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Fatigue & FM

Are you sick and tired of being sick & tired?

Are you tired all the time? Do you fall into bed at the end of the day and despite getting a full night’s sleep, still wake up feeling tired? If you do not get out of bed every morning feeling refreshed, you may be suffering from fatigue.

Most people live stressful, busy lives, so it is normal to experience tiredness some of the time.  This tiredness generally resolves itself after rest and relaxation.  Increasingly though, tiredness is becoming a major problem.  Fatigue is a common complaint but it is also misunderstood, particularly if there is no easily identifiable cause.

Fibromyalgia has a lot of different symptoms, but by far, the most common are fatigue and pain in different points around your body. That’s not news to anyone with Fibromyalgia, but what is it exactly that is going on in your body to make you so tired?

Why does Fibromyalgia make me feel so tired?

This is a tricky question to answer because no one really knows what causes FM, so it’s hard to say where the fatigue that comes with FM is part of the disease or not.

The best theory right now is the fatigue is caused by your body trying to deal with the pain of FM. The constant release of pain signals in your nerves causes you to grow tired as y our body essentially fights itself.

It’s also possible that something a bit more complex is going on when it comes to FM fatigue. One of the theories on the causes of FM is that it is essentially a mistake in your body’s immune system.  The idea is that FM is caused by your immune system attacking itself, and if you’ve ever had the flu, you know that when your immune system is active, it causes fatigue.

Poor energy production at the cellular level can leave you feeling tired. Mitochondria make energy and keep each cell in your body functioning well.  Damage to our mitochondria is a primary reason for some people feeling fatigued. If mitochondria is impaired, you may have reduced energy production. If you experience fatigue, improving mitochondria function is important for improving energy levels.

Constant fatigue is one of the worst things about FM and people often say that the fatigue is worse than the pain, but even if you are living with Fibromyalgia fatigue, there are things you can do to help manage it.  
The key to more energy

If fatigue is an issue, talk to your GP, they can help you improve your energy levels by choosing the diet, exercise and supplements best suited to your needs.

What can I do about it?

It is possible to manage fatigue with FM. It will always be difficult. Constant pain makes getting a good night’s sleep hard but there are a few things you can do to help.

Stick to a schedule One of the best ways to help you get a good night’s sleep is to condition your body to go to sleep at the same time every night. Pick a bedtime and stick with it. Eventually your body will adjust to naturally get sleepy around this time. This can help you a more reliable rest.

Avoid caffeine It’s tempting to fight fatigue with coffee, but remember that the more caffeine you drink, the harder it will be to get a good sleep later. Have a cut-off time in the afternoon for when you need to stop drinking any more caffeine.

Watch your diet A good diet can help your body feel healthier and more alert. Make sure you eat a healthy, whole foods diet and drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day.

Try to get exercise Yes exercising with FM is difficult, if not impossible, for many FM sufferers, but if you can try and get a little bit of exercise in every day, it will help your body regulate itself and make sleeping easier.

Take naps If you have the luxury, take a nap during the day. It can help you shake off some of the fatigue, but remember not to nap so much that you can’t fall asleep at night.

Talk to your GP If all else fails, a doctor can prescribe you something to help sleep.

Increasing Mitochondria energy production

There are a number of nutrients that can help support Mitochondrial function and give you energy. These include:

Magnesium An essential mineral that is used in over 300 biochemical processes in your body and is essential for the conversion of sugars, fats and proteins to energy.

Ribose   This nutrient can help boost energy production and increase stamina as it a key component of your cellular energy production pathways.

Carintine   Plays an important role in fat metabolism and energy production, as it transports dietary fats directly into the mitochondria to be broken down and burnt as fuel. Carintine may be beneficial if you want to lose weight and boost energy.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)   is essential for energy production and is beneficial in the management of fatigue as it enhances cellular energy production and is a powerful antioxidant.

Lipoic Acid   Is important for the transport and conversion of carbohydrates into energy and a powerful antioxidant that protects mitochondria from damage.

Omega 3   Essential Fatty Acids Fish oil or krill oil are vital for the integrity and stability of every cell in our bodies. Omega 3 oils stimulate the growth and size of the mitochondria and help lower stress levels which helps reduce fatigue.