Tired All The Time (TATT) Syndrome - Sound Like You?
3 Simple Things You Can Do TODAY to Boost Energy and Fight Fatigue
By Dr. Taylor Krick
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints heard in a doctor’s office today, with 5-7% of patients listing fatigue as their chief complaint, and nearly everybody else mentioning it as a big factor in the way they feel. Whoever you are reading this, you probably know the feelings of being exhausted, of missing out on sleep, of being “out of it”. What if that was your everyday life? What if it didn’t matter how many hours you slept? What if coffee, tea, or medications didn’t help? What if you just couldn’t get out of bed this morning? What if the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with you?
This is the hell that people suffer with today known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or the more generalized diagnosis Tired All The Time (TATT) Syndrome. It goes far beyond normal fatigue to sheer exhaustion, often they can’t execute a full day’s worth of activities, they struggle with concentration, and can’t exercise without feeling like they were hit by a truck for the next few days.
Over 1 million people in the United States have a CFS diagnosis, which requires symptoms lasting 6 months or longer and consisting of 4 or more of the following:
Impaired memory or concentration
Post-exertional malaise, where physical or mental exertions bring on ‘extreme prolonged exhaustion and sickness”
Muscle pain (myalgia)
Pain in multiple joints (arthralgia)
Headaches of a new kind or greater severity
Sore throat, frequent or recurring
Tender lymph nodes
The CDC states other common symptoms include:
Brain fog (feeling like one is in a mental fog)
Difficulty maintaining an upright position, dizziness, balance problems, or fainting
Allergies or sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, medications, or noise
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms like bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhea
Chills and night sweats
Visual disturbances (sensitivity to light, blurring, eye pain)
Depression or Mood Problems (irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)
There is no known cause or solution for CFS in the medical field. Fatigue is incredibly common, so CFS is very hard to diagnose, but it’s basically the name they put on your disease when they don’t know what it is. Chronic Fatigue or being Tired All The Time is not a ‘disease’ as much as it is a ‘description’ (it’s like Irritable Bowel Syndrome - “Thank you, I know my bowels are irritated, can you please tell me why?”) Because of this broad ‘description’, chronically fatigued patients often get the medical run-around - which means by the time they get a CFS diagnosis they are chronically fatigued of going to doctors offices and being referred to the next specialist. CFS regularly presents alongside fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, migraine, stress, depression, and more….it’s a wild goose chase going symptom by symptom treating with medication after medication.
Not everyone is in the position of a CFS or TATT diagnosis yet, but millions of Americans don’t have the energy they used to have and feel fatigued everyday, and it’s getting worse and worse. Internet tips and tricks (including the ones discussed in this article) can only take you so far. Sometimes you need help putting the pieces of the puzzle together. That’s where Real Health Coaching comes in. Whether you are experiencing a few bad days here and there, you are starting to feel Tired All The Time, or you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or any other name they have put on it - there are Real Health solutions available. Here are 3 quick and easy steps to begin doing TODAY on a regular basis to fight fatigue and boost your energy tomorrow.
Exercise! (the right amount) If you aren’t experiencing full-blown CFS, exercise is the best medicine for more energy (if you are experience CFS it may make you it worse!). Exercise is like pouring Miracle-Gro on your brain - it improves concentration and memory, it decreases stress hormones, it increases endorphins...just don’t over-do it or it becomes a STRESS! Walking is the cheapest and easiest to move daily, but you really want to give your heart and lungs a good workout at least 3 times per week. Exercising in the morning is the best way to boost energy throughout the day, and can help regulate sleep cycles, another incredibly important part of fighting fatigue, but sleep is much harder to control, and exercise is a choice.
Unplug. Our brains get so overworked with our constant hand-held device usage that we don’t even realize it. This is fatiguing! It’s incredibly stimulatory and wearing on the brain, not to mention the constant EMF microwaves passing through your body and fogging your brain. It’s recharging to unplug from our constant electronic connections, but it’s really hard! Get away from your computer screen. Put your phone on airplane mode more often, or better yet, hide it when you don’t need it, like when you get home at the end of the night. While you are unplugged practice things like mindfulness (being aware of where you are with who you are there with, all the sensations) or meditation (quieting the mind and focusing on a single thing, like your breathing). Even 5-10 minutes of this practice can have a dramatic calming effect on the brain and the body!
Go outside. Being outside in nature (even on your balcony, but especially on the ground) is incredibly healing and stress-relieving. Fresh air, bright sunlight, blue sky, orange sunset, all of these experiences can naturally boost your mood and energy. It helps to even look out of a window, but nothing is as good as being on the actual ground surrounded by living things (grass, trees). The best method is to ground yourself by touching the Earth with your bare skin. Walk around barefoot. Lay in the grass. Sit beneath a tree. Even in the most urban areas you can still find parks and natural settings. Deliberately seek them out and spend time there reading or walking, not on your phone. Leave it at the office or in the car. You could even kill all three birds with one stone - do a ten-minute surge workout in the park, then cool-down with a 10-minute mediation in the grass.
These three steps seem so simple, but take an inventory - when was the last time you did one of them? Two? All three? Chronic fatigue happens when we get caught up in the stress of everyday living and we forget to do the things that we know are important. Take the time to do these action steps today so you don’t get worn down by stress and fatigue tomorrow.
These are very simple steps and work well to fight and prevent fatigue, not necessarily reverse a chronic condition (not to say it can’t be done!). If you have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Tired All The Time Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, Hypothyroidism, or you haven’t been diagnosed but you know your energy is not where it should be - it’s really hard to do on your own. Let Real Health Coaching help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
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