Best Ways to Reduce HIV Fatigue

There are ways of battling HIV exhaustion and reclaiming some of the strength lost. First, recognizing the potential causes of HIV fatigue is crucial for a person living with HIV. Instead, they can learn how to reduce their frequency and affect their everyday lives.

Posted July 7,2020 in Other.

Olivia Davis
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Best Ways to Reduce HIV Fatigue

Understanding HIV fatigue

Among the many potential signs among HIV infection, fatigue can affect the quality of life in a subtle but profound way. Low energy can make socializing, exercising, and even performing the daily tasks difficult.

There are ways of battling HIV exhaustion and reclaiming some of the strength lost. First, recognizing the potential causes of HIV fatigue is crucial for a person living with HIV. Instead, they can learn how to reduce their frequency and affect their everyday lives.

About HIV

HIV is targeted by the immune system. It means that the immune system is unable to rid itself of the virus. HIV attacks and takes over T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, that help the body fight disease and infection. HIV produces copies of itself using certain T-cells.

About HIV fatigue 

A person living with an HIV infection may experience fatigue directly associated with the virus. The simple presence of the infection will lead to tiredness because the body is using energy to combat the infection. Often, the virus uses energy from the T cells when producing copies of itself.

Fatigue can also have an indirect link with the HIV infection. Indirect causes of HIV fatigue can contain:

  • depression
  • insomnia
  • HIV drug side effects
  • idiopathic fatigue

Reduce depression

Depression also can go hand in hand with HIV infection. Depression can make a person feel depressed and Power drained. Eating and sleeping habits can also conflict with depression. People with depression are also less likely to exercise which may make them feel even more tired in turn.

When a person living with HIV starts to experience depressive symptoms they should speak to their health care provider or mental health professional. Depression can be resolved by talking therapy and other ways that don't require medicine. Alternative treatments, such as meditation or yoga, can also be effective in managing depression.

Mostly the drug due to exhaustion may be an alternative for HIV fatigue. There are other psychostimulants, including armodafinil and dextroamphetamine, that have been found to help. Research in the journal Psychosomatics showed that treatment with armodafinil in certain people with HIV has been able to help improve mood and alleviate fatigue. Armodafinil changes the concentrations of other chemicals in the brain. The medication is commonly used in narcolepsy to treat sleepiness.

Reduce insomnia

Insomnia is a disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or to stay asleep. In either case, the sleep of a poor night could leave one dragging the next day. A person with HIV fatigue should try those key tips to help combat insomnia:

  • Go to sleep, and wake up every day at the same time.
  • Keep a sleeping log to monitor shifts in sleep patterns.
  • Don't lie awake in bed and worry. When they can't sleep, move to another part of your house. Sleep before you are exhausted enough to try to fall asleep again.
  • Try reading. Don't watch television, or go on your phone or computer.
  • Avoid alcohol late into the afternoon or evening just before bed and caffeine.
  • To make a sleep-friendly atmosphere, keep your room dark and cool where possible.

Reduce HIV drug side effects

HIV medications such as tenvir are powerful drugs. If a person living with HIV experiences fatigue after starting a new drug regimen, they should consult with their healthcare provider. Trying another medicine or combining HIV drugs can help.

Changing antiretroviral regimens is a serious undertaking. Changing regimens can increase the risk of developing resistance to antiretroviral drugs. A person living with HIV should not stop taking their medication without first discussing it with their healthcare provider. Pausing antiretroviral medication can cause HIV infection to become resistant to medication.

When a person feels that their HIV medication may cause tiredness, they should speak to their health care provider. Switching to a drug that does not trigger the symptom can be necessary. Be sure to obey the directions provided by the health care provider to make the transition as safe as possible.

Reduce idiopathic HIV fatigue

If the root of fatigue can not be attributed to stress, insomnia, drug reactions, or other causes, idiopathic HIV fatigue is considered to be the result. That means the cause of the tiredness is unknown.

Idiopathic fatigue with HIV is normal but it is difficult to predict. A person living with HIV can encounter it at any time of the day or, without feeling exhausted, may go days. Some people may find the use of stimulants such as methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine beneficial. These can be recommended by a health care provider for regular use, or only when one begins to feel fatigued.

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