Testing For Chronic Fatigue
It is important to test for nutrient deficiencies and possible underlying causes of your chronic fatigue. The Comprehensive Blood Analysis and Organic Acids Test can reveal insight into the numerous physiological and metabolic processes of your body.
With this valuable information, your functional medicine provider can develop a protocol to help improve your energy levels and reduce your chronic fatigue.
Protect Your Joints And Muscles
When you have muscle or joint pain, it can be hard to be active. But when youre less active, your muscles get weaker and that can make your joint pain worse.
Work with your rheumatologist to make a physical activity plan thats right for you. If you have muscle weakness, physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles. Your rheumatologist can refer you to a physical therapist.
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Food Allergies
While food is supposed to give us energy, some doctors believe hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. According to Rudy Rivera, MD, author of Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat, even mild food intolerance can leave you feeling sleepy. Eat the offending food long enough and you could find yourself feeling continually exhausted.
“Evidence indicates food intolerance as a cause of fatigue, and even suggests that fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance,” Rivera says.
If you suspect that food may be behind all that yawning, Rivera says to start with an elimination diet, cutting out foods that cause you to feel sleepy within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test.
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What To Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- What are your symptoms and when did they begin?
- Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
- Do you have problems with memory or concentration?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- How often do you feel depressed or anxious?
- How much do your symptoms limit your ability to function? For example, have you ever had to miss school or work because of your symptoms?
- What treatments have you tried so far for this condition? How have they worked?
The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Obstructive Sleep Apnea
With OSA, a persons airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, which interrupts their breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time and deprives them of oxygen until they wake up and start breathing again. These short stops in breathing can happen up to 400 times every night. Even if the periods of not breathing dont fully wake you up, the micro-interruptions in breathing can disturb your sleep.
If someone poked you with a stick every 10 minutes while you were asleep, youd feel pretty tired even if you slept eight hours, says Nitun Verma, MD, a sleep doctor in San Francisco and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Researchers arent sure why people with RA have a higher risk of OSA. Here are some possible explanations.
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Diagnosis And Treatment For Me/cfs
Currently, there is no single test to diagnose ME/CFS. Doctors make a diagnosis by excluding all other illnesses that might be causing symptoms and following accepted diagnostic criteria. The persons results from routine medical tests will often be normal, but additional tests may show abnormalities.
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.
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Where Can I Get Support
ME/CFS can have a significant emotional and financial impact on your life. A lack of understanding and awareness about ME/CFS means patients can experience disbelief, and even discrimination, from friends, family, health and social care professionals and employers.
Information on entitlements to welfare benefits, accessing health and social care and others sources of support for patients and carers are available from Action for M.E. They also offer resources and services for children and young people affected by ME/CFS and their families.
Tips To Improve Tinnitus And Improve Sleep
Avoid a too-quiet room: Ringing in the ears is much more noticeable when a room is quiet. Using an app or device to create sleep-friendly sounds may help drown out the ringing.
Meditation and mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness are important to help reduce stress. Studies have shown meditation to be a beneficial tool in better managing tinnitus, as it makes you focus on your breathing rather than the noise in your ears.
Other relaxation techniques: Tinnitus can provoke anxiety, so its important that you utilize techniques to help promote relaxation. Some other techniques include deep breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, guided imagery, aromatherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Limit use of earplugs: Earplugs, although they can protect your ears, can reduce the ability to hear external sounds and make tinnitus appear worse. Furthermore, frequent earplug use can lead to wax buildup and impaction, which can further worsen tinnitus.
Dont ignore ear pain: Ear pain in combination with tinnitus could be a sign of another cause for tinnitus that, if left untreated, could worsen your symptoms. Always speak to your doctor about these types of symptoms.
Seek treatment for hearing problems: If you begin experiencing difficulties hearing, then speak to your doctor, as there could be an underlying medical condition that is triggering this. Underlying medical issues could also be contributing to your poor sleep.
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Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Most people who have chronic fatigue syndrome are successful and function at a high level until the disorder begins, usually abruptly, often following a stressful event. The main symptom is fatigue that usually lasts at least 6 months and is severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Severe fatigue is present even on awakening and persists throughout the day. The fatigue often worsens with physical exertion or during periods of psychologic stress. However, physical evidence of muscle weakness or of joint or nerve abnormalities is absent. Extreme fatigue may begin during or after recovery from an illness that resembles a viral infection, with a fever, runny nose, and tender or painful lymph nodes. However, in many people, fatigue begins without any such preceding illness.
Other symptoms that may occur are difficulty concentrating and sleeping, sore throat, headache, joint pains, muscle pains, and abdominal pain. Depression is common, particularly when symptoms are severe or worsening. Symptoms often overlap with those of fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is characterized by poor sleep, fatigue, mental cloudiness, and widespread aching and stiffness in soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Poor sleep, stress, strains… read more , a possibly related disorder.
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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Some Of The Areas That Are Being Studied As Possible Causes Of Me/cfs Are:
People with ME/CFS often have their illness begin in a way that reminds them of getting the flu. This has made researchers suspect an infection may trigger ME/CFS. In addition, about one in ten people who become infected with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, or Coxiella burnetti will develop a set of symptoms that meet the criteria for ME/CFS. People with these infections who had severe symptoms are more likely than those with mild symptoms to later develop ME/CFS symptoms. But not all people with ME/CFS have had these infections.
Other infections that have been studied in connection with ME/CFS are human herpesvirus 6, enterovirus, rubella, Candida albicans, bornaviruses, mycoplasma, and human immunodeficiency virus . However, these infections have not been found to cause ME/CFS.
It is possible that ME/CFS is caused by a change in the persons immune system and the way it responds to infection or stress. ME/CFS shares some features of autoimmune illnesses . For example, both ME/CFS and most autoimmune diseases are more common in women and both are characterized by increased inflammation. However, other signs of autoimmune disease, like tissue damage, are not found in patients with ME/CFS.
Scientists think that the immune system might be contributing to ME/CFS in other ways, including:
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.
What We Knew Then
First of all, the textbooks of medicine didnt describe an illness like this. In addition, all the usual laboratory tests to screen for various diseases came back normal. At this point, a doctor has two choices: decide to believe the patient and keep searching to find what is wrong, or to tell the patient, There is nothing wrong. Indeed, some doctors seeing people like my patient did just that, adding insult to injury.
Fortunately, many physicians and biomedical scientists around the world became interested in this illness, and over 9,000 scientific studies have been published in the past 35 years. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that the condition, now called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious, chronic, complex systemic disease that often can profoundly affect the lives of patients. It affects up to 2.5 million people in the United States, and generates direct and indirect expenses of approximately $17 to $24 billion annually.
Theres Tired And Then Theres Fatigue Lets Not Mistake The Two
Fatigue is one of the most challenging symptoms of chronic illness to cope with. This is something we hear from CreakyJoints members over and over and over again.My worst problem is fatigue. I need all my energy just to get through my eight hours of work and when thats over I have none left to do anything else, Elena K. told us recently on Facebook.Fatigue is robbing me of the energy I wanted to use on all the projects I had planned for retirement, shared Beverly K. on Facebook.
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The Difference Between Counseling And Psychotherapy
Although the terms counseling and therapy are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between psychotherapy and psychological counseling. Counseling focuses on specific issues and is designed to help a person address a particular problem, such as addiction or stress management. The focus may be on problem solving or on learning specific techniques for coping with or avoiding problem areas. Counseling is also usually more short-term than therapy.
Psychotherapy is more long-term than counseling and focuses on a broader range of issues. The underlying principle is that a person’s patterns of thinking and behavior affect the way that person interacts with the world. Depending on the specific type of psychotherapy that is being used, the goal is to help people feel better equipped to manage stress, understand patterns in their behavior that may interfere with reaching personal goals, have more satisfying relationships, and better regulate their thinking and emotional responses to stressful situations. If someone has a form of mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or an anxiety disorder, psychotherapy also addresses ways in which the illnesses affects their daily life, focuses on how to best understand the illness and manage its symptoms and follow medical recommendations.
What Are The Symptoms Of Me/cfs
The most common symptom is ongoing, unexplained overwhelming tiredness or fatigue which worsens after exercise or mental effort. This is known as post-exertional malaise . The level of activity that triggers PEM will vary from person to person and can depend on how severe their condition is. PEM is sometimes delayed and can last for a few days. A more serious relapse can last for weeks or months.
A common misconception is that people with ME/CFS have chronic fatigue and are just very tired. Persistent and profound fatigue is just one symptom of ME/CFS.
Other symptoms may include:
Some people may experience only mild symptoms, but others may develop more severe symptoms.
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Underactive Thyroid
If you are generally sluggish, run down, and even a little depressed, the problem may be a slow thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck and helps set the rate of metabolism, the rate at which the body uses energy.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, by age 60 about 17% of all women will have a thyroid disorder and most won’t know it. The most common cause, they say, 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.
Other Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Include:
- Sleep that isnt refreshing
- Difficulties with memory, focus and concentration
- Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing
What we have found over the years working with hundreds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome is that there is no one singular cause. We believe Chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by many things and the cause of this fatigue will vary from one person to the next. When it comes to getting to the root cause of this debilitating fatigue, you will often need a variety of tests. Some tests may be needed to rule out certain things, while other tests will be needed in order to properly support and nurture your body back to good health.
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How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated
Treatment is determined by your healthcare provider and based on:
- Your overall health and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
- Medicine, including corticosteroids, antidepressants, and others
- Light-intensity aerobic exercise
- Dietary supplements and herbal preparations
- Psychotherapy and supportive counseling
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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Sleep Apnea Changes How The Brain Works
A February 2016 study published in the Journal of Sleep Research by the UCLA School of Nursing investigated the injury caused to the insular cortex of the brain by sleep apnea. They studied levels of two important brain chemicals, called neurotransmistters: glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA. Unlike previous studies, we actually found substantial differences in these two chemicals that influence how the brain is working, said Paul Macey, the lead researcher on the study and an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing.
It is rare to have this size of difference in biological measures, Macey said. We expected an increase in the glutamate, because it is a chemical that causes damage in high doses and we have already seen brain damage from sleep apnea. What we were surprised to see was the drop in GABA. That made us realize that there must be a reorganization of how the brain is working.
Macey says the studys results are, in a way, encouraging. In contrast with damage, if something is working differently, we can potentially fix it.
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