Fatigue is a normal physiological response. When the body becomes temporarily tired after strenuous activity or stress, it can recover in a short time with proper rest. However, there are some conditions that make people tire easily; for example chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and high blood sugar levels, chronic kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer.
However, some people without chronic diseases continue to suffer from unexplained fatigue that isn’t relieved by more sleep or rest. Some of these cases become so severe that they interfere with their daily activities.
These individuals may also have sleep problems such as insomnia and wakefulness. At the same time, there may be poor concentration or short-term memory problems, and some patients may feel like they are suffering from brain fog. Dizziness can be worse when sitting or standing upright. Some people may also experience headaches, muscle aches, or pain in multiple joints.
Patients with these symptoms are likely to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not fully understood at this time, but may be related to lifestyle factors or viral infections.
Life factors include stress, hours of work and rest, and diet. dr Shih Heng Chang, director of Lohasiinfra Clinic, said stress can cause hormonal fluctuations and imbalances, particularly fluctuations in cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex. Cortisol keeps people awake so they don’t tend to fall asleep. When cortisol levels are imbalanced, many body systems and functions are adversely affected.
Many people tend to stay up late, but the best time to go to bed is between 11pm and midnight or even earlier. When people don’t sleep when they should, even if they sleep at the same time, e.g. B. seven to eight hours, their sleep efficiency decreases, so it is not as effective as people who go to bed at 10 a.m.: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. In addition, some people may experience restless sleep due to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea -Legs syndrome or insomnia staying up late.
In addition, a nutritional imbalance can easily lead to a lack of necessary trace elements for the body to function. The smallest functional unit of the human body is the cell, and every cell has a “generator” called the mitochondrion, which needs to be supplied with sufficient vitamins and minerals to function properly.
Viral infections can also cause chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue is known to occur in some people infected with human herpesvirus type 4. Now it has been discovered that patients who have had COVID-19 can also suffer from severe fatigue known as long COVID.
According to medical diagnostic standards, symptoms of fatigue must last six months or longer before chronic fatigue syndrome is recognized. dr However, Chang pointed out that a patient who has no energy for most of the day does not want to wait six months for treatment.
Even if the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is confirmed, there is currently no medical cure for it, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. For example, patients who become easily depressed may be prescribed low-dose antidepressants; Some teens are prone to dizziness on standing and may be given medication to control their blood pressure or heart rate. and some patients prone to muscle pain are treated with painkillers.
In addition to medication, there are a number of ways to improve chronic fatigue:
Supplementation of vitamin B complex to regulate hormones
Lack of energy and tiredness during the day are related to cortisol.
Under normal circumstances, more cortisol should be released during the day than at night. In particular, cortisol secretion should be high when you first wake up in the morning and very low when you go to bed at night.
However, people with chronic fatigue have a different situation. according to dr Chang, physical exams will show that chronically fatigued patients have very low cortisol levels between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m
There are currently no medications that can directly regulate cortisol, but supplementing with vitamin B complex can help.
In addition, the brain also feels tired when there is a lack of oxygen. Vitamin B12 in the B complex is related to the production of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells help the body carry oxygen, so supplementing with vitamin B12 can make oxygen transportation smoother.
Vitamin B12 can also contribute to the production of another hormone – melatonin. Melatonin can make people drowsy and is secreted in large amounts at night, causing people to fall asleep deeply and promoting energy recovery. The body’s own tryptophan can synthesize melatonin. And this synthesis process needs the help of vitamin B12.
In general, taking vitamin B complex during the day can leave you feeling energized. However, some people will want to sleep if they take vitamin B complex in the morning, even though taking it at night will help them sleep. Therefore, it is recommended to adjust the timing of taking the vitamin to the individual situation.
Other nutrients that need to be supplemented are:
High quality proteins: Tryptophan can be supplemented from protein-rich foods.
Minerals: such as copper, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. Iron can synthesize red blood cells; Zinc is involved in many chemical reactions in the body; Copper is linked to red blood cells and the nervous system; and calcium and magnesium can relax muscles.
fish oil: Chronic inflammation can also lead to fatigue, and the main component of fish oil, omega-3, has anti-inflammatory properties.
Improved sleep can reduce fatigue by half
A good night’s sleep can eliminate fatigue. Clinical management of chronic fatigue begins with improving the patient’s sleep. “The other side of fatigue is poor sleep quality,” said Dr. Chang, “and these two are often combined.”
People who have trouble sleeping and who snore easily can be screened for sleep apnea. This disease causes oxygen starvation, reduces sleep quality, and makes people tired and sleepy during the day.
For people with chronic fatigue, it is best to go to bed at 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and at a fixed time. Your sleeping environment should be ventilated, dark and without lights. dr Chang added that the chances of developing type 2 diabetes can increase if there is light during sleep.
Also, a bath before bed helps you fall asleep. A study released from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 showed that a hot bath one to two hours before bed and a water temperature between 40 °C and 42.8 °C (104 °F and 109 °F) helped people stay in fall asleep deeply and increase the average speed of falling asleep by 10 minutes.
dr Chang stressed that we shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages before bed. This causes people to end up in a light sleep state for most of the night.
Appropriate exercise can help improve sleep quality
Fatigue is also linked to dysfunctional work and sleep schedules. Usually the body is energetic during the day and tired at night, but in this case the patient is not energetic during the day. Therefore, exercise can help adjust the body’s physiological clock.
Although chronic fatigue syndrome patients may be more fatigued if they immediately begin vigorous exercise, they may start with very low intensity, such as walking. B. Walking, and gradually increase the amount of exercise.
Patients can also consider slow exercises like qigong, which are not only rtriggers signs of fatigue, but also calms the mind of the individual. A study in the medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine discovered that chronic fatigue patients who practiced qigong experienced significant improvements in their overall fatigue, physical fatigue, and depression.
Adapt interior lighting to the seasons
Daytime sleepiness is more common in winter. Because of the short winter days and long, dark nights, the body produces more melatonin. Melatonin can help you sleep, but too much of it makes you tired and depressed.
Therefore, it is best to turn up the indoor lighting during the winter days to increase the brightness of the room. Turn on the lights early in the evening to avoid a dark room.
Using acupuncture and massage to improve overall health
That mayo Clinic, which has been ranked number one in the United States for six consecutive years, also mentions acupuncture and massage therapy in its summary of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Acupuncture is one of the therapeutic techniques used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote the circulation of Qi, blood and meridians. It is a technique to balance the flow of energy or vitality by stimulating acupuncture points (places where nerves, muscles and connective tissues are located) to improve overall health and reduce stress.
A massage performed by a professional massage therapist can help relieve stress, relieve pain and muscle tension, help the body relax, and improve immune function.