Managing the Effects of Fatigue
Whatever your current breast cancer phase, you should never ignore feelings of extreme fatigue. Sometimes fatigue ends shortly after treatment, but sometimes it is a long-term problem. There are steps you can take to feel more energized and less tired.
Causes of Fatigue
The length and intensity of fatigue is different for everyone. Breast cancer and treatment can cause low energy for many reasons:
- Stress and anxiety
- Lack of rest or poor sleep
- Side effects from medications, treatment and surgery
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Nutritional deficiencies
Coping with Fatigue
Things you can do to increase your energy:
- Exercise in a way that feels good for you right now. Increased activity can increase energy and improve your sense of well-being.
- Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. There are many benefits to a well-rounded diet.
- Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep, trying when possible to go to bed at the same time each night.
- Reduce stress, which is known to take both a physical and mental toll.
Tell your doctor if your fatigue does not go away, so you can rule out other health conditions like anemia or thyroid disorders.
Fatigue can also be linked to depression, so see a mental health professional if you are experiencing other symptoms of depression.