More and more people are experiencing chronic fatigue. Part of this is due to the still little-understood long covid, where people who have contracted Covid-19 continue to suffer from symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, and pain for months or even years after the initial infection.
Many other illnesses cause either chronic fatigue or chronic pain, and the two often go hand in hand. The problem with a chronic condition is that it doesn’t go away. However, you can manage your symptoms, and some people can live full lives with proper coping mechanisms and managing strategies to work with their body, rather than fighting against it.
The Effects of Fatigue on Your Body
One misconception about chronic fatigue is that sufferers simply feel tired all the time. Pain is one of the chronic fatigue’s most common side effects, and chronic pain only compounds your exhaustion. The pain may also be difficult to ignore and, in some cases, disabling.
As well as these symptoms, chronic fatigue is linked to depression and other mood disorders, and it can be a result of or a cause of stress. Many people experience a phenomenon called “brain fog”, where it’s difficult to think clearly through the tiredness. It’s hard to concentrate and easy to get frustrated when seemingly simple thoughts just don’t break through the fog.
Many people with chronic fatigue struggle to sleep, which again only compounds the problem. Some people struggle to eat properly, which can lead to malnutrition, which can again lead to more fatigue. Exercise and physical activity can be increasingly difficult, leading to a loss of general fitness.
Managing Chronic Fatigue and Pain
The first step to managing your fatigue is to figure out your limitations and learn how to adjust to them. One pitfall that many people fall into is the fatigue “crash”. This is when, after successfully managing your symptoms for a while, you feel better and push yourself. Unfortunately, this leads to a crash, where you rapidly become far worse and must take time to recover.
Another pitfall is to shut down completely. Different people have different limitations, but most people can still do some of what they were capable of beforehand. Shutting yourself away and not doing anything can worsen your mental health and won’t help you physically.
Even though your health isn’t what it was, it’s still important to keep your general health going. Eat well and, if possible, engage in physical activity to keep moving. Some people have low exercise tolerance, so figure out your limitations. Do what works for you.
When it comes to managing your pain, pain relief like CBD patches can help you to still enjoy your life without being distracted or further exhausted by your pain. Always take medications with a health professional’s advice and ensure that you aren’t at risk of developing a drug dependency.