Signs You Are Chronically Fatigued

By molly atherton 7 months ago

1. Feeling Exhausted For No Reason

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The main symptom of chronic fatigue (CFS) is  extreme physical and mental tiredness that doesn't go away by resting.  This can make it difficult to carry out everyday activities and tasks.  Most people with CFS describe their fatigue as overwhelming and a different type of tiredness they've never experienced before.

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2. Having Trouble Sleeping

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Some people with CFS have sleep difficulties which may include finding it hard to get to sleep, waking up several times during the night and waking up very early in the morning.  This poor quality of sleep, night after night, makes it harder for the individual to remember things.

3. Feeling Dizzy When Standing Up

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For some chronic fatigue sufferers, dizziness is a symptom they have to deal with every day.  In some cases, it is a 'head rush' for a few moments of staggering when beginning to walk.  Sometimes, balance is much worse and brings with it an added risk of fainting.  The cause is because of a drop in blood pressure.

4. Aching Muscles

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Aching muscles and muscle weakness is a common symptom of CFS.  It can, unfortunately, increase for days after even minor exertion.  Assessment of grip strength in the hand often shows it is impaired.  This, together with muscle pain, can be extremely debilitating for the sufferer.

5. Joint Pain

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Since one of the common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is joint pain, it can be helpful for many sufferers to use a topical cream.  'Jointflex' has been proven to help reduce aching muscles and joint pain.  Speak to a health professional regarding pain management.

6. Severe Headaches

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Based on recent research, symptoms of headaches and migraines in people with CFS, as well as fibromyalgia, include an intense throbbing or aching pain on either side of your head or on both sides.  The pain tends to worsen with physical activity and may lead to nausea or vomiting.

7. Tender Lymph Nodes

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It's quite normal for swollen and tender lymph nodes to ache, even in 'healthy' people who are fighting an illness.  Because many people with CFS have a lowered pain threshold, the lymph nodes are especially likely to hurt.  The pain manifests as the brain perceives the sensation as painful.

8. On/Off Sore Throat

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Some people with ME/CFS have frequent sore throats as well as enlarged glands in the neck.  This could possibly be due to an ongoing immune system activation.  Acute sore throats are normally caused by viral infections which means antibiotics are not usually prescribed.

9. Visual Problems

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Sufferers of extreme fatigue consistently report having trouble focusing on an image, visual related headaches, eye strain and slow eye movements in tracking moving objects, besides hyper-sensitivity to light and dry eyes. There are medications available to help cope with these symptoms.

10. Panic Attacks

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A sudden surge of fear and overwhelming anxiety is commonly referred to as a panic attack.  These can occur with CFS individuals but their origin tends to be from physiologic issues with the autonomic nervous system or blood volume, as opposed to psychiatric or emotional factors.

11. Chills And Night Sweats

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Both acute and chronic stress, symptoms of chronic fatigue, can trigger fever like symptoms, elevated body temperature or body chills.  As this illness also affects sleep pattern, you may get the chills when you don't get enough shut eye.  The body temperature falls to its lowest point during the night when you're sleeping.  If you are 'under-slept', the body temperature might try to drop.

12. Irritable Bowel

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CFS is often associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Around 60% of sufferers experience both symptoms.  Fatigue is the third most common non-digestive complaint and it's more than just tiredness. It is feeling weak, tired and completely lacking in energy.

13. Allergies

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If your body is constantly exposed to allergens such as dust mites, mold, pet dander or pollen, the immune system has to constantly work hard to keep releasing these chemicals.  This can cause your system to feel overworked and weakened, leaving your body exhausted.

14. Numbness And Tingling

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Paresthesia is a common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome.  It is defined as an abnormal sensation such as crawling, tingling, numbness, itching and prickling.  It is not a painful condition but, understandably, can be very annoying and yet another symptom to add to the list of CFS.

15. Heart Palpitations

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Some CFS patients can experience heart symptoms, most commonly cardiac arrhythmias, which include a racing heart or palpitations.  Palpitations are usually associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction.  For some sufferers, this can be the most frightening aspect of their illness.

16. Length Of Time To Recover From Exercise

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One of the core symptom of CFS is called post-exertional malaise or PEM.  This is an increase in symptoms and reduction in function after even minimal physical or mental activity.  Going for a short walk or even doing a few household chores can result in the sufferer needing to rest afterwards.

17. Problems With Concentration

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Neurocognitive problems are one of the most frequent symptoms associated with CFS and can be quite disabling.  In one US study, 89% of patients experienced concentration and memory problems.  Another large study on memory and attention deficit problems showed 90% of 2,073 patients suffered with these issues.

18. Mild Symptoms

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If you are a mild sufferer, you are able to carry out everyday activities, such as work, educational studies or housework, although with difficulty.  You may need to give up hobbies or social activities so you are able to rest whenever you can.  You will have adapted your lifestyle to cope with your illness.

19. Moderate Symptoms

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Moderate symptoms of chronic fatigue may include having difficulty moving around easily and problems carrying out daily activities.  Continuing your education or working may be proving increasingly difficult and you will need lots of rest in order to manage your symptoms.  Sleeping at night may be an issue.

20. Severe Symptoms

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You may only be able to do very basic tasks, such as brushing your teeth and you may be bedbound, needing a wheelchair to get around.  You may also have difficulty concentrating, be sensitive to light and noise and take a long time to recover after activities involving some effort.

21. Very Severe Symptoms

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With very severe symptoms, you may have to spend all your time in bed resting and are fully dependent on carers.  You may need help eating, washing and using the bathroom.  You may be extremely sensitive to light and noise and you may be unable to swallow and need to be fed using a tube.

22. You've Had Glandular Fever

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Studies have shown that about one in ten people who contract glandular fever will experience prolonged fatigue.  This can last up to six months or more after the initial infection and in some cases, can unfortunately lead to the condition Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

23. You've Had Pneumonia

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An American study followed 576 adults, all of who had pneumonia.  Thirty days after their diagnosis, almost half reported their fatigue as being either moderate or severe.  Over half of the patients still struggled with shortage of breath and 6 months further down the line, 25% were still struggling.

24. You Have A Hormone Imbalance

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Even a slight hormone imbalance can produce uncomfortable symptoms, particularly fatigue.  Difficulty sleeping is also a common symptom.  As hormones control pretty much everything in your body, their imbalance is bound to affect the way that the body functions.

25. You Have Problems With Your Immune System

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It is possible that ME or CFS can be caused by a person's immune system and the way that it responds to stress or infection.  Chronic fatigue syndrome shares some of its features with auto-immune illnesses, where your immune system attacks the healthy tissues in the body.

26. It's In The Genes

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ME and CFS appears to be more common in some families.  It is possible that a small number of people inherit a risk of getting the disease from usually just one of their parents.  In these cases, there will be a defect in how a particular gene is built.  It is possible to get gene testing.

27. Heightened Sensory Sensitivities

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Sensory overload to light, sound, smell, taste and touch, is a very common problem in chronic fatigue syndrome.  It can have a significant effect on your daily life and can stop you from doing the things that you enjoy. Sensory overload can make you feel panicky, overwhelmed and confused.

28. Here Are Some Ways To Help With Your Fatigue... Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

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Many people with CFS can develop a fear or avoidance of exercise because of the impact it has on their health afterwards.  Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address this thought pattern and help strengthen the relationship the sufferer has with exercising.

29. Medication

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There are specific medications that can be taken to mitigate some of the physical symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, such as difficulty in sleeping and the muscle and joint pain.  These medications can help the sufferer manage their symptoms a little easier and not feel as isolated.

30. Energy Management

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A health professional can help you devise an energy management plan which will determine your limits and how you can use your energy without fear of over-exerting yourself .  Overdoing tasks can cause problems later on so this is a very valuable exercise.

31. Prioritize Sleep

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To help combat feelings of chronic fatigue, make sure you're getting enough sleep every night and establish a regular sleep cycle. This probably sounds self explanatory, but it is vital for your body to regulate it's sleep-wake cycle which in turn, will improve your energy levels.

32. Exercise Regularly

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While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you're feeling fatigued,regular physical activity can actually help boost your energy levels and improve your overall health. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts, I promise you will feel the difference!

33. Managing Your Stress Will Help

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Chronic Stress can contribute to fatigue, so try and manage your stress levels through relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. These activities are proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone 'Cortisol', which helps promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

34. Rethink Your Diet

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A balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats can provide sustained energy throughout the day, which will reduce feelings of fatigue. Other ways a good diet reduces fatigue is through regulating your blood sugar levels, and foods that are high in magnesium and tryptophan, will promote better sleep.

35. Consider Supplements

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Some supplements, such as iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 may alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue. Vitamin B12 is vital for energy production and red blood cell formation, and a lack of iron will result in feelings of fatigued, weakness, and shortness of breath. It is important to note that you should always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements.

36. Stay Hydrated

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Being dehydrated will impact your energy levels and contribute to feelings of fatigue, so staying well hydrated will lift your energy throughout the day! Drinking water also helps to flush out any toxins in the body which if not flushed out, will build up in the bloodstream and make you feel fatigued.

37. Avoid Caffeine At All Costs

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We all know that coffee buzz feeling we get in the morning to start the day! But it could be the reason you're feeling fatigued as that coffee buzz is usually followed by a crash in energy, leaving you more fatigued than before. Caffeine can interfere with the quantity, and quality of your sleep, so think again when you buy your next latte.

38. Practice Sleep Hygiene

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When you sleep, make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid using electronic devices before bed as the blue light can interfere with your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). Try introducing a white noise machine when you sleep, as it can drown out any foreign noises.

39. Take Frequent Breaks

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If you have a job that requires long periods of sitting or standing, then taking frequent breaks to stretch and move around will help prevent feelings of fatigue and improve your focus and productivity. Taking a break can help clear your mind and improve mental focus, which can help reduce feelings of fatigue.

40. Try Acupuncture

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Some studies suggest that acupuncture may help alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of thin needles of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and reduce symptoms. It can increase circulation and blood flow, boost immune functions, and improves sleep quality, which all help reduce chronic fatigue.

41. Get Outside

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Spending time in nature and getting some fresh air and sunlight can help improve your mood and energy levels. Exposure to sunlight can help regulate your circadian rhythms and improve your quality of sleep, as well as providing sufficient vitamins to improve the way you sleep. Getting outside also increases your chances of physical activity and social interaction, both are things that will help reduce fatigue.

42. Practice Relaxation Techniques

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Activities like massages, aromatherapy, and warm baths can help relax your body. When your body and mind is relaxed, you are more likely to have a better quality of sleep, thus reducing feelings of fatigue. Next time you're feeling fatigued, have a both before bed! It may help.

43. Join A Support Group

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Connecting with others who are also dealing with chronic fatigue can provide emotional support, and practical advice for managing symptoms. Knowing that you're not alone in the way you feel or what you're going through (in any case) can lessen the load and make a big thing a little bit easier to deal with.

44. Avoid Overexertion

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Pace yourself throughout the day to avoid overexerting yourself, if you do not, it can worsen your feelings of fatigue. Listen to your body's signals and take breaks when you feel you need them, and break up tasks into smaller, manageable segments to make them easier to deal with.

45. Keep A Symptom Diary

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Keeping track of your symptoms can help you identify patterns and triggers that may be contributing to your fatigue. You can aslo track if the techniques you are using to reduce your fatigue, are working. When you see positive results in a physical form, it will spare you on to keep going!

46. Address Underlying Mental Health Issues

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Chronic fatigue is often linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, so addressing these underlying issues through therapy or medication may also help to alleviate symptoms. Symptoms of these conditions such as racing thoughts, insomnia, hypervigilance, and restlessness will all impact your sleep negatively!

47. Consider Alternative therapies

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Some alternative therapies such as chiropractic care will help to reduce chronic fatigue. Chiropractic care can help to reduce stress and tension, which can be beneficial for people with chronic fatigue. Chiropractic adjustments can help improve your spinal alignment, which is proven to act as pain relief, an improve sleep quality.

48. Seek Social Support

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Isolation and loneliness can contribute to fatigue, so it is important to stay connected with friends and family! Feelings of loneliness can decrease physical activity, create negative emotions, and encourage poor nutrition which will all contribute to poor sleep quality and fatigue.

49. Avoid Tobacco

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Smoking tobacco can impact your levels of fatigue greatly. Tobacco consumption can reduce your oxygen supply as it causes damage to your lungs which can leave you feeling more exhausted than someone who doesn't smoke. Smoking can also deplete the body of sufficient nutrients that the body needs for a good sleep. Quitting smoking can be an important step towards reducing feelings of chronic fatigueness.

50. Seek Medical Help

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If you've tried these strategies and are still struggling with chronic fatigue, it's important to seek medical help. A healthcare professional can help determine if there is an underlying medical condition contributing to your fatigue, and recommend appropriate treatment options.