Managing Fatigue in Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease

13039228_sMost patients who are diagnosed with a Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease say they experience fatigue and other sickness behaviors. What is fatigue (and isn’t) and why does it happen? 

Sickness behavior is defined as the coordinated set of behavioural changes that develop during Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease. These behavioural changes are a sort of power saver mode that includes fatigue, fever, a strong desire for sleep (somnolence), loss of libido, decreased ability for physical activity (locomotor), loss of appetite, disinterest in the social and physical environment and general inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable (anhedonia).

Power saver mode is an effort to preserve energy costs on desktop computers and prolong battery life on laptops. These power saver mode allows your electronic device to automatically go into a sleep or hibernate mode after remaining idle for a designated period. While this is obviously important for battery life on your smart phone, iPad or Kindle, for those suffering from an Autoimmune or Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease power saver mode is not a desirable event.

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Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior (CISB) is not in the lexicon of those seeking help for fatigue. Most (CISB) studies will focus on the brain or cancer therapy. Many will say that doesn’t apply to me. CISB is the result that occurs as your body deals with your autoimmune condition. CISB is the invisible illness that has many names: Fibromyalgia, Lyme’s, Heavy Metal toxicity, etc. A flair-up is called a Cytokine Storm.

Sickness behaviour is not a sickness induced debilitation, but rather a physical and mental homeostasis meant to enable the individual to best counteract the Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease.This functional homeostatic adaptation is the effect of cytokines and neurotransmitters on the body and brain and is controlled through the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem. Over 90% of which is produced and used in the “Second Brain” AKA the gut.

The fatigue experienced by patients is a persistent sense of physical, emotional, and/or cognitive tiredness or exhaustion that is not related to recent activity, and that interferes with the ability to function normally.

There are misconceptions about experiencing fatigue, including:

  • It will go away if you just sleep or rest more
  • It means you are just depressed
  • If you were really tired, you couldn’t do anything
  • You are trying to do too much

Doctors don’t understand Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior or know exactly what causes excessive fatigue in patients, but they do have some ideas. Some think that it is caused by the abnormal secretion of substances that impair metabolism or affect normal muscle function. The fatigue experienced in Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior is credited to other contributors which may include:

  • Medications and other treatments
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pain
  • Psychological factors such as depression or anxiety
  • Poor or insufficient nutrition (nutritional needs can change depending on the disease and current treatments)
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Other illnesses such as uncontrolled diabetes
  • Decreased physical activity

Many will be told their lab tests are in “normal or clean” range. A Corvette that can only go 35 MPH is for most roads within the speed limit but would be too fast for a residential neighborhood of 25 MPH or too slow on an interstate road minimum speed of 40MPH. The fatigued Corvette can still function for trips to the market but cannot accomplish its expected performance.

Unfortunately, fatigue in patients with Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior often goes unreported. Why does this happen? Several apprehensions contribute to this, including:

  • Belief that fatigue is an expected symptom that is untreatable and that you should cope with it
  • Concern that you will be perceived as a complainer
  • Fear that it is a sign of recurrent or advancing disease

8 Tips for facing up to Fatigue

Fatigue is a real condition for patients with Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior and it requires support and help. There are interventions that can help improve quality of life and reduce fatigue. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Be proactive. Tell your doctor about your fatigue and request an evaluation.
  • Conserve your energy. Set priorities, pace yourself, delegate tasks to others, and schedule activities at times of the day when you have the most energy. Understand the pattern of your day and week and plan around.
  • Get the best rest possible: If you are not sleeping well, ask your doctor about sleep supplements.
  • Consider starting an Regular Low Exertion Exercise program. For those suffering from Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior: mitochondria oxidative dysfunction (Mitochondrial Dysfunction) during exercise mostly causes intracellular acidosis. Intracellular acidosis produces vasodilation in large arteries (located in your core) and vasoconstriction in small arteries (located in your muscles) as well as decreased muscle contraction strength. This combination of the increased oxidative damage and the lack of blood and strength to your muscles could lead to more damage occurring. Those of you suffering from Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior are hereby excused from exercise that exceeds your Physiologic Adaptive Reserve (PAR) until your condition is under control. This would include cardio, aerobics, running, weightlifting or other strenuous activity. We still recommend low exertion exercise listed below that does not exceed your PAR. Never start an exercise program without checking with your doctor first. Be sure to plan your exercise for when you feel best, for example, early in day if you are more fatigued in the late afternoon.
  • Manage any coexisting health conditions. Address your whole health and any related problems. Make sure you see a doctor to manage these effectively.
  • Have an exit or backup plan. When you attend an activity or gathering, be sure to have a plan that will allow you to leave easily and quickly if you become too tired.
  • Consider using appropriate medications. Certain antidepressants, and steroids can help. Talk to your doctor about what may be right for you.
  • Consider using appropriate nutritional supplements. Certain supplements that can assist in re-regulating neurotransmitters and cytokines of the NEI Supersystem can help. Talk to your doctor about what may be right for you.
  • For those suffering from cytokine storms during an autoimmune flare-up need to have a safe harbor diet. This is usually one simple recipe that provides some nutrition while minimally provoking the immune system. You may have to eat this daily until the storms subside and control is restored to the immune system. When the cytokine storms are occurring the priorities shift to quenching the flare-up. There are several supplements I recommend to do this.

It is important to consult with your treating physician before beginning an exercise program, changing your diet, or taking any over-the-counter medications or dietary supplement.

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Dietary Recommendations

Four-Day Rotation

A Four-Day Rotation is a four-day rotational eating schedule that helps to ensure that the same food is not consumed too frequently. The ideal way to rotate foods is to eat a food only once in a four-day period rather than every day, and leave one full day between foods that are closely related to each other (le: in the same Food Family). For the period of the Four-Day Rotation bring into play the Dietary Day.

Dietary Day

Most would think that their dietary day starts with breakfast. We don’t want to waste food. So with rotation diets, the dietary day starts with the evening meal. This allows you to eat leftovers the next day for breakfast, lunch or snacks.

Food Families

Obviously the plants that are closely related will share more proteins, and are likely to trigger the same reactions in a sensitive or allergic individual. There is a great deal of cross-reacting between different members of a food family. However, this does not mean that if you are allergic to one food all other members of that same family need be condemned. For example, it is possible to be sensitive to almonds but OK with peaches. This does mean, however, that you should be more suspicious of related foods. The food family list can be found in the Lectin Free Diet Seasonal Avoidance Guidelines.

16 Plus 1 Recipes

This goes for everyone. You should find your own optimum diet rotating your recipes throughout the year. For those with limited ability or enthusiasm for cooking, but wanting to eat healthy, you will need sixteen recipes to do a seasonal rotation diet. For those with autoimmune conditions suffering from cytokine storms, you will need sixteen recipes plus one Safe-Harbor Diet recipe.

The following list of exercises will provide movement to pump your lymphatic system without bankrupting your PAR.

Low Exertion Exercises

Whole Body Vibration

Whole body vibration can offer some fitness and health benefits. With whole body vibration, you stand, sit or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to your body, forcing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second. You may feel as if you’re exerting yourself when you do whole body vibration, if so utilize lower level programs. Start low and slow.

Rebounder

The typical rebound mini-trampoline is about 3′ in diameter and 9″ high. It is safe, easy to use, and effective. Research has led some scientists to conclude that jumping on a mini-trampoline is possibly the most effective exercise yet devised by man, especially because of the effect rebounding has on the lymph in the body. Most importantly, rebounding is FUN! The mini-trampoline subjects the body to gravitational pulls ranging from zero at the top of each bounce to 2 – 3 times the force of gravity at the bottom, depending on how high the person is rebounding. Unlike jogging on hard surfaces, which puts extreme stress on certain joints such as the ankles and knees eventually damaging them, rebounding affects every joint and cell in the body equally. Plus, there are no cars, dogs, and bad weather to worry about.

Walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t require special equipment and can be done almost anywhere. If walking outside isn’t an option, opt for walking on a treadmill indoors. As with any form of exercise, stretching will help warm up your muscles before you begin exercising. If you are new to walking, start with short distances and gradually increase the length of your walks. Walk quickly enough to increase your heart rate, then slow down for the last several minutes of your walk.

Yoga

Please do not start with an hour long yoga class. It will exceed your PAR, especially hot yoga. Start instead with Rodney Yee’s A.M. Yoga for Your Week. Nice and easy 20 minutes.

People who participate in yoga use special movements, called poses, to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion and improve balance. Poses are performed in conjunction with breathing exercises and meditation, which can be helpful in reducing stress. Yoga can also help reduce heart rate and blood pressure and may help with such health conditions as sleep problems, insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, pain and cancer.

Walking Waist Deep

You do not need to fully submerge yourself to benefit from water walking. If you only have a shallow area to walk in or if you want to start off easily, walk in water that is up to your waist. Walk as you normally do on land, gently swinging your arms at your sides. Stand up tall and gently squeeze your abs to support your back. When you get to the end of the pool, do not turn around. Walk backward. Walking backward works the opposite muscles that walking forward does. You also can walk sideways to tone your inner and outer thighs.

Low-Impact Aerobics

During low-impact aerobics, participants perform dance-type moves set to music. While high-impact aerobics uses movements that require both feet to be off the ground at the same time, low-impact participants keep one foot on the ground at all times. The knees and ankles must absorb the stress of the landing when you jump, making high-impact aerobics a bad choice for people with certain health conditions. Low-impact aerobics allow you to reap the benefits of an aerobic workout without worsening or causing joint problems.

Call today! 530-615-4083

One thought on “Managing Fatigue in Autoimmune and Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease

  1. Pingback: Are you confused about Lyme Disease? | Living Wellness

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