Fatigue: why am I always exhausted?
My name is Audrey Mukoro, a 36-year- old sickle cell warrior, a mom, genetic counselor and founder and director of Audrey Sickle Cell Foundation and I am a proud warrior.
Its been a minute…yeah…. I have being busy with life, my health, my daughter and the organisation. My health has really been roller coaster some days are good , some days are terrific!
Lately Fatigue has gotten the best part of me; which gave rise to this article which is mainly my experience and a bit of research. My experience with fatigue has been for years. You know the feeling of tiredness you feel when you wake up rather than feel energized and pumped up for the day’s activities but instead you feel worn out like you never slept.
This is usually makes me forestall my schedules and it could be very upsetting because I would have tons of work on my plate but my energy level is low all I want to do is lay down and do nothing… Gosh it is frustrating!
But as warriors; we are known to have fatigue oftentimes and this is because of how our system is wired so what I do when I feel fatigued most times is to try as much as possible to get hydrated which is really important; when we are hydrated our blood moves easily without getting stuck. It is also important to try to eat healthy as it also helps and get adequate sleep.
In trying to sleep; get in the mood less noise, warm bath, soft music, stay away from gadgets, instead get a book it will help you doze of at least it helps me sleep and even after doing all these things, occasionally I still find it difficult to sleep and that’s when I use the drugs given to me by my doctor to aid my sleeping. If all of these produces no result discuss with your doctor and they would properly direct you.
Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by children and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). It is defined as a feeling of exhaustion and lack of energy. Fatigue has a negative impact on quality of life for many people with SCD.
Fatigue occurs because of anemia, or a low number of healthy red blood cells. But other factors, such as pain, stress, and depression, may also contribute to fatigue. Not much research has been done on treatments for fatigue in people with SCD. However, there are techniques to reduce the impact of anemia on your energy level.
Fatigue is a major symptom of many chronic illnesses. It is a condition of extreme tiredness and an inability to function due to a lack of energy. The exhaustion can be physical and mental, and can be acute or chronic.
How is fatigue treated?
Fatigue is hard to treat because many factors can contribute to feelings of exhaustion. Also, very little research has been done on treatments that reduce fatigue in people with SCD.3
Fatigue is usually treated by reducing the impact of anemia. These steps may include:8
- Eating a balanced diet
- Developing a healthy sleep routine
- Planning your day to include rest periods
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Trying to do light exercise every day
- Asking for help when you need it with childcare, shopping, chores, or driving
- Avoiding injuries that might cause bleeding or bruising.
- Making time for distracting or relaxing activities, such as meditation, yoga, and reading.
Treatments that reduce the frequency of pain crises, such as hydroxyurea, may be helpful if pain is disrupting your sleep. Severe anemia caused by an infection or enlarged spleen may be treated with blood transfusions.5
Addressing stress, depression, and anxiety may also help. Counseling, support groups, and stress management techniques may improve your mood and energy levels. Sometimes, medications for depression or anxiety may also help combat fatigue.
Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat fatigue for you. They may refer you to physical therapists, nutrition counselors, or other specialists. They can also discuss how certain medications may help or hurt your energy level.
I hope you have been able to get value on how to manage your fatigue when ever it arises. Fret not fellow warriors. There’s a good news everyone, yes, you reading this, you are strong and unique in your own beautiful way.