We live in a hectic world with numerous demands on our time and attention. Many people find they feel tired frequently and may wonder if some underlying condition is causing the fatigue. Tiredness is a symptoms of many diseases, but it can also mean you need to review your lifestyle to make some changes.
SLEEP DISCOURAGING HABITS
Sleep problems are among the most common reasons for ongoing fatigue. People often eat heavily before bedtime or consume foods that are stimulating and may keep them awake. Focus on eating lightly before bedtime and only consuming foods that encourage sleep, such as milk or turkey that contains the amino acid tryptophan. Avoid exercising right before bedtime, which can also be energizing and make it difficult to fall asleep. It’s important to avoid alcohol, as well, which can impair deep sleep. Caffeine may keep you awake and lead to fatigue during the day. Be sure to only drink decaffeinated coffee and soft drinks after 6 p.m. In fact, it’s best to minimize liquids in the evening so that your sleep won’t be disturbed by trips to the bathroom.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing during sleep or shallow breathing while sleeping. It causes poor quality of rest that results in fatigue during the day. Your physician may advise you to use a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP, to help keep your airways open to induce more restful sleep. Many people report reduced fatigue in as little as 3 weeks of using the breathing device.
Dealing with stress can cause enormous fatigue when one feels overwhelmed and unable to solve problems. Stress promotes difficulty falling asleep or unrest resulting in waking up after a short period. While under stress, falling back to sleep after an untimely awakening is a challenge. Stress causes many physical symptoms and can lead to serious illness if not managed properly. Exercise, meditation and counseling can help people deal with stress to achieve better sleep and better health. Another way to help your body combat stress is through the use of adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwaganda and Rhodiola and calming herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm. Drinking a tea each morning with adaptogenic herbs can help manage stress.
Anemia is a condition that occurs when the blood contains insufficient amounts of iron. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. When not enough hemoglobin is available, the body becomes oxygen-deficient and fatigue results. If blood tests determine that your body is low in iron, you can increase the amount of iron-containing foods in your diet, such as red meat, eggs, lentils, liver, dried fruit and green, leaf vegetables. If you cannot consume enough iron to correct the problem, your healthcare provider may recommend iron supplements.
Depression is a mental disorder that has many physical symptoms. It can manifest as constant fatigue and an inability to participate in normal activities. The person may sleep for a long period of time, but not feel refreshed. This type of fatigue may need psychological therapy or medication in order to improve.
Ongoing feelings of fatigue can also be associated with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can slow circulation and prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to all parts of the body. Low glucose or blood sugar can also cause fatigue because glucose (sugar) is used to power your cells and organs. In addition, people with diabetes may have other conditions that further undermine their body and cause fatigue, such as infections, thyroid problems, undiagnosed heart disease and side effects of medications. If you have diabetes and constantly feel fatigued, consult your medical professional to determine if a change of medication is needed.
Fatigue can also be a symptom of heart problems. When the heart does not pump blood to all parts of the body efficiently, profound exhaustion can ensue. Blockages in the arteries can reduce blood flow and cause this feeling of chronic fatigue. Women, in particular, may experience weariness when they are having a heart attack. You should always consult your healthcare provider about any unusual feelings of fatigue or weakness.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that causes fatigue, which cannot be explained by any other physical condition. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not known, but may be due to viral infections or psychological stress. Though there is no single test to determine chronic fatigue syndrome, physicians diagnose the disease through a combination of signs and symptoms. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and includes antidepressants, sleep medications, graduated exercise and psychological counseling.
A transmittable infection, mono is known to cause extreme fatigue. Generally seen in teens and young adults, mono also causes symptoms affiliated with the common cold including a fever, headache, sore throat, congestion, coughing, and swelling of the lymph glands. It is important to be tested right away as there can be significant complications indlucing the enlargement of the spleen. In extreme cases, the spleen may rupture and cause sharp, sudden pain in the left side of the upper abdomen. In this case, medical attention should be sought right away.
If you are experiencing any condition that lasts longer than a few days, be sure to visit Urgent Clinics Medical Care for an assessment and treatment. We offer qualified, friendly healthcare professionals who provide thorough physical examinations, including blood work to determine if an underlying illness is at fault. No appointment is necessary at any of our clinics which are open 8 am to 9 pm daily and are conveniently located in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight 7 days a week.