Ashley explains how fatigue affects your psychological wellbeing, and how to manage thoughts and feelings.
Most people with a chronic illness will be all too familiar with how tired it makes them feel. Fatigue is a prominent and debilitating symptom of aspergillosis and recent research is starting to show why this is.
We are often asked why someone with aspergillosis feels so tired and up till now our usual answer would be that when your immune system is working hard it tires you out much like if you had run a km or two that day – the effort needed is similar and you are exhausted. Recent research gives us a slightly different picture. As your body responds to an infection one of the things that your immune system can do is to directly put you to sleep to help your recovery!
Molecules called cytokines are produced in response to inflammation (eg infection) and one of their functions is to stimulate drowsiness and sleep. Furthermore once asleep your immune system really gets to work on the infection – focusing your energy on fighting the infection, and promoting fever.
We are aware that some medications make good sleep difficult/impossible at times and anxiety plays its part too. If you mention this to your GP you may get a referral to one of the many NHS Sleep clinics in the UK who can help problems with getting asleep/staying asleep https://www.nhs.uk/…/Sleep-Medicine/LocationSearch/1888