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Chronic Fatigue: Tired of Feeling Tired?

Learn what may be causing your chronic fatigue ... and 10 solutions.
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No. 4: Undiagnosed Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Although most women associate a urinary tract infection with symptoms such as burning or urgency, sometimes fatigue is the only clue.

In most instances, a UTI is caused by bacteria in the urinary tract, often the result of improper bathroom hygiene (wiping back to front, for example). Sexual intercourse can increase the risk because it can push bacteria from the vagina into the urethra.

If your doctor suspects that you have a UTI, your urine will be tested. Treatment is quick and easy, and usually involves an oral antibiotic medication. You can expect the fatigue to lift within a week or less if the antibiotic works effectively.

If your symptoms return, get tested again. Some women have chronic UTIs, which are very difficult to resolve. If this is your case, ask your doctor about preventive care, which may include low dose antibiotics.

Chronic Fatigue Cause No. 5: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom -- severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people's lives.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common causes of relentless fatigue and muscle pain, especially in women, Mcllwain says.

"Many of my fibromyalgia patients complain that no matter how long they sleep, it's never restful, and they're always fatigued during daytime hours. Their sleep may be interrupted by frequent awakening, yet they may not remember these sleep disruptions the next day and live in a constant 'fibro fog' -- a hazy, mental feeling that makes it difficult to concentrate."

Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in diminished exercise, causing worsened physical fitness and mood-related problems. The answer? Try to exercise more. Exercise has a tremendous effect on sleep, mood, and fatigue.

Mcllwain encourages fibromyalgia patients to try swimming to ease fatigue. "A heated pool helps relieve the deep muscle pain and discomfort, so you can be more active in the water. Swimming helps ease anxiety and stress, and increases the chances of more restful sleep, which may help resolve the fatigue."

If you do try swimming (or any moderate exercise) to ease fatigue, start slowly. As you become accustomed to the added physical activity, you can increase your time in the pool. Set up a regular time for exercise yet watch overdoing it to avoid added fatigue.

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