Feel chronically tired? Find out how to deal with it
Every once in a while everyone feels excessively tired even if it’s only the middle of the week which is why it is important to have sufficient rest during the weekends.
It doesn’t mean that to rest you need to sleep through all weekend or lie on a sofa and binge-watch your favorite TV shows. A healthy work-personal life balance is crucial and you have to develop a healthy routine for your rest too or your tiredness can build up and you can develop chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Although there is no single certain opinion on what is the main reason for CFS, doctors pinpoint the following possible causes:
- A consequence of a viral infection;
- Prolonged excessive mental or physical stress;
- Untreated chronic diseases;
- Unfavorable working conditions;
- Unfavorable environmental conditions;
- Genetic predisposition;
- Chronic conditions that result in low blood oxygen (for instance, sleep apnea, COPD, etc.);
- Poor sleeping routine.
It is quite common for these factors to be combined. For instance, a mother of a newborn who doesn’t have enough night rest for obvious reasons can also suffer from chronic diseases or take on an excessive amount of responsibilities during the day, and so on.
How do you know if you have chronic fatigue syndrome and are not just tired?
First of all, CFS is characterized by excessive tiredness that is still present even after a 12-hour sleep. Besides, it can start suddenly or develop gradually but the difference between its onset and previously experienced tiredness is quite noticeable.
To be diagnosed with CFS, a patient should have at least four of its signs present over a 6-month period and have a noticeable negative impact on a person’s life. Besides, no other health conditions that can have similar symptoms must be present.
Check if you have the symptoms of CFS:
- Fatigue and sleepiness do not go away after even a 12-hour sleep;
- Frequent headaches;
- Daytime drowsiness;
- Trouble falling asleep even after a long day;
- Causeless irritation, anger, bad mood;
- Frequent/recurring infections, common cold;
- Frequent allergic reactions;
- Lowering of cognitive functions, i.e. memory, ability to focus, etc.;
- Sore throat;
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and in armpits;
- Causeless muscle pain.
What should you do to get diagnosed with CFS?
The first thing that should be done is the exclusion of underlying conditions that can be a cause for chronic tiredness. To find out whether they are present or not, you should go to your physician and tell them about all of the symptoms you have. A doctor may ask additional questions to specify the symptoms and then appoint the general tests. Based on their results, a doctor will appoint other tests or send you to a specialist to check for the specific disorders, for instance, to neuropathologist or endocrinologist.
If you don’t have any other conditions that can cause excessive fatigue than you should keep a diary to document all the symptoms for at least several months and then come back to your physician to get diagnosed with CFS and get the treatment plan.
However, you can start your treatment without waiting for six months to observe the symptoms as the treatment options for CFS majorly rely on lifestyle changes.
What is the treatment plan for chronic fatigue syndrome?
You can implement these changes and treatment options if you have no underlying diseases that require specific treatment or even if you have them you can still follow these basic CFS treatments:
- Create a good sleep routine. Make sure you go to bed at least eight and a half hours before you need to wake up to get 8 hours of sleep. It is preferable to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day even on the weekend to maintain a routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can find the articles on our website with tips on improving your sleep.
- Start doing physical exercises. The roots of multiple health problems relevant in today’s world lie in a sedentary lifestyle. Daily exercising or exercising at least thrice a week can improve your health, shape, and general wellbeing.
- Start eating clean. Junk food, heavy meals, excessive sugar, overeating, and possible food allergies play a great role in how a person feels during the day. If you are sluggish, you should definitely work on eating healthier.
- Work on normalizing your psycho-emotional state. If you are subject to significant stress, you should try meditating or going to psychotherapy.
- Treat chronic diseases. If you know that you have chronic diseases, do not neglect their treatment. It can be digestive tract problems that require following a certain diet, obstructive sleep apnea that is treated with weight loss and use of continuous positive airflow pressure devices, etc.
- Take wakefulness-promoting drugs. The other steps will give their results but not instantly. And while you develop your healthy daily routine, you can also use wakefulness-promoting drugs used for numerous conditions including CFS.
What wakefulness-promoting drugs can you use?
There are numerous medicines on the market with wakefulness-promotion properties, starting from caffeine that can be bought over-the-counter to amphetamines that are controlled substances in many countries. However, the best option is in the middle – Modafinil or Armodafinil-based wakefulness-promoting medicines for narcolepsy. These drugs have the potency of amphetamines but much fewer adverse effects. They do not cause addiction which means you can quit using them at any time without any withdrawal. Besides, the dosage of Modafinil or Armodafinil is just one pill a day while other stimulant dosages should be split into several intakes.
While Modafinil and Armodafinil are mostly marketed as wakefulness-promoting drugs, they are also known to improve cognitive functions that also suffer in CFS such as memory, attention, speed of reaction, and so on. So taking these medicines you won’t be just not sleepy but also be able to better focus on different tasks and undertake even the ones that you thought were too complicated for you.
What is the difference between Modafinil and Armodafinil, you may ask? By the name of these substances, it is clear that they are somehow related. And they are, Armodafinil is an enantiopure compound, i.e. a mirrored version of Modafinil. Basically, they are like our palms – identical but opposite. Armodafinil has an R-modafinil enantiomer, i.e. a “right-handed” link in its formula which makes it a bit stronger than Modafinil in the intake of a lower dosage.
Although these drugs are sold with a prescription in the U.S., you can order them online and save not only on the prescription but also the price per pill. These are the generic versions available in our online pharmacy: