3 things you must know about HIV and constant fatigue
Are you HIV positive and constantly feel tired each morning you wake up? A time, sleeping comfortably at night is no longer possible and taking a nap all day seems like the only solution. Even during the day, you lack energy and carrying out your daily activities without the help of others is impossible.
If this is what you have being passing through for a while. There is every possibility you are experiencing TREATMENT FATIGUE or PILL FATIGUE.
What’s the meaning of that? You might be wonder since you have never heard of it. Just keep on reading.
This is constant overtiredness experienced by People Living with HIV (PLHIV) especially those that have been on ARV for years. It is that exhaustion you feel throughout the day especially after taking ARV for a year or more. This annoying feeling makes you want to stop taking your drugs.
WARNING!!! No matter how you are tempted to stop taking ARV, please don’t give in to this risky idea to avoid increasing your viral load.
Like I always say, you are not alone if you are experiencing it now.
In this article, I will be sharing simple steps that will boost your energy level within a short time. Don’t be surprised if you see yourself doing things you were not able to do for days or even weeks.
What causes treatment fatigue?
Though some researchers believe that anxiety and depression are the major cause of treatment fatigue among PLHIV, others suggest that a combination of different factors is responsible for it. Some of these factors are:
- · Anemia.
- · Opportunistic infection.
- · Hormonal imbalance.
- · Poor nutrition.
- · Insufficient or poor quality sleep.
- · Psychological disorder especially anxiety and depression.
Can treatment fatigue be treated?
Yes! Its effects can be reduced to a minimal level.
Different steps are followed by doctors to diagnose and recommend treatment for each patient. This is because the factors responsible for fatigue in Mr. A might be different from that of Mr. B. So laboratory tests and physical examinations are used to check for the presence of any of the factors I listed earlier. Recommendations like adequate sleep, hormonal injections or change of diets are then suggested based on the result of the tests.
What if I cannot afford or access a doctor or health worker, what can I do?
No need to worry, I got you covered.
Following the steps listed below might be of great value to you BUT IF THEY DID NOT IMPROVE YOUR CONDITION, VISIT THE HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY.
· Exercise regularly and get adequate sleep each day.
· Take vitamin B12 supplements or food/fruits rich in folate, example mango, orange, avocado, black eyed beans (the normal white beans with black patch that you know), Okra, cauliflower, carrot. They will help to boost your blood level.
· Avoid junks and eat healthy foods.
· Talking to friends and loved ones about how you feel or joining a support group will go a long way in reducing depression and anxiety.
· Finally, if the fatigue comes with a fever, sore throat and constant headache, I visit to a clinic for treatment of opportunistic infection is advisable.