Monday, October 09, 2006

Fatigue Knowledge

As I stated in the recap, I felt fatigued this morning. As I got to work I looked in Fatigue and wanted to post some of the information I complied. Mine is due to lack of sleep, partially dehydration and sub-par nutrition.
Fatigue, also known as weariness, tiredness, exhaustion, or lethargy, is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy. Fatigue is different from drowsiness. In general, drowsiness is feeling the need to sleep, while fatigue is a lack of energy and motivation. Drowsiness and apathy (a feeling of indifference or not caring about what happens) can be symptoms of fatigue. Fatigue can be a normal and important response to physical exertion, emotional stress, boredom, or lack of sleep. However, it can also be a nonspecific sign of a more serious psychological or physical disorder. When fatigue is not relieved by enough sleep, good nutrition, or a low-stress environment, it should be evaluated by your doctor. Because fatigue is a common complaint, sometimes a potentially serious cause may be overlooked. The pattern of fatigue may help your doctor determine its underlying cause. For example, if you wake up in the morning rested but rapidly develop fatigue with activity, you may have an ongoing physical condition like an under active thyroid. On the other hand, if you wake up with a low level of energy and have fatigue that lasts throughout the day, you may be depressed. Being aware of fatigue with possible physical and psychological causes. Some of the more common but not limited to are anemia, sleep disorders, ongoing pain, allergies, thyroid problems, regularly illegal drug use or alcohol, and depression. Things to help reduce fatigue:
- Get adequate, regular, and consistent amounts of sleep each night. - Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day. - Exercise regularly. - Learn better ways to relax. Try yoga or meditation. - Maintain a reasonable work and personal schedule. - Change your stressful circumstances, if possible. For example, switch jobs, take a vacation, and
deal directly with problems in a relationship. - Take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you. - Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and drug use. If fatigue continues or becomes prolonged follow up with your medical health care provider. There is also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which is a disease that causes you to become so fatigued (tired) you can't perform normal daily tasks. This is called chronic fatigue. The main symptom of CFS is chronic fatigue that lasts more than 6 months. Physical or mental activity often makes the symptoms worse, and rest usually doesn't improve the symptoms. CFS is complicated and difficult to diagnose. Some people have a hard time accepting CFS as a disease. It's important to remember that your fatigue is real and that you can work with your doctor to improve your symptoms. The most-likely explanation for chronic fatigue in competitive athletes is muscle damage. You train for competition by taking a very hard workout, which literally damages your muscle fibers. You feel sore the next day, so you allow your muscle fibers to heal by taking easy workouts. However, many athletes are so obsessed with their training, that they attempt another hard workout before they have recovered from their previous one. This damage prevents muscle fibers from adequately storing muscle sugar for fuel, so they contract with less force and tire earlier. You will recover faster by eating a wide variety of food so you will get all the nutrients that you need to repair the muscle damage caused by hard training. If you are a competitive athlete and suddenly can't get through your workouts, the odds are overwhelming that you are training too much. Take a rest, and if you do not recover in a few days, ask a doctor to look for a hidden infection. What causes chronic fatigue? Overtraining: The most obvious cause is thought to be overtraining. Athletes, who push themselves relentlessly or exercise without proper schedules or supervision, tend to overdo things and then suffer the consequences. The answer is of course to pace yourself and to allow your body to recover from bouts of strenuous exercise before you commence the next round of exertion. Infections: Infections caused by viruses and bacteria can cause long-lasting fatigue in anyone and athletes are no exception. Infections of the upper respiratory tract are particularly implicated and all athletes should make quite sure that they have fully recovered from an infection before they restart their intensive training schedules. Dehydration: Dehydration is another factor that can have long-lasting deleterious effects on performance and cause chronic fatigue. Always make sure that you are well hydrated before, during and after exercise.
Tips for Proper Hydration: - Drink at least eight 8-ounce servings of water each day. The more active you are, hotter/humid conditions you train in, the more water you need to replenish lost fluids. - Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty; you have probably already lost two or more cups of your total body water composition. - Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Convenience is a must, so carry a bottle of water with you as you commute to work, run errands or enjoy a day at the beach. While at work, keep a bottle of water on your desk, or visit the office water cooler and take a water break rather than a coffee break. - Don’t substitute beverages with alcohol or caffeine for water. Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretic beverages and can cause you to lose water through increased urination. - Once you start exercising, drink water throughout your workout. Keep a bottle of water with you and take frequent water breaks. - Don’t underestimate the amount of fluids lost from perspiration. Following a workout, you need to drink two cups of water for each pound lost. - Start and end your day with water. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up. - Common colds and the flu frequently lead to dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water next to your bed so you can sip it throughout the day without having to get up. - Cool water – not carbonated beverages or sports drinks – is the best fluid for keeping hydrated when it’s warm outside. Cool water is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may help to cool off your overheated body. If you’re going to be away from home or outdoors, make sure you keep a bottle of water close by. - Make sure your children drink enough water. Children need water to balance their intake of other beverages – especially during activities. Packing bottled water in a child’s lunch instead of juice or regular soda can also help prevent childhood obesity. Eating disorders: Eating disorders are common among athletes, particularly those who need to keep their weight down to be able to compete successfully. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia occur relatively frequently in female athletes who dread gaining weight more than they fear eating disorders. Anyone who suffers from an eating disorder automatically has an unbalanced dietary intake and is exposed to the danger of developing chronic fatigue. If you are an athlete suffering from an eating disorder, get help immediately by consulting a clinical psychologist, medical doctor and dietitian. Anxiety and depression: Psychological factors such as anxiety and/or depression can also result in chronic fatigue. Athletes who worry about their performance or suffer from depression are more inclined to suffer from prolonged exhaustion than sportsmen and women who have a positive, relaxed and optimistic outlook on life. Stock up on energy! The most important dietary solution to chronic fatigue in athletes is to ensure that you are getting enough energy to meet your needs. Two factors that play a crucial role in chronic fatigue are: Eating too little food to supply the amount of energy you need as an athlete to sustain your training program, and the extra energy you require for events and low body weight. It has been estimated that top athletes require from 8400 to 25000 kJ (depending on type of sport, age, sex and intensity of training). The fact that athletes need to carbo-load and most carbohydrate foods have a lower energy density than fatty foods makes it even more difficult for athletes to ingest enough energy to meet their needs. The best solution is to make quite sure that you are getting enough energy and if this is not the case, to use carbo-boosters in liquid or solid form (energy bars, etc). Carbohydrates are essential. When an athlete exercises strenuously day after day, his/her muscle glycogen stores become totally depleted and such athletes are inclined to develop chronic fatigue. If you train hard you need to take in 5-10 gram of carbohydrate per kg of body weight per day. As mentioned above, you may need to use liquid or solid carbo-boosters to ensure that you are getting sufficient carbohydrate. Take your carbs before, during and after exercise. Research has shown that athletes who drink a carbohydrate-rich solution during exercise are much less prone to developing respiratory infections and chronic fatigue. A variety of studies conducted in the USA reported that when top athletes used a 6% solution of carbohydrate (consisting of 60% glucose, 40% fructose, i.e. 36 g glucose and 24 g fructose per litre), during training, their post-exercise increases in stress-related hormone (cortisol) which has a negative effect on immune function, were significantly lower than in athletes who did not use carbohydrate supplementation during or after exercise. So make sure that you top up your carbohydrates during training and afterwards to replenish your energy levels and muscle glycogen stores.
Hope it helps.

1 comment:

julie said...

help! My husband is doing the Arizona Ironman April '08. His first. He thinks he'll be able to drive 15 hours to Texas the following day. Is this smart?