Complementary Therapists > Medical Conditions > Fatigue
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a medical condition involving a feeling of lack of energy, motivation and extreme tiredness.
Fatigue is not drowsiness or a feeling of a need for sleep, however drowsiness and lack of interest may be a sign of fatigue. It can make it difficult for people to perform normal daily tasks and activities.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is associated with other symptoms that may include muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throats, loss of memory, and poor concentration.
What Causes Fatigue ?
Fatigue is caused by many factors and it may actually be a symptom of other underlying issues or conditions.
If you are getting up to eight hours sleep on a regular basis and yet you still feel tired a lot of the time then perhaps you could be suffering from one of the following conditions.
Anaemia is caused by a lack of iron and in most women this is usually due to heavy menstruation. Long and heavy periods deplete women's bodies of iron. Iron deficiency can also occur during pregnancy. Any form of bleeding in the digestive tract such as ulcers, polyps or haemorrhoids may make people anaemic.
People who suffer from medical conditions such as Crohn's disease and Coeliac disease may also become anaemic. Anaemia may also be an issue for children during growth spurts. Most anaemic conditions can be resolved by taking appropriate iron supplements.
A high, or low, metabolism can cause fatigue. Your metabolism is what converts the food that you consume into energy. If your metabolic rate is too high it may cause a racing pulse which may make it difficult to have relaxing rest and therefore lead to fatigue.
If this is caused by an excess of Thyroxine there are effective treatments available. A lack of thyroxine can lead to a slow metabolism which in turn leads to a lack of energy and a high need for sleep. Once again this is readily treatable.
Almost all forms of cancer cause fatigue to some extent. Unfortunately some of the treatments that address cancer, such as chemotherapy, can exacerbate the feeling of fatigue.
If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible to eliminate the possibility of cancer being the source of your tiredness.
Medical conditions such as AIDS, glandular fever and Lyme disease can cause sever fatigue and quite often it is the presence of fatigue alerts people and doctors of the underlying condition.
Following a dose of infections such as influenza can give rise to fatigue but this is usually short-lived and can be addressed by a good tonic.
Depression and other Psychological Orders
Emotional difficulties and psychological disorders can lead to a lack of energy and a lack of motivation. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a relatively common condition that affects sufferers in the winter due to a lack of sunlight. This can lead to extreme fatigue in some cases. Treatments for SAD are available.
Fatigue is very common in diabetes sufferers however if the diabetes is properly controlled, which is quite possible, then fatigue should no longer be a problem. To eliminate diabetes as a possible cause of your fatigue you should have a blood test which your doctor can do for you.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that causes severe fatigue yet does not have a ready explanation. It is usually diagnosed by the elimination of all other possible causes include all of the above. Because the cause is not known, CFS is not easily treated, but it can be managed and over time most sufferers recover fully.
How to Prevent Fatigue
Always ensure that you are getting enough sleep particularly if you are engaged in extra physical or mental activities.
Take regular aerobic exercise for periods in excess of 20 minutes four times per week.
Make sure you have a balanced healthy diet and if necessary supplement your diet with extra minerals and vitamin.
If you are overweight pursue a weight loss diet and if you are obese consult with your doctor about what options are available.
How to Treat Fatigue
If your fatigue is related to illness such as cancer or diabetes than the treatment for the underlying condition is what is necessary. However there are some general methods that you can employ to cure fatigue.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can mean a reduction in the volume of blood being provided to vital organs thus slowing down the brain.
Avoid excessive amounts of sugary and high-fat foods. Add foods to your diet that are have magnesium, glutamate, and those that are high in Omega-3. Include the following foods in your diet; salmon, tuna, flax seeds, almonds, cashew nuts, spinach, olive oil, oatmeal, peas, mushrooms, and shredded wheat. Eat smaller quantities throughout the day rather than gorging on one or two large meals. This helps to maintain blood sugar levels and avoids peaks and troughs. Clearly if you fatigue is related to your digestive system such as coeliac disease then follow you doctor's dietary advice.
Even though it is somewhat counterintuitive taking regular and vigorous exercise is a proven energy booster. Incorporate exercise in your daily routine.
Certain colours can have a positive or negative on our mood. Whites, blues and blacks can be somewhat depressing. Surround yourself with energising colours such as yellow, orange and reds.
Try experimenting with essential oils to surround yourself with aromas of rosemary, ginger and citrus to invigorate your olfactory senses,
How to Cure Fatigue
If you have tried all of the methods above and you are still lacking in energy then perhaps you should consider some of the complementary and alternative therapies that are available. Such therapies include Reiki, Kinesiology, CranioSacral, and Homeopathy. If you have tried conventional methods without finding a fatigue cure there are a number of complementary therapists listed on this site that may have the solution to your low energy difficulties.
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