When Is Chronic Fatigue A Problem?
If you feel tired all the time, the cause may be easy to remedy with more rest and better time management. However, there are cases in which chronic fatigue may be an indication of a more serious issue: know when to contact your physician.
Whether you're a professional mom or just working long hours at the office, it's no surprise you feel tired all the time. Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher between normal tired and when there should be cause for concern. Prevention Magazine lists anemia, diabetes, thyroid disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and chronic fatigue as potential causes for constant tiredness. Know the warning signs so you know when it's time to contact your physician.
After a long day or a busy schedule, it is common to feel normal fatigue. As far the mental part goes, it is not abnormal to feel a little foggy after a long day. Overload is not uncommon - especially when it comes to high stress jobs and ones that involve staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time. Physically speaking, lower back pain is common and is usually due to jobs that requiring sitting all day.
In this position, the hips are continually flexed, which throws the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (a system of bones and muscles that controls your core) out of whack and can lead to lower back pain. Simply stretching the hip flexors and hamstrings can relieve this. Jobs that involve long hours standing can cause shoulder pain and upper back pain as can jobs that require heavy lifting. Incorporating resistance training into your weekly routine can help your body adapt to long hours of activity. Oh, and a massage never hurts!
To figure out if your fatigue may be a sign of something less common and something you should contact a professional about, typical fatigue due to overwork will go away as soon as the work load is reduced. Any joint pain, muscle pain, or tightness that never really goes away and canít be stretched out should constitute a call to your physician. It is never normal to be in pain all the time.
Sometimes we work ourselves too hard and itís necessary to literally "take a load off." Give yourself some much needed R & R and see if that doesnít help. Remember, the most important part of rest and relaxation is rest so make sure youíre getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If you donít, youíre setting yourself up for fatigue because your body has no time to regenerate.
A poor diet (i.e. one that includes fast food, junk food, excessive sugar intake, overindulgence in alcoholic beverages and other careless eating habits) may also contribute to your lack of energy and a general feeling of ill-being. Stimulants such as caffeine may also indirectly cause fatigue. We have all experienced that mid-day crash that comes after the morning short of espresso. Look for more natural sources of energy such as fruit or more frequent smaller meals.
Most fatigue can be prevented or decreased by improving your diet, sleep habits, and concentration on better time management. It is always important to care for yourself as you would for the people you love. Keep a watch out for signs of a more serious problem and make sure to contact your physician if symptoms continue for a long period of time.