is likely to be chronic unless the inflammation is controlled, Dr. Gladman says.

    Schedule Injections For Weekends

    My injections for my rheumatoid arthritis really kick my butt, like I cant get out of bed unless its to go to the bathroom, says Genevieve L., 30, of Melbourne, Australia. Thankfully the exhaustion is the worst on the first day and improves each day after. Ive learned to just schedule my injections for Fridays after work so I can sleep it off on Saturday, she says.

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    I Have Had Gps Who Clearly Do Not Know What Cfs/me Is

    I waited seven years to access treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder despite the fact that I had chronic migraines so regularly I couldnt work full-time. At one point I was recommended treatment and then was told there was no point once I disclosed I also had mental health problems, because the condition would just recur. I have had chronic fatigue syndrome for around five years but have never been formally diagnosed as this does not seem to be an option. There are no treatments. I have been referred to a centre for integrative care who offer support in living with the condition but I had to ask for the referral after a recommendation from a friend with the same condition. I feel that because I am a young woman my pain level is not believed and the debilitating impact of these conditions on my life is not recognised. I have had GPs who clearly do not know what CFS/ME is and also do not believe it exists. I had to struggle and argue for several months with my GP to get a Covid vaccine despite the fact I have been shielding since the outbreak of the pandemic due to the increased risk that CFS/ME gives me, because I am terrified of how long Covid would impact me. Mel, 27, Glasgow, Scotland, UK lives with ME/CFS, irritable bowel syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorder.

    Ways To Work With Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain And Fatigue

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    • Modifications to your work station
    • Using a discreet heating pad
    • Have healthy snacks and loads of water
    • Appropriate breaks you tea breaks but also micro breaks. Productivity research shows the ideal work to rest ratio is 52:17 , but I doubt that will go down well with your boss. So at least 5 minutes every half hour during sustained computer work, stretch and look away from the computer. And a couple minutes here and there to stretch fingers and gently shake out your hands.
    • If you usually stand for work, try to sit in your break . If you usually sit try to walk for part of your break.
    • Stretching- discreet regular stretches and full stretches where possible .
    • Meditation- during longer breaks and/right after work
    • Breathing regularly! Feeling tired, sore or stressed? Inhale for four, pause for two, exhale for six.
    • Use your sick leave when you need it.
    • Use the physical therapy that works for you .

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    Am I Missing Something

    Outpatient assessment of a patient with fatigue and chronic pain can be challenging. This is particularly the case when the patient is polysymptomatic and they have had many interactions with healthcare professionals before. It is all too easy to admit defeat as in Dr A’s case, or initiate a test or another referral in response to every symptom described by the patient during the course of their illness . How can this be avoided?

    One approach is to adopt the snapshot approach and ask the patient to identify a maximum of three live clinical problems , highlighting which is the most significant one. If the primary problem is fatigue or pain , it can be highly informative to identify the single most important additional symptom: the plus one approach. This should raise a specific subset of diagnostic possibilities, often limited in number, which will prompt further, more focused direct questioning, and may inform an initial investigation strategy, if considered appropriate.

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    Inability to Focus

    When the only thing you can focus on is the pain, its hard to focus on anything else. Right now, Im sitting here trying to write this article, and the only thing I can really think about is my pounding headache.

    Anyone with chronic pain can tell you the more they try to focus on something else, the greater the pain gets. Many chronic pain sufferers have arthritis which makes sitting for more than even a few minutes painful. I have a hard time sitting to write simply because my neck gets so stiff. I have to get up and walk around to relieve the pain, which breaks my concentration.

    Sleep Disturbances

    Not only can the pain interfere with getting quality sleep, but the depression can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. After a day of severe pain, I tend to oversleep because Im so tired of tolerating the intense pain.

    Oversleeping just makes things worse, however. After 8 hours of sleep, my neck is stiffer than a board, and most of the time I wake up with a headache.

    People with arthritis tend to have the same problem. Lying in a bed for 8 hours leads to stiff joints because inflammation is able to build up and muscles tighten because they arent being used.

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    Why Pacing Yourself Can Be Difficult

    Some people with chronic illness may struggle with pacing because they may feel like they failed for doing less than what seems “normal.” Other people may avoid doing activities altogether because they associate it with chronic pain or fatigue.

    “What I say to initially is ‘you know it’s always hard for us to accept things that feel like they’re being imposed on us things we didn’t have a choice in getting diagnosed with a chronic condition, especially as a young person,'” Shorey says. “But the fact of the matter is, at some point or another, we’re all going to have to learn to pace.”

    It may also take a while for some patients to realize that they need to work with their current chronic pain and chronic fatigue levels. Shamin Ladhani, PsyD, a pain psychologist based in Wisconsin, tells Verywell that some patients may bounce from doctor to doctor looking for a cure.

    “We have to kind of find out where they are in that status of motivation to change before we can kind of say can ‘we are in an acceptance place,'” Ladhani says. Pacing does not replace medication but it can help people manage their symptoms in conjunction with medication.

    What About Nutrition For Chronic Fatigue

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    For nutrition protocol, we use the Body Ecology Diet to sustain astronger foundation and help to eliminate perpetuating factors in our diet suchas sugars, excess grains, yeast and additives.

    For exercise guidelines, I have included an important additional article on working outwith CFS and ways to avoid post exercise malaise and stay consistent. As a trainer living and working with Fibro and the primary co-conditions, I have gotten creative over the years in creating and modifying exercises and routines that are appropriate for CFS/ME and Fibro.

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    Crip Time As Disbelief

    Becoming chronically pained does not happen in an instant. A new pain must first be an acute pain before it becomes chronic participants did not report waking one day knowing they were chronically pained. It is a slow process, taking months and even years for pain to be recognised as chronic pain, both by the pained person and by others. For David and Charlie, who experienced pain caused by injury, and Rita, who experienced pain from childhood surgery, aspects of their pain had a known cause, and a known beginning but for all of them, their pain, and their lives with pain, had changed significantly since that point, as their bodyminds aged and grew. For Charlie and Rita, that pain-with-cause was joined by pain-without-causepain they experienced but had no diagnosis for, and those diagnoses suggested by medics fell under the broad umbrella of diagnoses not fully understood or explained by modern Western medicine.4 For five of the eight participants, their experiences of what Mollow terms undocumented disabilities went hand-in-glove with their chronic pain. Their pain is one of the many impairments that are invisible and not definitively measurable by mainstream Western medical technologies .

    The change in capacities that comes with chronic pain and illness led to a period of what Julie described as mourning, writing in her email interview:

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