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.
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.
Is There Any Treatment
There is currently no cure for CFS. The therapies for this disorder are directed at symptom relief. It is important to maintain good health by eating a balanced diet and getting adequate rest, exercising regularly without causing more fatigue, and pacing oneself because too much stress can aggravate the symptoms of CFS. Working with a physician to develop a program that provides the greatest benefits also will help in reducing frustration with the illness.
Non-pharmacological therapies include acupuncture, aquatic therapy, chiropractic, cranial-sacral, light exercise, massage, self-hypnosis, stretching, tai chi, therapeutic touch and yoga. Certain psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy also have shown promise for facilitating patient coping and for alleviating some of the distress associated with CFS.
In pharmacological therapy there is a variety of medications that can relieve specific symptoms. It is important to begin with low doses and to escalate the dosage gradually as necessary.
Some CFS patients may also find it therapeutic to meet with other people who have this illness, and this can be accomplished by joining a local CFS support group. Support groups are not appropriate for everyone, and may actually add to their stress rather than relieving it.
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Anemia
“If you are in your reproductive years, and particularly if you experience heavy menstrual cycles, have fibroid tumors or uterine polyps, or if you’ve recently given birth, the blood loss may have caused you to develop anemia — a leading cause of fatigue in women,” says Rebecca Amaru, MD, clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Problems occur, she says, when the bleeding leads to a deficiency of hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of your body. When your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen, she says, the result is fatigue.
Other causes of anemia include internal bleeding and a deficiency of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12. Anemia may also be caused by chronic diseases like kidney disease. Symptoms can include dizziness, feeling cold, and irritability.
To confirm a diagnosis of anemia, your doctor will give you a blood test. Treatment, she says, usually consists of iron supplements if iron deficiency is the cause, and adding iron-rich foods — such as spinach, broccoli, and red meat — to your diet.
The good news: With effective treatment for anemia, your fatigue should begin to lift in 30 days or less.
What Fatigue Really Feels Like
Think about these scenarios:
- You had the flu and it knocked you out for a short period. You were too sick to get much done, and definitely too sick to work or play with your children.
- You had too much fun and a few too many drinks one night, then couldnt get off the couch the entire next day. You felt so weak and tired that you had to call in sick with some made-up illness.
Chronic fatigue resembles these situations, but its worse because it doesnt get better with medicine, rest, caffeine, a greasy breakfast, or time.
Indeed, Dr. Barlett told me that Im not alone in these descriptions.
People with RA will often describe their fatigue as a feeling of being completely wiped out or utterly exhausted or how I feel when Im coming down with the flu, she says. This type of fatigue does not seem to improve with sleep or rest, and very often is a sign that disease activity is increasing. Indeed, in work we did across many countries, almost everyone we spoke with mentioned extreme fatigue as the first and most reliable signs that they are about to have a serious disease flare.
Our fatigue is always there, nagging away.
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How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed
Right now, there’s no test to tell if someone has chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors ask a lot of questions . They also will do a thorough physical exam.
Doctors also usually order blood, urine , or other tests to check for conditions that cause similar symptoms. They may send a person to see other specialists to help with the diagnosis.
A doctor may suggest meeting with a psychologist or a therapist who can see whether mental health disorders might contribute to or mask CFS.
What Should I Know About Fatigue
What is the Definition of Fatigue?
Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both. Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Apathy is a feeling of indifference that may accompany fatigue or exist independently. In addition, individuals often describe fatigue using a variety of terms including weary, tired, exhausted, malaise, listless, lack of energy and feeling run down.
How Common is Fatigue?
Fatigue is common. About 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life. A physical cause has been estimated to be responsible 20% to 60% of the time, while emotional or mental causes comprise the other 40% to 80% of cases of fatigue. Unfortunately, fatigue can occur in normal individuals that experience intense physical or mental activity .
However, in contrast to fatigue that occurs with some diseases and syndromes, normal fatigue in healthy individuals is quickly relieved in a few hours to about a day when the physical or mental activity is reduced. Also, people occasionally experience fatigue after eating , which can be a normal response to food, especially after large meals and this may last about 30 minutes to several hours.
1. Have severe chronic fatigue for at least six months or longer with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis and
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Get Symptom Relief That Works
Fully dedicating yourself to overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult when the very symptoms youre trying to nix chiefly fatigue and pain are the same ones holding you back from pursuing recovery. Healing takes time, and symptoms wont go away until healing is complete. Fortunately, there are many herbs and other natural options for feeling better, sooner, even as youre addressing the root causes of your misery.
I know we just covered a lot of ground, but my hope is that it feels supportive rather than overwhelming. Whats most important to remember is that while you dont have to follow every last bit of advice above, theres a lot you can do to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome.
You possess the power to change your health fate, and the minute you take the reins is the minute you truly begin your recovery.
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme. You can also learn about Dr. Rawls personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.
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.
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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.
- Chronic conditions:Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia cause severe, long-lasting fatigue.
- Heart and lung problems: Fatigue is a common symptom of cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , emphysema and congestive heart failure.
- Deficiencies:Anemia and other vitamin deficiencies are often responsible for fatigue. Dehydration can cause fatigue because the body needs plenty of fluids to function.
- Weight problems and eating disorders:Anorexia, bulimia, obesity or being underweight can lead to fatigue and a range of other symptoms.
What Can I Do To Manage Covid Fatigue
Fatigue can drain your energy and keep you from doing day-to-day things when youre down with a viral sickness like COVID-19 or long-haul COVID-19.
To manage your health and ease fatigue symptoms while youre sick or post-COVID, you should:
- Accept that fatigue is a real side effect of having COVID-19.
- Make sure to get a good nights sleep. This can help your body preserve energy.
- Try relaxation techniques like mindful meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, and tai chi. These can help to reduce stress and fatigue symptoms.
- Plan ahead on what you can get done with limited energy.
- Prioritize the tasks that are important. This will help you spend energy on only those things that need to be done.
- Delegate certain tasks to others who can complete them for you. This can include activities like grocery shopping or cooking.
- Try to stay active. A viral infection can knock your energy out, but moving and light exercise can energize you.
- Keep a diary on all things that either trigger your fatigue or make it worse. This will help you steer clear of energy-draining activities.
- Eat foods that give your body energy.
- Stay hydrated.
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Time
For many women who suffer from fatigue, the diagnosis is “time-stacking” or multitasking to the max and not getting enough sleep.
“If you’re juggling kids, careers, and a long list of commitments and only getting five or six hours a night, it will catch up with you, says McIlwain.
But what if you’re a healthy woman, getting eight hours of sleep nightly, and still feel fatigue? McIlwain recommends a checkup to see if there are any health problems to blame for the fatigue.
If you feel fatigued for longer than a week or two and you’re getting plenty of sleep and you don’t have a cold or other viral infection, McIlwain says to call your doctor. “Most of the time fatigue has a fairly straightforward explanation, and sometimes medical treatment is necessary.”
Fatigue can also be the sign of a serious illness, which is why your doctor may be able to quickly diagnose the problem.
Not An Easy Question To Answer
Do you feel like you’re tired all the time, to the point that you are starting to worry that something is seriously wrong? Have you begun to wonder if you could have chronic fatigue syndrome?
Verywell / Emily Roberts
It’s difficult to say whether you could have chronic fatigue syndrome. Even for a healthcare provider experienced with it, this is a tough diagnosis to make, and it takes multiple steps.
To answer the question of whether you might have this disease, first, you need to understand that there’s a difference between the symptoms of chronic fatigue and the illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS.
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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.
What Can I Expect
Having chronic fatigue syndrome can be hard. But for most people, the symptoms are most severe in the beginning. Later, they may come and go. Teens with CFS generally get better faster and recover more completely than adults do. Most teens get partial or full recovery within 5 years after symptoms began.
Many new and experimental treatments for CFS are available. But don’t use any unproven treatments until checking with your doctor.
CFS is a misunderstood illness. But scientists continue to learn about it through research and clinical trials. They’re trying to better understand its symptoms and causes in kids and teens.
Good medical care and coping techniques are the keys to helping your child manage chronic fatigue syndrome. It can also help to find support sites and groups, such as:
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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.
Problems With Your Thyroid
It’s a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits in your neck. It makes a hormone that helps control how you use energy. When your thyroid gland is out of whack, you’re out of whack.
“People with an underactive thyroid are going to feel tired,” Friedman says. “Their cells aren’t working well, they’re sluggish, and their reflexes are slow.”
Your doctor may test your blood for thyroid hormone to see if it’s to blame for your fatigue.
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How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made
Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.
Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.
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.
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