3 Ways to Combat Fatigue

A lot of people complain about being tired.  It is especially common for people in the middle age bracket. Under normal circumstances, getting fatigued will occur when you overwork. However, if you experience fatigue regularly, it could be an indication of an underlying problem.

Feeling tired all the time can impact your life negatively and affect your work, social, and family life. Medically, fatigue is viewed as a vague and also very difficult problem to investigate and treat. Also, most people with chronic fatigue do not see the need to report it to the doctors as they don’t consider it as an illness.  Here is how to beat fatigue.   

Know the Factors that Cause Your Fatigue

Fatigue can be described as the feeling of tiredness. It is different from drowsiness when you're tired or feelings of apathy. Even so, these two are symptoms that accompany fatigue.

Symptoms of fatigue include reduced energy levels which can cause weakness, mental and physical exhaustion, stress, and lack of motivation. There are medical and non-medical factors that can cause fatigue. These include dietary habits and lifestyle habits.

Factors that contribute to fatigue include:

  • Psychosocial and psychological issues like anxiety, stress and depression.
  • Physical issues such as diabetes, anemia, glandular fever as well as cancer.
  • Physiological issues like breastfeeding, pregnancy, excessive exercising and insomnia.

Fatigue is not usually considered to be a medical problem if it is caused by emotional stress, physical activity, and lack of sleep or boredom.

Lifestyle habits that can lead to fatigue include:

  • Staying up late at night meaning you get less sleep than is required.
  • Taking too much caffeine. It evokes brain activity and this interrupts your ability to rest.
  • Taking too much alcohol.
  • Eating too much junk food.

There are people who are more prone to fatigue than others. Generally, women report more cases of fatigue than men. Also, people who live in poverty and those that suffer from physical or mental illness also suffer from fatigue.

Rule Out Medical Reasons for Fatigue

When you see a doctor, they will run multiple physical tests in an attempt to find the underlying cause of the tiredness. There are many reasons that can cause fatigue. This means that there are also many ways of treating the condition.

The list of conditions that can cause fatigue is long. Therefore, it is always advisable for you to get a full diagnosis from your doctor to ascertain the cause of your fatigue. This will enable you to determine the next course of action. This is how to beat fatigue.

Potential medical causes of fatigue include:

  • Obesity
  • Use of antidepressants and sedatives
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Anemia
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer
  • Iron deficiency
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Heart failure
  • Addison’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Anorexia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Malnutrition
  • AIDS
  • Long term infections

Once you understand what the cause of your fatigue is, you will be able to figure out how to beat fatigue.

Try Treatment Methods for Fatigue

There is no known single treatment for fatigue. This is because the approach given will depend on the cause of fatigue. If your diagnosis process rules out underlying medical conditions that may be the cause, there are certain changes you can make in your life to combat it.

These include:

  • Improving your sleep habits - the recommended sleep time for adults is 8 hours. This ensures your body gets enough time to rest.
  • Exercising - one way to beat fatigue is to take up exercise as it helps to stretch the muscle and thus reduce the effects of fatigue. Exercising also helps you to sleep better.
  • Reduce caffeine intake and increase intake of water – it is especially important for you to reduce the amount of caffeine you take before bedtime. Caffeine improves brain activity and alertness and makes it hard to fall asleep.
  • Healthy dietary habits – you need to check your weight to ensure you are not overweight or underweight.
  • Reducing stress – stress can cause physical and mental fatigue. Set realistic expectations when it comes to work and your life to avoid developing stress from frustration.
  • Meditation – you can take up yoga and meditation to help relax the body and mind. Meditation is best done before bedtime. This helps to relax the mind and enables you to fall asleep faster.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – the use of narcotics and alcohol affects your mental and physical health which can lead to fatigue.

For some people suffering from fatigue, doctors may refer them to a therapist for counseling referred to as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). There are doctors who specialize in myalgic encephalopathy (chronic fatigue syndrome) services. They are qualified to provide you with tips and solutions on how to beat fatigue. They will find a cause for your fatigue and provide a multidisciplinary approach on how to manage the condition including exercise therapy.

Do I Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Any form of tiredness that lingers on for longer than expected can be categorized as chronic fatigue. Even so, chronic fatigue can only be diagnosed if you have experienced fatigued for not less than 6 months consistently. This diagnosis is made when the cause of fatigue is not another medical condition.

For you to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue, you need to show at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Pain in the lymph
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Mental and physical exertion makes the condition worse
  • Heart palpitation in the absence of a heart condition.
  • Chronic pain

It is advisable for you to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. This way, you can get a full medical diagnosis to rule out other possible causes of fatigue before considering treatment. 

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