Always tired and sleep alot

Question

Hi there I was diagnosed positive for about 8 months. My tests shows CD4 counts around 650 which is not a bad number.

And recently I just feel exhausted all the time and I sleep a lot as well. After having a long sleep I still feel tired. My doctor said maybe my immune system fights the virus which explains the exhaustion.

So in general does hiv positive people feel tired all the time? I think its quite annoying as it does affect my work and personal life since I have to rest a lot more than other people do if thats the case.

Answer

Hi,

Fatigue in the setting of HIV disease is both incredibly common and extremely annoying. That's why we have an entire forum dedicated to the topic. The underlying cause of HIV-associated fatigue often turns out to be multifactorial. That means there are several underlying causes working in tandem to drain one's energy batteries. Take a read through the archives of this forum, particularly the "Diagnosing Causes for HIV Fatigue" and "Treatment of HIV Fatigue" chapters. There you will find detailed discussions of the common underlying causes of HIV-associated fatigue, including anemia, psychological issues, occult infections, hormonal imbalances, drug side effects/toxicities and even HIV itself among many others.

After familiarizing yourself with the common causes, you should discuss each of these possibilities with your HIV specialist. He should then perform the appropriate workup to diagnose the specific conditions contributing to your fatigue and begin specific treatment for those conditions. You should not be chronically tired "all the time!" I would not blame your fatigue solely on HIV and/or your body's immune system fighting the virus. Most likely there are other factors involved.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob