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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

African Americans and Chronic Fatigue - What Can Be Done?

African American with Chronic Fatigue

Some people seem to have energy to spare at the end of the day, while others find themselves fighting to stay awake during the day and often get up in the morning feeling like they have never been to sleep. The cure may be as simple as adjusting a few eating and daily living habits or could be what is known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a disease symptomized by prolonged and severe fatigue, along with body aches and other symptoms. Although no exact cause has been identified and there is no test that will diagnose it, many patients often develop the symptoms after having flu-like viruses. It is also believed that chronic fatigue syndrome patients may have other health problems that could make them more susceptible to CFS. Worldwide, 17 million people have the syndrome, including at least one million Americans. There are no medications specifically for CFS, but doctors can treat the symptoms effectively with medication.

For other people who just always seem to be tired, there are some simple adjustments that might make a big difference in the way they feel. They include:

Cut back on caffeine - drinking too much coffee or caffeine drinks will begin to have the reverse affect, making you rely on more caffeine during the day in order to stay awake. Too much caffeine can also prevent you from getting a good night's sleep and make you feel tired the next day.

Don't skip breakfast - breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Giving your body fuel to start the day is important to keeping energy levels up and avoiding that tired feeling.

Exercise - exercising regularly keeps blood pumping to the heart and other organs and delivers more oxygen to the body which will increase your energy level.

Get enough rest - it is recommended that 8 hours of sleep is normally needed to allow the body to rejuvenate during the night. In addition, if your sleep patterns are irregular--like switching from night sleep to day sleep--can change how you feel. It is important to keep the pattern the same as much as possible and allow enough sleep time.

Obesity - can interfere with breathing during the night and even lead to sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes breathing to stop. This will prevent people from getting sufficient sleep and lead to fatigue.

Other causes of fatigue can include changes in medications, changes in physical health, elevated blood sugar levels (diabetes), low iron or anemia, and pregnancy. It is always good to check with your doctor if your fatigue is prolonged to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong. In most cases, relief from fatigue can be helped by simply making a few changes in your diet and daily routine.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.