Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, weakness or exhaustion, which can be caused by the cancer itself. Cancer can increase your body's need for energy by weakening your muscles, causing damage to organs or altering your body's hormones. Some cancers can release proteins called cytokines, which are thought to cause fatigue.
Why does it happen?
During treatment, the cancer cells are killed but healthy cells are also affected. This causes your body to work extremely hard to repair the damage caused, making you feel tired. Although this takes a toll on your body, fatigue can be caused by other factors in your life. From stress and anxiety to what you eat.
It is important to look after yourself and improve other areas in your life that may be making fatigue worse. This will help to give you the extra energy your body needs to recover between treatments and recovery.
Try these tips below to help improve fatigue
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is a common side effect of cancer treatment due to side effects, like fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea or excessive urination.
As dehydration sets in, your blood pressure drops, leading to poor circulation and reduced blood flow to your brain. This causes feelings of sleepiness and increase side effects of chemo brain.
Avoid skipping meals. If struggling with this, eat regular meals and healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal.
Eating an afternoon or morning snack, such as a handful of almonds, if energy levels dip.
A 15 minute walk can give you an energy boost and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.
Going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day.