Mar 3, 2004
Dear Doc. Firstly, my best wishes to you and many thanks for your hard work. Your words and advice provide hope.
To my question. I am a little wary that it may be a difficult one to answer or indeed it is in the "seek a HIV specialist" answer category, but I would like to ask, so here I go.
Are there any particular symptoms of HIV related fatigue that can be used to discern it from other forms of fatigue caused by other activities? Or is fatigue just fatigue regardless of cause? I ask as I have a physically demanding job, which I undertook almost immediately after being diagnosed as HIV positive. I wonder if I can use the specific symptoms of HIV related fatigue (if any) to determine to what degree the fatigue I am experiencing is HIV related.
Hope this question is understandable.
All the best Crane
Response from Dr. Frascino
Yes, it's understandable, but not very "answerable." It reminds me of being asked by a questioner to differentiate between being "tired" and "exhausted." I told that questioner I found the answer in a fortune cookie:
"Confucius say man who run behind car get exhausted, but man who run in front of car get tired."
Fatigue is a symptom, and therefore not specific. I could get tired from a night of marathon sex or from being anemic. I know which I'd prefer, but both conditions could make me feel equally fatigued. Since you are HIV-positive, you should be under the care of an HIV/AIDS specialist. Talking to him or her about your fatigue is the best first step. He or she will check for the most common causes of HIV-related fatigue, and help you pin down the cause or causes. Also, I'd suggest you review the archives of this forum to get a basic fund of knowledge about the common causes of HIV-related fatigue before visiting with your doctor. It will help expedite the evaluation.
Write back if you need additional advice. Good luck.
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