Friday, February 26, 2010

But At Least I've Come To Terms With My Own Mortality

So, I was researching chronic fatigue today. Why? Just on a whim. I tend to get really tired, run-down, and I get sick a lot. I know most of this can be due to stress, but I think that it was worth looking into. So, I went to WebMD (I did not write this stuff. They did. Don't eat me for sharing it!)

If you'd like to view the slideshow, click here.

Fatigue Cause No. 1: Not Enough Sleep
It may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night.
Fix: Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and PDAs from your bedroom. Still having trouble? Seek help from a doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

My Opinion:
This is possible. I generally sleep from 10PM until a little after 6AM which is about eight hours, but when I go to sleep after ten, it's less.

Fatigue Cause No. 2: Sleep Apnea
Some people think they're sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: you're sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed.
Fix: Lose weight if you're overweight, quit smoking, and sleep with a CPAP device to help keep airway passages open at night.

My Opinion:
Again, possible. There is a history of sleep apnea within my family. I am kinda overweight, so... maybe that would help. I definitely don't want to sleep with a CPAP, and as I read further into this one, it seems that it's more likely with people with asthma, and can cause snoring, both of which I have.

Fatigue Cause No. 3: Not Enough Fuel
Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating wrong foods can also be a problem. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.
Fix: Always eat breakfast and try to include protein and complex carbs in every meal. For example, eat eggs with whole-grain toast. Also eat meals and snacks throughout the day for sustained energy.

My Opinion:
I tend to snack a lot. It's a really bad habit, actually. I do eat breakfast, but it's usually not fantastically amazingly healthy.

Fatigue Cause No. 4: Anemia
Anemia is a leading cause of fatigue in women. Menstrual blood loss can cause an iron deficiency, putting women at risk. Red blood cells are needed because they carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.
Fix: For anemia caused by an iron deficiency, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and enriched cereal, can help.

My Opinion:
This is highly possible. My mom tends to be anemic, and I try to remember to take a multi-vitamin every morning, but it can be difficult to remember. (Also, I have to wait until after I eat something. Taking a vitamin on an empty stomach makes me sick.)

Fatigue Cause No. 5: Depression
You may think of depression as an emotional disorder, but it contributes to many physical symptoms as well. Fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite are among the most common symptoms. If you feel tired and "down" for more than a couple of weeks, see your doctor.
Fix: Depression responds well to psychotherapy and/or medication.

My Opinion:
I don't think I'm stressed. The end.

Fatigue Cause No. 6: Hypothyroidism
The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck. It controls your metabolism, the speed at which your body converts fuel into energy. When the gland is underactive and the metabolism functions too slowly, you may feel sluggish and put on weight.
Fix: If a blood test confirms your thyroid hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up at speed.

My Opinion:
I don't think I have hypothyroidism, but I do think that I have a very low metabolism. I should work on that.

Fatigue Cause No. 7: Caffeine Overload
Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and jitteriness. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.
Fix: Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.

My Opinion:
I don't drink coffee, and I really don't drink soda or take any medications with caffeine in them. Sometimes I'll have tea in the morning, just because I get sick of drinking too much milk, and tea is creamy. I don't over-load though. I'm pretty good about keeping caffeine intake under control.

Fatigue Cause No. 8: Hidden UTI
If you've ever had a urinary tract infection, you're probably familiar with the burning pain and sense of urgency. But the infection doesn't always announce itself with such obvious symptoms. In some cases, fatigue may be the only sign. A urine test can confirm a UTI.
Fix: Antibiotics are the cue for UTIs and the fatigue will vanish within a week.

My Opinion:
I don't have a UTI.

Fatigue Cause No. 9: Diabetes
In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body's cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.
Fix: Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy and medications to help the body process sugar.

My Opinion:
I've been tested for diabetes a few times. I don't have it.

Fatigue Cause No. 10: Dehydration
Your fatigue can be a sign of dehydration. Whether you're working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
Fix: Drink water throughout the day so your urine is light colored. Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity. Then, sip throughout your workout and afterwards drink another two cups.

My Opinion:
Possible. I do drink a lot though.

Fatigue Cause No. 11: Heart Disease
When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice that it's becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.
Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.

My Opinion:
I don't think so...

Fatigue Cause No. 12: Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Working nights or rotating shifts can disrupt your internal clock. You may feel tired when you need to be awake, and have trouble sleeping during the day.
Fix: Limit your exposure to daylight when you need to rest. Make your room dark, quiet and cool. Still having sleep issues? Talk with your doctor. Supplements and medications may help.

My Opinion:
I don't work a night shift... Or any shift.

Fatigue Cause No. 13: Food Allergies
Some doctors believe that hidden food allergies can make you sleepy. If your fatigue intensifies after meals, you could have a mild intolerance to something you're eating -- not enough to cause itching or hives, just enough to make you tired.
Fix: Try eliminating foods one at a time to see if your fatigue improves. You can also ask your doctor about a food allergy test.

My Opinion:
This is kinda what happens if I eat too much dairy. I get run-down and a stomach ache (Like right now...)

Fatigue Cause No. 14: CFS and Fibromyalgia
If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can't manage your daily activities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia are a possibility. Both can have various symptoms, but persistent, unexplained exhaustion is a main one.
Fix: While there is no quick fix for CFS or fibromyalgia, patients often benefit from changing their daily schedule, learning better sleeping habits, and starting a gentile exercise program

My Opinion:
I don't have this.

I'm kind of glad that I looked this stuff up. It's good to know what causes what, and like I said yesterday, (I think it was yesterday...) I have a random interest in psycology, even though I'll never use it. Still cool stuff to know. We had a snow day today, so I had a lot of time on my hands. Don't think I'm weird. Oh, and my first English journal is like six pages long. I'll tell you about it tomorrow. I'm frustrated with them.

The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead.


Arianna said...

Sorry 'bout the tiredness, Keri. :P