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Chronic Fatigue Message Board

Chronic Fatigue Board Index

Hi paulapage1980,

I used to get extreme tiredness after eating. After much trial and error and observation I worked out that it was caused by tmj disorder. (jaw joint disorder)

I had this for years - I used to get tired after meals and talking to people, and I would assume it was a direct stress response. It was actually my stressed jaw releasing fatigue waves. The suggestions that it may be food or other "energy" issues are of course worth considering, but you may want to start with checking the jaw: if it is TMJ you suffer from then eating more frequently will actually make things worse, and a whole other course of actions will be required.

Here are some points to get you started:

Any pain or ache in the jaw can be quite subtle or build up slowly, so you may be used to the level of discomfort: in other words, don't dismiss if it if your jaw "feels" ok. Here are some ways I discovered I had it:

- Fatigue wave when singing in the shower first thing in the morning. (this helped eliminate "food" as a cause)

- Tiredness when talking or chewing for some time (for me, 30 sec+) Regardless of the nutrient etc content.

- Quickly reciting a 2 min speech is a good test. I would be falling over with tiredness after that.

- Tiredness reaction increasing with chewy or chunchy food. (Can be confusing though because on a bad day, reactions more extreme regardless)

- Dentist diagnosed misaligned jaws (bite, grinding)

- Pain and tension apparent when touching the area, the base of the ears (again not a great test though, seems to be a tender point for many people)

What helped it?

No. 1 factor was a night splint from the dentist. This was like a very small mouthpiece that went across about 4 of my top teeth. (older ones are full mouth, hold your bite etc - this one was minimal and just kept things apart while I slept).

Now, I wore this for about 3 months, most night. (then I lost it). In that time I think it successfully conditioned my bite enough to not grind, get stuck in the wrong position, and "clench down" so much.

No. 2 factor was retraining myself not to clench at the same time. For a couple of weeks I constantly reminded myself not to tense up my jaw and just keeping the teeth apart, and practised holding my bite more correctly (got used to the new "feel of it). With the help of the splint at the same time, enough of this stuck.

With the above, little bits of massage and keeping my jaw more loose and limber with gentle little face massages and practise chewing (no contact) through the day. (these weren't anything I learnt or anything special - just rubbing my jaw and moving it slowly, really).

Worth a mention was Chiropractic manipulation, although they didn't seem to have a long term answer, relief for only a day or two. (and advice from chiro to "chew lightly" was sound enough but didn't actually improve the problem)

One thing the chiro did help with overall, is that they would re-align my jaw, then I could "feel" the difference and try to go back to the more correct bite. A real help when encouraging myself to retrain.

No 4. would be working on my fatigue in general, and being less stressed and tired day to day. This definitely was an integral part. My jaw clenches up when I'm under stress or excessively tired.

With persistence it has faded well, it took a few months to get going and is largely gone a year later. I still have my moments from day to day, but it really is minimised.

I'm just speaking from experience. I am not trying to push a theory or give medical advice, just saying what worked or didn't work for me. Best of luck with your own fatigue, keep searching and you will find answers!


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