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Controlling Fatigue

I am new to this community, but was diagnosed with asthma 2 years ago. I have allergic asthma triggered by dust allergies. I can deal with the coughing, congestion and periodic shortness of breath, but the worst symptom is fatigue – it's constant and I haven't found any way to keep it under control.

I have anxiety, but was doing pretty well managing insomnia with exercise, limiting electronics use at night etc. before the asthma hit. Now I feel tired even if I sleep through the night. Does anyone here deal with something similar or have ideas of how to prevent fatigue? I've tried various medications on top of my other sleep management techniques, but haven't found an allergy medication or a sleep aid that doesn't leave me with side effects worse than the original symptoms. I already take a vitamin d supplement, which helps, but hasn't been enough to eliminate my fatigue. I'm about to start researching diets as I'm at a loss of what else to try. 

 

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Comments 17

  • Kathy P

    Welcome Sally – fatigue can really be debilitating! It sounds like you have tried a lot of things. 

    Do you know "how well" you are sleeping? Have you ever had a sleep study done? Do you wear a fitness tracker that shows you how much deep sleep you get?

    I find that my allergies cause more fatigue than my asthma. When it's pillen season, I'm soooo tired all the time. I also have a dust mites allergy. What has helped is talking measures in my bedroom to reduce dust mites – allergy covers on mattress and pillows, controlling the dust bunnies under the bed and dressers, etc. I look for covers that are Certified asthma & allergy friendly –

  • LK

    Hi Sally!  

    Have you asked your doctor about the fatigue?  

    I have had severe asthma for six years and was diagnosed with dust mite allergies this past spring.  I am on several maintenance medicines for my asthma and a few for acid reflux.  Are you on any maintenance meds for your asthma?

    I would add to Kathy's good suggestions that you tell your doctor about all your symptoms, even the ones that don't seem related to asthma.  For me, when I am not breathing well at night, I am very tired the next day.  

    Please let us know how you are doing!

  • Shea

    I also struggle with fatigue. It is so hard. I am a single mom and I care for my son fulltime and homeschool. I try to push myself snd I get everything done but I just eish it wasnt such a struggle. I am envious of other people's energy. I pace myself and plan every step just to get everything done with my energy and it is harder to enjoy things.

    The other night I saw an infomercial on TV for beet powder that you mix and supposedly tastes good too, not like beets– and I dont usually go for infomercials or even watch them but I might order some and try it. I have a hard time getting veggies in anyways and its supposed to start working right away and actually be nutritious whole food organic non-gmo energy and the science made sense to me… so… Ill let you know how it goes after I order it and try it out. .

    This is the brand on the tv I saw

    …(Actually.. I just ordered it now since I could use my paypal credit lol… So it will be here 10-2.)

  • Melissa G

    Hi and Welcome SallyB!  So glad that you found us! 

    Fatigue is so frustrating! Allergy meds can definitely cause issues, have you tried taking them at different time?

    As others have mentioned, have you talked with your dr about your fatigue? Have you had all your vitamin levels checked? Have you had your thyroid checked?

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Sally and welcome! It does sound like you've tried quite a lot of different things. I agree with Kathy — if you're sleeping through the night and waking up feeling unrested, it's good to check in with your doc.

    Fatigue is a tricky thing to chase down, and it can take a lot of hunting and digging by your doc. A sleep study is a good place to start.

    It could be that you're not sleeping as well as you think.

    • you could have sleep apnea
    • your O2 levels could be dropping at night or even during the day
    • you could have other issues that are interrupting your sleep or causing the fatigue.

    Also, when we have asthma, we tend to blame a lot of things on asthma. Some things are definitely connected. But others may not be. So talking with your doc can help you rule out other causes.

    In the meantime, some things that I've found to help with the fatigue:

    • listening to my body. Sometimes, especially if the fatigue is related to a chronic disorder or illness, it's my body's way of telling me to slow down and not push so hard. It's frustrating, but pushing against it can be counter-productive.
    • music – it really DOES soothe the savage beast. My favorite tunes, either peppy OR slow and relaxing, can help me feel better.
    • the right amount of exercise — it's best to check with your doc on this, and if you haven't been active, start out super slow.
    • things that help with overall stress and breathing — yoga has helped me, and mindfulness meditation. 
    • short naps during the day if possible — but before late afternoon and very short in length.
    • a well-balanced diet with lots of veggies – too much junk food does me in.
  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Melissa G posted:

    Hi and Welcome SallyB!  So glad that you found us! 

    Fatigue is so frustrating! Allergy meds can definitely cause issues, have you tried taking them at different time?

    As others have mentioned, have you talked with your dr about your fatigue? Have you had all your vitamin levels checked? Have you had your thyroid checked?

    Hi SallyB! Everyone has given you a lot of information to consider and I just wanted to reiterate Melissa's comment about getting your thyroid checked. Years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my main symptom was exhaustion…I was more tired when I woke up than when I went to bed.

  • SallyB
    Kathy P posted:

    Welcome Sally – fatigue can really be debilitating! It sounds like you have tried a lot of things. 

    Do you know "how well" you are sleeping? Have you ever had a sleep study done? Do you wear a fitness tracker that shows you how much deep sleep you get?

    I find that my allergies cause more fatigue than my asthma. When it's pillen season, I'm soooo tired all the time. I also have a dust mites allergy. What has helped is talking measures in my bedroom to reduce dust mites – allergy covers on mattress and pillows, controlling the dust bunnies under the bed and dressers, etc. I look for covers that are Certified asthma & allergy friendly –

    Hi Kathy, thanks for your response! Those are some really good ideas. I have never had a sleep study done, and have not used my fitbit to track sleep. Those are both great ideas to see where I am at, although I may need a new fitbit. My current one is old and a little glitchy! I do have allergy covers and a HEPA air filter in my room. Since my allergy is to dust mites, they have helped a ton, but I live in an old house and there is only so much I can do to eliminate the dust from my space. 

    I am going to get out my fitbit and look up sleep studies! 

  • SallyB
    Shea posted:

    I also struggle with fatigue. It is so hard. I am a single mom and I care for my son fulltime and homeschool. I try to push myself snd I get everything done but I just eish it wasnt such a struggle. I am envious of other people's energy. I pace myself and plan every step just to get everything done with my energy and it is harder to enjoy things.

    The other night I saw an infomercial on TV for beet powder that you mix and supposedly tastes good too, not like beets– and I dont usually go for infomercials or even watch them but I might order some and try it. I have a hard time getting veggies in anyways and its supposed to start working right away and actually be nutritious whole food organic non-gmo energy and the science made sense to me… so… Ill let you know how it goes after I order it and try it out. .

    This is the brand on the tv I saw

    …(Actually.. I just ordered it now since I could use my paypal credit lol… So it will be here 10-2.)

    I admire all that you are doing! Definitely let me know how it goes. Beets are one of the few foods I avoid but if you find it helps you I will gladly try it! One of my colleagues has her degree in nutrition, so I am actually going to try and talk to her this week and see a nutritionist if she thinks I can use recommendations from someone who is in practice. 

  • K8sMom2002

    I like the idea of talking with your friend who has a degree in nutrition. I get what you mean about beets. I really have TRIED to like beets. But when I eat them, I think of what my mom used to tell me when I was little and would try a veggie I didn't like. "It's okay, sweetie … you're just not "big enough" yet to like it."

    Yup. This old, and still not big enough to enjoy beets.

  • SallyB
    Melissa G posted:

    Hi and Welcome SallyB!  So glad that you found us! 

    Fatigue is so frustrating! Allergy meds can definitely cause issues, have you tried taking them at different time?

    As others have mentioned, have you talked with your dr about your fatigue? Have you had all your vitamin levels checked? Have you had your thyroid checked?

    Hi Melissa, 

    I have tried taking my meds them at all different times, and so far the best results have been taking allegra at night. I don't get great sleep, but it's better. As far as talking to my doctor – I did have all my vitamin levels checked and my thyroid back in the winter. I am borderline on my thyroid, but I have a massive vitamin d deficiency. I am already a lot better since I started taking vitamin D supplements. I was so tired back in the winter that I could barely function on a day to day basis. 

    It may be time for me to get my thyroid checked again – I've was checking in with my doctor every 3 months, but after a few blood tests came back borderline on my thyroid she decided we would wait longer before testing again. If I am checking on diet and monitoring my sleep cycles it can't hurt to check on that again as well! Thanks for your advice!

  • SallyB
    Brenda Silvia-Torma posted:
    Melissa G posted:

    Hi and Welcome SallyB!  So glad that you found us! 

    Fatigue is so frustrating! Allergy meds can definitely cause issues, have you tried taking them at different time?

    As others have mentioned, have you talked with your dr about your fatigue? Have you had all your vitamin levels checked? Have you had your thyroid checked?

    Hi SallyB! Everyone has given you a lot of information to consider and I just wanted to reiterate Melissa's comment about getting your thyroid checked. Years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my main symptom was exhaustion…I was more tired when I woke up than when I went to bed.

    Hi Brenda, Thanks for your help. I have been tested for hypothyroidism a few times. It runs in my family and the results keep coming back borderline. It's probably time to get tested again. My doctor seems to think at some point I will cross over into needing the meds, but wants to wait before having me start them. 

  • SallyB
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Hi, Sally and welcome! It does sound like you've tried quite a lot of different things. I agree with Kathy — if you're sleeping through the night and waking up feeling unrested, it's good to check in with your doc.

    Fatigue is a tricky thing to chase down, and it can take a lot of hunting and digging by your doc. A sleep study is a good place to start.

    It could be that you're not sleeping as well as you think.

    • you could have sleep apnea
    • your O2 levels could be dropping at night or even during the day
    • you could have other issues that are interrupting your sleep or causing the fatigue.

    Also, when we have asthma, we tend to blame a lot of things on asthma. Some things are definitely connected. But others may not be. So talking with your doc can help you rule out other causes.

    In the meantime, some things that I've found to help with the fatigue:

    • listening to my body. Sometimes, especially if the fatigue is related to a chronic disorder or illness, it's my body's way of telling me to slow down and not push so hard. It's frustrating, but pushing against it can be counter-productive.
    • music – it really DOES soothe the savage beast. My favorite tunes, either peppy OR slow and relaxing, can help me feel better.
    • the right amount of exercise — it's best to check with your doc on this, and if you haven't been active, start out super slow.
    • things that help with overall stress and breathing — yoga has helped me, and mindfulness meditation. 
    • short naps during the day if possible — but before late afternoon and very short in length.
    • a well-balanced diet with lots of veggies – too much junk food does me in.

    This is wonderful advice. Thank you! Based on all the feedback here it sounds like my first step is to make an appointment and check back in with my doctor so we can dig deeper into the options and see if something new may be the problem. I've got the exercise part down, but my diet is not there. Since I have anxiety too, it's hard to distinguish between good old insomnia and the asthmatic kind of sleep deprivation – where I wake up feeling like I can't quite get enough air down. 

    I am going to make an appointment and ask her about a sleep study or if there are any medical changes I can make in addition to diet. Thank you!

  • Melissa G

    @SallyB How are you doing? Are you still battling fatigue? Have you been able to make an appt with your dr?

  • SallyB
    Melissa G posted:

    @SallyB How are you doing? Are you still battling fatigue? Have you been able to make an appt with your dr?

    Hi Melissa, thank you so much for checking in! I am having a lot more good days now. I have switched the time I take my allergy medicine and am focusing on eating a healthier diet, and these seem to be helping with my fatigue. I used to be tired about 6 days out of 7, and now I'm maybe tired 3-4. I have also begun to keep a journal of my symptoms, and that is giving me some helpful insight into the factors increasing my fatigue. Here's to progress! I am going to keep the journal for a couple more months and hopefully that can help me find out what else I can do to improve. Thank you for your support!