What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, is a condition in which fatigue lasts six months or longer and is not related to other diseases or conditions. People with CFS experience symptoms that make it hard to do daily tasks like dressing or bathing. Along with severe fatigue that doesnt get better with rest, CFS symptoms can include problems with sleep, memory and concentrating, pain, dizziness, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes. Learn more about CFS.
What Causes Extreme Fatigue In Men
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Fact: Caffeine Provides A Mild Boost
Whether in the form of coffee, soft drinks, or gum, caffeine can briefly increase alertness. Keep in mind that the effect takes about 30 minutes to kick in, so you may want to pull over and rest until you perk up. This temporary fix has its limits — caffeine canât overcome severe fatigue and may have little impact on regular coffee drinkers.
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Why Am I So Tired What Am I Lacking
If your tiredness isnt caused by something obvious such as a lack of sleep and you dont suspect an underlying condition such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid, its sometimes worth looking at what youre eating and what nutrients you may be lacking.
There are a handful of vitamin deficiencies that might be the cause of your fatigue. If youre deficient in iron , vitamin B12 , or vitamin D , tiredness and consistent fatigue can occur.
Think this may be the case for you? You can check in on your vitamin levels from the comfort of home with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home vitamin and mineral tests which test for some of the most common vitamin deficiencies.
Fatigue can be a result of a number of different health conditions or illnesses. If you feel as if youre always tired and its not a result of any lifestyle changes such as an increase in physical activity, its important to find out more. You can do this by visiting your doctor and keeping a close eye on your health and wellbeing with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home health tests.
Fact: Common Medications Can Trigger Drowsiness
Many common medications, such as those used to treat colds, allergies, or motion sickness, can hinder alertness on the road. If the bottle lists drowsiness as a side effect or warns against operating a motor vehicle, itâs best not to get behind the wheel. Even small amounts of alcohol can amplify the fatigue associated with these medications.
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You’ll Stress The Health Care System
Over the weekend, nearly a quarter of the more than 5,000 hospitals that report into the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said they were suffering a “critical staff shortage.”
That’s a larger number than any other time during the pandemic, the data showed.
Staffing shortages are expected to grow even more as frontline health care workers are either infected or forced to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. The dearth of health care staff couldn’t come at a worse time — more than 138,000 Covid-19 patients were in U.S. hospitals as of Saturday, according to HHS.
In addition, the HHS data found that ICUs across the country are more than 80 per cent full, with almost 30 per cent of the beds being used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Elective surgeries are being cut, and health care officials are worried that the nation’s health system won’t be able to do its job.
“The health care system is not just designed to take care of people with Covid. It’s designed to take care of kids with appendicitis and people who have heart attacks and get into car accidents,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN on Sunday.
“And all of that is going to be much, much more difficult because we have a large proportion of the population that is not vaccinated, plenty of high-risk people who are not boosted,” he added.
Rheumatoid Arthritis And Fatigue
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 Sjogren’s disease, may also cause fatigue.
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Myth: Its Best Not To Eat While On The Road
Sure, stopping for a big bowl of spaghetti might be a ticket to dreamland. But depriving yourself of food is not the answer. During long road trips, you can maintain a steady energy supply by eating a healthy snack every two hours. The best choices combine protein with complex carbs, such as cheese on a whole-grain cracker.
Is It Sleepiness Or Fatigue
Sleepiness can occur when a person does not get enough good quality sleep, or when they have a lack of stimulation. It can also be a symptom of a health condition that interferes with sleep, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
Sleepiness is more likely to be short-term than fatigue. It is usually treatable with regular and consistent sleep.
However, fatigue especially when it is chronic is often associated with a health condition or problem. It may also be its own chronic condition, called chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Fatigue is associated with many health conditions and lifestyle factors. The sections below will outline these in more detail.
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How Can I Feel Less Tired
Some changes to your lifestyle can make you feel less tired. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep a fatigue diary to help you find patterns throughout the day when you feel more or less tired.
- Exercise regularly. Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. If you have concerns about starting an exercise program, ask your doctor if there are any activities you should avoid. Moderate exercise may improve your appetite, energy, and outlook. Some people find that exercises combining balance and breathing improve their energy.
- Try to avoid long naps late in the day. Long naps can leave you feeling groggy and may make it harder to fall asleep at night. Read A Good Nights Sleep for tips on getting better rest at night.
- Stop smoking.Smoking is linked to many diseases and disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, and breathing problems, which can drain your energy.
- Ask for help if you feel swamped. Some people have so much to do that just thinking about their schedules can make them feel tired. Working with others may help a job go faster and be more fun.
When To See A Doctor For Your Fatigue
If youre still feeling tired all the time despite doing all you can to improve your diet, sleep and exercise habits, its time to see a doctor. Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and lifestyle and see if you have any other medical issues or are taking any medications. Your doctor may ask you to have various tests to see if you have another medical condition that is causing your extreme fatigue. If this is the case, you will get the answer to why you feel exhausted and be on your way to being treated and feeling better.
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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.
Fatigue Cause No : Sleep Apnea
Some people think they’re sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: youâre sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed. Your doctor may order a sleep study to check for this.
Fix: Lose weight if you’re overweight, quit smoking, and you may need a CPAP device to help keep your airway passages open while you sleep.
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The Doctor May Examine You
The doctor may check your weight and height, if it seems relevant. You may not be examined, as it may depend on your answers to some of the questions above however, the doctor may think it relevant to:
- Check your lymph glands to see if they are enlarged.
- Check your thyroid gland to see if it is enlarged.
- Look at your eyes to see if you might be anaemic.
- Listen to your chest and feel your tummy and the organs in your tummy.
- Check your joints for swelling or inflammation.
- Check the strength of your arms and/or legs.
- Ask you for a sample of your urine to check for sugar or infection.
How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated
There’s no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. But experts say that these lifestyle changes can help:
- Include regular, carefully planned exercise in your daily routine. Exercise can increase energy and make a person feel better. People with CFS should pace themselves while doing any physical activity that requires exertion. Talk with a doctor what’s right for you you don’t want to overdo it and get discouraged. Studies show that “graded exercise” is very helpful in CFS recovery.
- Follow stress-management and stress-reduction techniques. A doctor or therapist can teach these they’re great ways to take control of some aspects of the illness.
- Ensure good sleep habits to overcome CFS-related sleep problems.
- Work on ways to keep track of important things, such as keeping lists and making notes, you have problems with concentration or memory.
Meeting regularly with a therapist or counselor can help in CFS treatment. The main goals of therapy are to help people cope with the illness and to change negative or unrealistic thoughts or feelings into positive, realistic ones.
Having a positive feeling that you can get better is very helpful. Therapy and support groups can also help teens with CFS and their parents deal with the academic or social challenges brought on by the illness, such as missed school, falling grades, or withdrawal from friends and social situations.
Doctors may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medicines for some of these symptoms.
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Where To Get Help
- Your doctor
- Wilson J, Morgan S, Magin P, et al. 2014, Fatigue a rational approach to investigation, Australian Family Physician, vol. 43, no. 7, pp. 457-461, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. More information here.
- Fatigue, 2013, MedlinePlus, US National Library of Medicine. More information here.
- Fatigue, Mayo Clinic, USA. More information here.
- Fatigue in the workplace, WorkSafe Victoria. More information here.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
You should see your healthcare provider if your fatigue:
- Has come on suddenly and is not the result of normal short-term physical or mental stress
- Is not relieved with rest, sleep, or removal of stressors
- Has become severe or chronic
- Is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms
- Irregular or fast heart rate
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When To See A Doctor About Being Tired All The Time
While making certain lifestyle tweaks could help with your fatigue, its unlikely to do much if youre struggling with an underlying health condition. In those situations, youll need to seek help from a medical professional.
Of course, that can be tricky to detect on your own. So, when should you seek medical attention? If fatigue is persistent, and it is disrupting daily tasks, work productivity, or limiting your participation in enjoyable activities, it may be time to speak to your doctor, Dr. Waters says.
Treatment Of Normal Fatigue
If one has fatigue from any of the things that cause it listed above, you don’t have to be a doctor to understand that if you eliminate the cause, then this should remedy the problem. In other words, if you are not getting enough sleep, then get enough by trying to be regular in time of retiring and getting up. If you are doing too much to too little then do the opposite. For example, moderate exercise on a regular basis is a very good treatment for couch potato syndrome. If medicines are the problem, talk to your physician about substitutions with a medicine that does not cause fatigue in you. Today there are often many good medicines that can be used for treatment of a medical problem that vary in their degree of side effects, especially drowsiness.
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Fact: A Short Nap Is The Best Solution
According to the National Sleep Foundation, pulling over for a short nap is the most effective way to restore alertness on the road. Park in a safe, well-lit area. Set your watch or phone to wake you up in 15. Then let yourself really wake up before you get back on the road. Longer naps can increase grogginess and disorientation. If you plan to nap longer than half an hour, it may be best to stop for the night.
What May Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Why chronic fatigue syndrome occurs is unclear and complex. Researchers conclude that infections, like pneumonia and bronchitis, and other immune deficiencies can be related to chronic fatigue syndrome. Depression, pain, and sleep disturbances frequently occur with chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you suspect chronic fatigue syndrome, you should find a healthcare practitioner who can take a holistic approach to your health and uncover underlying health issues and lifestyle factors that may contribute to your fatigue.
Unfortunately, patients sometimes feel frustrated that they havent been able to get answers from their doctors or by asking . They might see symptoms like chronic fatigue as in their head or they lack motivation or willpower.
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Heart Disease And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue from an activity that should be easy
If youre exhausted after an activity that used to be easy — for example, walking up the steps — it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. If your fatigue is related to your heart, medication or treatments can usually help correct the problem, cut the fatigue, and restore your energy.
Questions A Doctor May Ask Include The Following:
- Do you feel drowsy or weak?
- Do you feel down or depressed?
- Has your fatigue developed slowly or suddenly?
- Is it cyclical or constant?
- What do you think the cause might be?
- Have you experienced any significant life events recently?
- Is your life in balance? Consider work, relationships, physical, emotional, social, sense of worth and recreation.
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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.
Fact: A Companion Can Help During Long Road Trips
For long road trips, itâs best to bring a companion — if possible, someone who can share in the driving. Pull over and switch seats about every 100 miles or every two hours. Whoever is not behind the wheel should stay awake and talk to the driver. The passenger can also keep a watchful eye for signs that the driver might be nodding off.
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Underactive Thyroid And Fatigue
Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, sluggishness, feeling run-down, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain
The problem may be a slow or underactive thyroid. This is known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, about 17% of all women will have a thyroid disorder by age 60. And most won’t know it. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should. The result is hypothyroidism, or a slow metabolism.
Blood tests known as T3 and T4 will detect thyroid hormones. If these hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed, and you should begin to feel better fairly rapidly.
Myth: Better Drowsy Than Drunk
Most people are aware of the dangers of driving drunk, but they may not take sleepiness seriously. Thatâs a mistake. Researchers have found that going 18 to 24 hours without sleep is a risk similar to being legally drunk, when it comes to driver impairment. Like alcohol, sleepiness and fatigue lead to poor judgment and reaction time, not to mention the risk of dozing off.
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