5 things to help manage chronic fatigue when out
If you are dealing with chronic health issues then you will be able to relate when I say that leaving the house can take me TWICE as long as a normal person. I imagine it would actually feel very similar to a mum with a new born baby or young child ...I have to collect lots of things as I like to be prepared.
I believe the main reason for this is (a) it gives me comfort and reassurance to know that I have things on me in case I feel unwell; and (b) it actually helps to minimise the symptoms I feel when I’m trying to do “normal” activities or have a busy day out.
So I thought I would share with you 5 things that I take me with nearly all of the time when I leave the house.
Water to prevent dehydration
This is a big one. I have always seemed to get dehydrated easily. This is frustrating for me at times because I easily get a scratchy throat, tired and a headache. I’ve now learnt to carry a water bottle around with me everywhere I go.
And I literally mean everywhere. On my walks, to the shops, doctors, movies, beach, work, meetings, upstairs, downstairs, friends houses ...even cafes + restaurants that probably have water! I hate being stuck without it.
My favourite bottle at the moment is a 500ml stainless steel water bottle. It is free from BPA and other harmful chemicals, often contained in plastic water bottles. I use this one.
2. Tablets to stay committed to healing
I always carry my two tablet boxes with me.
One box contains my digestive enzymes which usually includes an array of:
I will select one to take at each meal. My choice depends on the type of meal and/or state of my digestion. For example, I will take a HCL tablet if I’m having protein or I might need a HCL and Super Enzyme if my liver and kidneys are over burdened.
The second box contains all my other supplements for me to take that day. It is easy to get lost on what to take sometimes so I just make sure every morning I select them all and then throughout the day I just know I need to make my way through the box.
I have been doing this for years and it seems to work pretty well.
3. Progesterone cream to balance naughty hormones
I have suffered from hormone imbalances since I was 18 years old, or maybe even 15 years old.
The reason I say maybe 15 is because since hitting puberty, my period was never quite “normal”. It was always really light and I never fully developed like my sister did. I suspect even back when I was 15, I may have suffered from low progesterone.
When I was around 18, I started to experience persistent acne. I was prescribed a birth control pill called Diane as the cure. I came off the pill 2 years later as I couldn’t cope with the irrational mood swings experienced (a key side effect) and also realised that it was contributing to an overgrowth of yeast in my gut.
I later realised that my progesterone was rock bottom as evidenced by blood tests and also in the symptoms I experienced including:
Anxiety and mood swings
I’m still trying to figure out what is the best solution for me. I have been loving the use of Vitex (Chaste Berry Tree), a Chinese herb, as it has the effect of:
Regulates menstrual cycle
However, often Vitex alone isn’t enough for me. This is why I supplement with very small dose Natural Progesterone Cream. I use it from Day 16 until Day 1, the part of the cycle when progesterone is meant to be dominant.
Also it is worth noting that Vitex should really only be used for 3-6 months ideally (I’ve been on it in the past and just recently doing another few months of it). It’s not a long term solution. In saying that neither is progesterone cream. The ultimate goal is to be ovulating. People think ovulation is just for fertility, however, it is SO much more. Check out this great article by Lara, here.
Now ...why do I carry it around in my handbag you may be wondering? Well, if you have experienced any of the above mentioned symptoms, especially relating to flat mood or anxiety, you will know that it is extremely difficult to get through a normal day when these symptoms come on. You feel like a complete mess. You feel disconnected from your body - I sometimes explain it as feeling like a “zombie”. You walk around doing tasks but without emotion, without feelings and with no sense of energy or joy.
So, I find that progesterone cream is sometimes my solution. I find it works within 1-2hours to start to make me feel better. So I carry it around with me as precaution for whenever I know it's that time of the cycle when my progesterone is meant to be dominant and I’m feeling any of the above symptoms of progesterone deficiency.
4. Hot tea for sore throats
A hot tea can be so incredibly therapeutic. When I am on the go it is mainly the heat that I find helps.
I am suffering from reactivated Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV-6). One of my primary (very persistent, I would even go as far as saying every second day) symptoms has been a sore throat. It manifests itself in all forms - scratchy throat, redness, soreness, white nodules, inflammation, holes, swollen glands etc.
There are two issues for me when I start to get a sore throat - (1) it is uncomfortable and hurts; and (2) it causes me to feel depressed and flat mood. I believe the reason it instantly affects my mood is two-fold. Firstly, because I have experienced chronic sore throats for the past 7+ years, I suffer from a bit of post-traumatic stress. This is something I’ve been slowly working on and I’ve been making good progress with it but it is a journey. Secondly, depression and mood issues are a primary symptom of EBV. When the EBV flares up or I am “killing it off”, my throat and mouth become aggravated and the mood issues set in.
So when I have a busy day out and about in shopping centres, public areas, around pollution, in air conditioning and lots of activity ...my body is subconsciously more “stressed” than usual. When this happens, my EBV symptoms (i.e. scratchy and sore throat) flare up.
So why tea? Hot drinks seem to provide temporary relief whenever my throat starts to hurt. I also find hot drinks more soothing for my body in general. I am the type that gets cold easily so warm things provide me a lot of comfort and relief.
If I’m heading out for the day in the car, I will always take my tea flask. It is the perfect little fix to get me through the day. And if I can’t take my flask with me, then I purchase teas when I’m out. I find 99% of cafes will stock peppermint tea (my favourite).
5. Olive leaf for sore throats
I carry a bottle of olive leaf with me in my handbag. It is a spray which is specifically for sore throats. I absolutely LOVE it because it is:
Soothing to throat and mouth
Psychologically helps to give me comfort that my throat will be OK
I buy this brand. I find it is the most potent version on the market. I buy the tablets too which I sometimes include as part of my EBV/HHV-6 treatment protocol and also dose up on when I get a common cold / virus. It is more expensive but worth it.
Summary: 5 things to help manage chronic fatigue when out
- Drink lots and lots of water
- Take my tablets with me in my bag and make sure at the very least I take digestive enzymes when eating food (especially store bought food!)
- Keep progesterone cream handy for those not so happy hormone days
- Carry hot tea (when feasible) to help keep me warm and manage my sore throats
- Keep olive leaf spray handy for whenever my throat starts to get sore
Now I would love to hear from YOU: What is one thing you can’t leave the house without?
Share with me in the comments below and don’t forget others just like you dealing with health issues come here to get healing tips, inspiration and new ideas ...so don’t be shy, open your heart and share from your own health journey. You never know how much you could help someone else.
Thank you so much for being here, sending you much love and healing energy.