Let’s face it – everyone feels tired sometimes.
Whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning (especially when you have to go to work), or feeling the drag around 1pm at your desk, or even during the commute home, fatigue and exhaustion take their toll on everyone.
Everyone’s got their own reasons why they feel exhausted during the day. Some people have dogs that like to bark all night and keep them up. Others have kids whose internal alarm clock is permanently set to “way too early”. Others suffer from stress at work and at home that keeps them lying awake chasing sleep.
Some unlucky people suffer from all of the above – and more.
But what if your fatigue isn’t “normal” fatigue – but something worse?
Doctors are warning about a new medical condition called “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” that affects people by causing overwhelming fatigue.
How do you tell whether your fatigue is due to normal life factors, or whether it’s due to something like chronic fatigue syndrome?
How To Tell If Your Fatigue Is From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Unfortunately, doctors don’t know the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome yet – and aside from the obvious symptom of feeling exhausted, there are no tests that can conclusively tell you whether you have it or not. The best way to figure out whether you have chronic fatigue syndrome is to rule out other conditions that might be causing you fatigue, like depression, anemia, heart disease, thyroid disease, sleep apnea, and others. If you and your doctor can rule out other conditions, but you still feel exhausted, your doctor might be able to diagnose you with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Another way to tell if your fatigue is due to normal everyday factors or to a more serious underlying condition is to look closely at when and where you feel it.
If you’re feeling fatigue for short periods of time during the day, that usually line up with when you’re feeling stressed or at your wits end – it’s most likely normal fatigue.
But if you’re feeling fatigue that lasts for days or even weeks at a time, and doesn’t seem to let up even if you get more sleep and remove stressors – that’s a big sign that there’s more of an underlying condition going on that your doctor can help you with.
What Should You Do If You Think You Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Before going to the doctor, there are a few things you can do yourself to get some more insight into how you’re feeling and what you should do next.
It’s not possible for everybody, but if you’re feeling really exhausted, try taking a few days off of work to rest, recover, and recuperate. If you can’t take any time off, designate a weekend as “me time” and use it to rest and catch up on sleep.
If you don’t feel better after that – there’s a good chance something else is going on behind the scenes.
Other symptoms of cfs include memory and concentration lapses, feeling fatigued during or after exercise, and feeling exhausted about an hour after you get up and start your day.
Again – one day of those symptoms does not mean you have chronic fatigue syndrome.
But if those symptoms last for 6 months or more – you should talk to your doctor about what to do to get yourself feeling better.
What Should You Do To Combat Normal Fatigue?
If fatigue is impacting your day to day in a way you really don’t like, there are a few things you can do about it.
The first and most obvious is to catch up on your sleep. You should be getting at least seven and a half hours of quality sleep per night – and if that’s missing then you know where your fatigue is coming from.
Try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time each day – it helps train your body to get better sleep and to feel better throughout the day.
Your diet is super important to how you feel – as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.”
If you’re eating a lot of processed foods and added sugar, it’s going to spike and crash your blood sugar levels all day, which will make you feel fatigue.
Try eating whole foods and eating a bunch of smaller meals throughout the day to avoid diet related fatigue and keep yourself at your best.
more: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Exercise is also another way to boost your energy levels and get you feeling better. I know it sounds crazy to add exercise if you’re already feeling exhausted – but even a little bit of exercise 3 times a week can strengthen your body and make you feel a lot better – removing a lot of the fatigue you’re feeling right now.