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CHAPTER 6









                           FATIGUE





                s a kidney patient one of the symptoms you experience is
                a profound feeling of fatigue or tiredness. This fatigue can
                significantly affect your capacity to complete tasks, tasks
        Athat were completed without effort in the past.


        WHY DO I FEEL SUCH FATIGUE?                           may, for example, find yourself turning down

           Many people diagnosed with kidney disease          invitations from family or friends because you are
        suffer from fatigue. Anaemia is one possible reason   constantly tired.
        your body is not producing sufficient red blood
        cells. Red blood cells have a very important role in  IS THERE ANY TREATMENT FOR
        that they carry oxygen around our body. When your     FATIGUE?
        blood  cell count is low symptoms include; fatigue,      Fatigue can be a symptom of anaemia. You will
        breathlessness, irritability, poor appetite and a     be treated for anaemia and this will result in an
        reduction in your sex drive.                          increase in your energy levels although they may
                                                              not return to the levels you experienced before
        HOW WILL THIS FATIGUE AFFECT ME?                      diagnosis.
           All of us know that when we are tired or fatigued
        we become less patient and more irritable.            MANAGING YOUR ENERGY
        Our normal way to reduce our levels of                    Planning ahead can help in managing your
        fatigue is through rest. However, what                     energy. Try keeping a diary so that you can
        happens if the fatigue we feel is                                   work out when you feel the most
        permanent, never ending and                                          fatigued during the week. In so far as
        something that has to be battled on                             you can, use your energy for the things
        a daily basis?                                        that are most important to you. Spread your ‘jobs’
           You have probably said on more than one            throughout the week, doing a little often rather
        occasion: “I feel so tired ALL THE TIME”. You may     than a lot in one go.
        find your emotions are more raw and you may
        experience mood swings, irritability, anger and       Some tips that may be of help to you:
        frustration, as it becomes more and more difficult    ● Do a little bit of housework each day rather than
        to do ordinary everyday tasks you once did without       trying to do it all in one day.
        effort.                                               ● Ask others to do heavy work for you.
                                                              ● Ask others to shop for you, or shop online or use
        WILL OTHERS NOTICE?                                      a delivery service.

           If your behaviour changes, others will notice.     ● Do whatever chores you can while sitting.
        Remember fatigue in itself is invisible. More often   ● Try cooking simpler meals that can make triple
        than not it is expressed in how you react to what        portions.
        you can or cannot do. Its danger lies in its capacity  ● Exercise a little and often.
        to isolate you as you may find it more difficult to   ● Keep sleep routines normal and get enough
        engage in the normal daily activities of life. You       sleep.

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