Eating And Drinking Habits
Diet can affect how tired or energetic a person feels. Maintaining a moderate and well-balanced diet can lead to better health and better sleep.
Here are some tips to try:
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
- Eat snacks that are low in sugar.
- Avoid junk food and follow a well-balanced, healthful diet.
- Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
What Is Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Its easy to confuse sleepiness with fatigue, since both conditions are characterized by a lack of energy and may arise under similar circumstances, such as being awake for a long time. The principal difference is that people with fatigue may be unable to fall asleep despite feeling tired and sluggish. It is also possible to experience simultaneous fatigue and sleepiness.
Differences Between Sleepiness And Fatigue
It may seem like semantics, arguing over the meanings of similar words, but the difference between sleepiness and fatigue really does matter. Not only can discriminating between these distinctive feelings identify different causes, but it may also help to treat certain disorders.
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What Helps Me Manage My Fatigue
Expect you or a loved one may develop post-COVID fatigue, regardless of how unwell you or they were during the actual infection.
Vaccines help reduce the risk of post-COVID fatigue by lowering the chance of catching COVID in the first place. Vaccinated people who do catch COVID are less likely to report fatigue and are less likely to develop long COVID.
However, vaccination is not 100% protective and there are plenty of fully vaccinated people who go on to develop longer term fatigue.
The evidence for what helps you recover from post-COVID fatigue is in its infancy. However, a few things do help:
1. pace yourself: adjust the return to normal activities to your energy levels. Choose your priorities and focus on what you can do rather than what you cant
2. return to exercise gradually: a gradual return to exercise may help your recovery, but you may need some support about how to manage or avoid fatigue afterwards. Some therapists occupational therapists, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists specialise in this. So ask your GP for a recommendation
3. prioritise sleep: rather than feeling guilty about sleeping so much, remind yourself that while you sleep, your body conserves energy and heals. Disrupted sleep patterns are an unfortunate COVID symptom. Having a strict bedtime, while also resting when you feel tired during the day, is important
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.
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What Causes Excessive Sleepiness
Any condition that keeps you from getting good quantity and quality sleep at night can cause excessive sleepiness during the day. Daytime sleepiness may be the only symptom you know, but other signs, such as snoring or kicking, may be occurring while youre asleep.
For many people with sleep disorders, its a bed partner who observes other key symptoms. Regardless of the cause, its important to have your sleep condition evaluated if daytime sleepiness is keeping you from making the most of your day.
Among the more common causes of excessive sleepiness are:
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider right away if you have any of the following:
- Confusion or dizziness
- Little or no urine, or recent swelling and weight gain
- Thoughts of harming yourself or of committing suicide
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue, especially if you also have a fever or unintentional weight loss
- Constipation, dry skin, weight gain, or you cannot tolerate cold
- Wake up and fall back to sleep many times during the night
- Headaches often
- Are taking medicines, prescribed or non-prescribed, or using drugs that may cause fatigue or drowsiness
- Feel sad or depressed
Treatment depends on the cause of your fatigue symptoms.
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What Is Pots And Why Does It Cause Fatigue
POTS is a group of symptoms resulting from dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we dont consciously control like sweating and blood circulation.
In people with POTS, more blood collects in the lower body when standing upright. The heart beats faster to pump it up to the brain, but with little success. The causes of POTS are unknown, but the problem is thought to lie in the communication breakdown between the brain and the cardiovascular system.
POTS-related fatigue is physical in nature and the mechanism behind it is not fully understood. It may have several causes, including your body working harder to move the blood.
Too Much Or Too Little Activity
A person with fatigue may not feel able to exercise, and a lack of exercise can cause further fatigue. A lack of exercise may eventually cause deconditioning, making it harder and more tiring to perform a physical task.
Fatigue can also affect healthy individuals after prolonged, intense mental or physical activity.
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Chest Pain Pressure And Discomfort
Most people with heart attacks experience some sort of chest pain or discomfort. But its important to understand that chest pains dont occur in every heart attack.
Chest pain is a common sign of a heart attack. People have described this sensation as feeling like an elephant is standing on their chest.
Some people dont describe chest pain as pain at all. Instead, they may say they felt chest tightness or squeezing. Sometimes this discomfort can seem bad for a few minutes and then go away. Sometimes the discomfort comes back hours or even a day later. These could all be signs your heart muscle isnt getting enough oxygen.
If you experience chest pains or tightness, you or someone around you should call 911 immediately.
Pain and tightness can also radiate in other areas of the body. Most people associate a heart attack with pain working its way down the left arm. That can happen, but pain can also appear in other locations, including:
- upper abdomen
American Heart Association , some women may even think their heart attack symptoms are flu-like symptoms.
A heart attack can cause exhaustion due to the extra stress on your heart to try to pump while an area of blood flow is blocked. If you often feel tired or exhausted for no reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
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Lets Win This Together
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Support the innovative research, education and prevention services that protect the women we love.
Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.
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Psychological Causes Of Fatigue
Studies suggest that psychological factors are present in at least 50 per cent of fatigue cases. These may include:
- Depression this illness is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
- Anxiety and stress a person who is chronically anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
- Grief losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.
Is It Possible That I Have Pots And Was Incorrectly Diagnosed
This is entirely possible. Given how common POTS symptoms are and how unfamiliar many doctors are with this condition, diagnostic mishaps happen. POTS is frequently misidentified as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, anxiety disorder, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, myositis, etc. It is also possible that you have both POTS and one of these conditions, which may complicate the diagnosis. Sometimes people with POTS are told that its all in your head, implying that the cause of their symptoms is psychological. If you feel like something is physically wrong, dont hesitate to seek a second, and even a third or fourth opinion.
COVID-19 and POTS: Is There a Link?
Although many people recover quickly from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, others who recover may continue to experience symptoms for months. Researchers are still determining the cause of these extended symptoms, but some COVID-19 long-haulers may actually be dealing with POTS.
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What Can I Do To Help
- If you are prescribed medications to treat anaemia, make sure you take them as instructed.
- If you are receiving dialysis, make sure you complete your prescribed dialysis hours.
- Watch your fluid intake between dialysis sessions as needing too much fluid taken off during dialysis can make you feel tired and washed out.
- Rest after haemodialysis. When you get home, rest for an hour or two until you feel less tired this is sometimes referred to as dialysis recovery time – but try not to fall asleep.
- Talk to your healthcare team about possible treatments for itching if this is causing you difficulty.
- If you are feeling depressed or anxious, ask your healthcare team if you can be referred to a counsellor or psychologist who may help you to manage these feelings.
- Ask your healthcare team if there is a local exercise programme for kidney patients. A gentle exercise programme can be relaxing and may help to improve your sleep.
- Plan your week so that activities are spread out rather than trying to do too much in one day. Have plenty of rest periods throughout the day but try not to fall asleep.
Try to improve the quality of your sleep:
What Are The Common Causes Of Fatigue
Remember, feeling tired every now and then is something we all experience. This sort of tiredness might be caused by a change in eating habits, taking new medications, or simply not getting enough sleep. Still, if youre feeling fatigued and there have been no significant changes in your day to day, it might be a sign of something more.
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When Is Being Too Tired A Problem
Lets face it: We arentwhat 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.
What Medical Conditions Cause Fatigue
Hundreds of conditions and disorders lead to fatigue. Some of the most common causes of fatigue include:
- Disease and infection: Cancer, kidney disease and multiple sclerosis are just a few diseases that cause fatigue. Fatigue can also be a sign of infections such as mononucleosis, HIV and flu.
- Mental health conditions: Fatigue from depression or anxiety may make it difficult or impossible to perform daily activities.
- Autoimmune disorders: Fatigue is a symptom of many autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hormonal imbalances: Problems with your endocrine system can lead to exhaustion. Hypothyroidism is a common cause of fatigue.
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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.
Is Fatigue A Workplace Issue
Everyone should be concerned about the impact of fatigue as it can be considered a form of impairment, making fatigue a workplace hazard. However, fatigue levels are not easily measured or quantified therefore, it is difficult to isolate the effect of fatigue on incident and injury rates.
Workplace factors that may influence fatigue are shift rotation patterns, balanced workloads, timing of tasks and activities, availability of resources, and the workplace environment .
However, be sure to consider other factors beyond a lack of sleep including mental fatigue, such as mental workloads, demanding mental activities or stress, long periods of anxiety, or long periods of monotonous tasks, etc.
Many studies focus on the amount of sleep required. Some research studies have shown that when workers have slept for less than 5 hours before work or when workers have been awake for more than 16 hours, their chance of making mistakes at work due to fatigue are significantly increased.
Research has shown that the number of hours awake can be similar to blood alcohol levels. One study reports the following:
- 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05
- 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.08
- 24-25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.10
- reducing mental and physical functioning,
- impairing judgement and concentration,
- restless legs syndrome
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How Is Fatigue Managed
Making sure you have good quality sleep can help you manage fatigue. Ensure you go to bed at the same time each night and stick to healthy sleep habits.
Eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity will also help improve your sleep and lessen fatigue. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables avoid junk food and try to avoid alcohol and caffeine since these can affect your sleep.
If you have fatigue, talk to your doctor about whether it is safe to drive or carry out your normal work duties.
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Potential Ways To Reduce Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Assess the underlying cause
- Improve nocturnal sleep through medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, diet, light therapy and more
- Evaluate all medicines being takensome have hypersomnia as a side effectand adjust as needed
- If taking dopaminergic medications, consider dose adjustment
- Watch consumption of alcohol or sleep-inducing foods/ingredients
- Experiment with caffeine
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Fatigue And Nausea After Eating
It is fairly normal for a persons energy levels to dip after eating. This happens because the body redirects blood to the digestive system to help break down food in the stomach.
Eating too much may cause a large dip in energy levels since the body has more food to digest. Overeating may also cause feelings of fullness or nausea.
Symptoms of fatigue and nausea after eating can sometimes signal a digestive issue. Other possible symptoms of a digestive disease include:
- getting a lot of fresh air
- finding distractions, such as listening to music, watching a movie, or reading a book
In addition, people should avoid the following:
- preparing or eating strong-smelling foods
- eating foods that are spicy, fried, or greasy
- eating too fast
- wearing clothing that is tight around the waist or abdomen
- lying down shortly after eating
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Can Help Reveal Unusual Reasons For These Common Symptoms And Also Shed Light On Long Covid
One of the vexing things about certain common health complaints is the range of possible underlying causes. For example, feeling short of breath is perfectly normal after a burst of vigorous exercise. But for some people, even mild exertion can trigger a sensation of breathlessness, or what doctors call dyspnea. Its often accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue and lightheadedness.
Most of the time, heart or lung issues are to blame. In many cases, routine tests including a chest x-ray, echocardiogram , lung function tests, and blood tests can uncover the underlying reason for a persons breathlessness.
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