Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chronic Fatigue

We all know what feeling tired is like – it can happen after a long day at work or strenuous physical activity. Tiredness is the body’s natural reaction to any kind of exertion. As a result, we must allow our bodies time to rest in order to allow it the capability to function as normal and perform new duties. However, if you are feeling tired after very little activity, if it is constant, and is not relieved by rest, you may suffer from something called Chronic Fatigue.

Chronic fatigue, a diagnosis that was once dubious amongst those in the medial field, is now being accepted as a true medical disorder, with just under 400,000 Canadians having been diagnosed. It typically affects individuals over the age of 40, with the majority of chronic fatigue sufferers being women. Certain viral infections such as the Epstein-Barr virus, hypotension (low blood pressure), a weakened immune system and hormonal imbalances have all been suspected to play a part in the diagnosis of chronic fatigue, but there has been no direct link between them. With no current cure for chronic fatigue, treatment is focused solely on the symptoms that are presented by the patient. 

Below are some common symptoms of chronic fatigue:

Excessive tiredness (lasting longer than 24 hours)
Mental exhaustion
Inability to focus/concentrate
Memory loss
Muscle pain

It is also important to rule out any other potential causes of your tiredness, as there are other conditions with symptoms that mimic those of chronic fatigue such as Lyme disease, lupus, mononucleosis, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and even depression.

Perhaps the most important thing one can do to relieve symptoms associated to chronic fatigue is by making lifestyle changes, something Dr. Ali Ghahary already recommends to his patients under many different circumstances and for certain health conditions. These lifestyle changes include making dietary changes, and limiting or all together eliminating intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas (doing so well help you get a better night’s rest.) You should also limit your use of nicotine and alcohol, and ensure that you are not overexerting yourself during the day, especially when involved in any physical activity. It may also be a good idea to work with a trainer or physical therapist to help you with an easy exercise routine. Alternative medicine such as acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy have also been found to be constructive for chronic fatigue sufferers, but you should always check with your physician beforehand.

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