Despite the many joys of working from home, many employees find themselves struggling to create a sense of balance between work and personal time. These include working parents who have to stay on top of their domestic responsibilities from dealing with childcare, homeschooling children, and taking care of household chores. All these tasks left them with no time to look after their health and well-being.
Working at home has blurred the boundary between people’s daily responsibilities. This leads many employees prone to work stress, poor work performance, and burnout. Meanwhile, others are suffering from unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue and headaches. Some are even painful enough in a manner that affects the way they function. Those who need immediate treatment for back pain depend on chiropractic services or pain clinics.
Constant headaches combined with fatigue may seem harmless and common for others. But if you’re experiencing them quite frequently, it’s about time to pay some serious attention. In fact, studies show that there is a link between fatigue and headaches and can be a sign of other chronic illnesses. With that in mind, we’ll talk about the relationship between the two symptoms and possible causes.
What is fatigue?
There is no specific definition of fatigue even within the healthcare community. People use the term “fatigue” quite interchangeably, but they often associate fatigue with certain symptoms such as sleepiness, weak muscles, and lack of interest, strength, and energy.
Fatigue can also be physical, where an affected individual has difficulties maintaining activities. It can also be mental, where you have trouble with memory, concentration, or emotional stability. Any form of fatigue can be challenging to address, so it is already considered chronic if it lasts for over six months.
Fatigue is among the chief complaints medical professionals hear from their patients. Anyone is prone to experience different levels of fatigue. Still, two-thirds of patients who experience chronic fatigue suffer from an underlying condition (e.g., headaches, migraines, or psychiatric conditions), but only 10% of these cases point to chronic fatigue syndrome. Meanwhile, the remaining one-third experience fatigue because of unhealthy lifestyles, such as poor sleep, nutritional deficiencies, lack of physical exercise, and high stress levels.
How to assess fatigue
If you’ve been experiencing frequent fatigue, consider consulting a healthcare specialist to determine what causes it. Fatigue and headaches can also be accompanied by fever, confusion, vomiting, numbness, vision changes, difficulty speaking, stiff neck, and behavior changes. To ensure a proper diagnosis, make sure to describe your daily routine in detail to detect if certain activities are causing fatigue.
The doctor will tell you if your fatigue is related to a headache disorder, medical issue, psychiatric condition, or even “idiopathic” or no identifiable cause.
The attending physician may also ask questions to determine how fatigue affects you. They will ask how it started, its symptoms, duration, frequency, progression, and how it affects your job and personal life. They will also ask about your sleep hygiene and the existing supplements or medications you’re taking since certain medicines can cause or worsen fatigue.
Your doctor will also consider the possible role of a psychiatric illness related to your fatigue. You may undergo screening for disorders such as anxiety, depression, and drug abuse.
Treatment and prevention
If your medical provider detects that your fatigue is caused by a medical or psychiatric condition, such as headaches, they will address the underlying illness. Remember, fatigue can occur repeatedly, even with regular treatment. To minimize the symptoms, it’s best to undergo therapy sessions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) involves several sessions to educate you about your symptoms, alter behaviors to have better control over fatigue, and help achieve personal and physical health goals.
Another option is to take graded exercise therapy that involves gradual engagement in physical activities but the level of activities increases over time. This will also teach you how to avoid extremes and learn control before fatigue starts to set in.
Those facing a psychiatric condition will be recommended to see a psychiatrist for antidepressant prescriptions. The medical provider may also suggest joining support groups and attending sleep hygiene counseling. These recommended activities will help you gain control of fatigue in your life and minimize future symptoms.
Anyone suffering from unexplained fatigue and headaches should certainly see a doctor right away. While some cases are manageable, others may require long-term treatment. Thus, it’s essential to take a proactive approach to detect the causes of the symptoms early on and apply the right approach. Plus, a bit of self-care won’t hurt, and even your body will thank you for it.