Anemia and Fatigue : Up, Up and Away

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Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » Anemia and Fatigue

Table of Contents

Up, Up and Away

Tiredness Test

Tips To Turbocharge

Acing Anemia

Beating The Blues

Hormone Hoo-ha

Handling Hep

Lifestyle Lift

What You're Talking About
Why I Still (Kinda, Sorta) Go to the Gym (blog) (37 comments)

Sanctuary for Survivors (26 comments)

The CDC Dives Into the Great American Circumcision Debate (16 comments)

Why Nancy Reagan Refused a Dying Rock Hudson's Plea (12 comments)

The Treatment Divide: When’s the Best Time to Start HIV Meds? (12 comments)

Health Insurer Aetna Sued for Alleged HIV Discrimination (11 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Up, Up and Away

There's no need to let HIV-related fatigue hold you down.

We all feel drained from time to time, but there's a difference between feeling a little tired and the condition known as fatigue. "Normal tiredness is what you feel after walking half a mile if you're not used to it," says Lisa Capaldini, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco. "Fatigue is like the rug is pulled out from under you. You do a minor activity, like shaving or packing your kids' lunch, and you need to lie down."

Fatigue is no joke: It affects at least a third of people with HIV and can interfere with work, relationships—even your ability to adhere to your HIV meds. Everyone is at risk, from the just-diagnosed to HIV veterans, but many people are reluctant to tell their doctors about fatigue, thinking it's not that big a deal. Some misinformed docs agree, saying it just comes with the HIV territory.

So what causes you to lose your juice? Likely culprits are a blood condition called anemia, low levels of the hormone testosterone and depression. But there are many causes: opportunistic infections, poor diet, physical inactivity, alcohol or recreational drug use, lack of sleep. Plus various causes can interact. "Sometimes it's very difficult to identify a single culprit," says Edwin DeJesus, MD, medical director of Florida's Orlando Immunology Center.

The good news is that there are many effective fatigue treatments, from potent meds to simple lifestyle changes. This last of our three-part series on the evolution of HIV therapy explains fatigue's causes, its treatment and how to keep your energy lifting you higher and higher.

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c winston vera, , 2009-05-27 21:50:59
I cannot explain how this article justified my symptoms... I thought I was going crazy or just complaining... and my doctor seemed not to give me any real reason other than being poz or turning 40.. After 20 years of being poz, I am finally starting to realize that what I feel does not need to be proven, but does have to be heard and considered. Thank you!

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