Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chronic fatigue

207.4 (eek)

I have been feeling tired too often lately. I consistently sleep at least eight hours a night, so I can't blame my fatigue on lack of sleep. I have no other symptoms--no aches, no congestion, no scratchy throat, no cough--so I don't think I'm ill. I know that stress can cause one to feel tired, but my relative stress level at the moment is probably quite a bit lower than at other times in my life: times when I didn't feel so tired.

Last night I was investigating possible causes of my tiredness, and I ran across the fact that caffeine dependence can cause fatigue. I didn't know this! Up until taking my current job last July, I rarely drank coffee: only once in a while if I was extra-tired. (Prior to being a lawyer, I never drank coffee at all, and have never been big on sodas either.)

So I decided that I need to quit coffee. I had to get up before 8:00 today to baby sit for a friend, and I had no coffee at all today. So far, I've had no headache or irritability, but I was tired (& took a 2-hour nap) this afternoon.

We'll see what effect--if any--giving up caffeine will have.

I think another factor in my feeling tired a lot of the time could also be the deterioration in my eating habits over the past 7-8 weeks. I freely admit that I have more energy in general when I'm eating more healthfully and exercising regularly. I've never before experienced this level of fatigue from eating crap and only exercising sporadically, but I *am* getting older. (Getting older sucks, by the way.)

The only other possible explanations I could think of for feeling tired: fatigue is a rare side effect of oral contraceptives, or I could have sleep apnea. However, I've taken the pill off an on for almost 20 years and have never known it to have this effect on me. And even though I do snore some, I don't think I have sleep apnea: no one who has slept with me has ever said he noticed I stopped breathing, and I'd probably feel tired every day if I had that, not just sporadically.

Well, we shall see. . . .