Fatigue is frequently described as a lack of, both, physical and emotional energy and motivation. It differs from sleepiness or drowsiness, which describes the desire to sleep. Fatigue is a reaction to both physical and mental activities. Typically, fatigue can be eased by rest or reducing activity. It is a common symptom of a wide range of medical conditions, from mild to severe. It can also be caused by certain lifestyle choices, such as a lack of exercise or a poor diet. Consult your doctor if your fatigue does not improve with rest and nutrition, or if you suspect it is caused by an underlying physical or mental health condition. They can assist you in determining the source of your fatigue and will work with you to treat it.
The Three Types of Fatigue
Fatigue is classified into three types: transient, cumulative, and circadian:
Transient fatigue is acute fatigue caused by a lack of sleep or staying awake for an extended period of time within one or two days.
Cumulative fatigue is caused by a series of days of repeated mild sleep restriction or extended hours awake.
Circadian fatigue is defined as decreased performance during the night, particularly during an individual's window of circadian low (WOCL).
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Fatigue is a common symptom of clinical depression, which can be caused by the depression itself or by other issues, such as insomnia.
Fatigue can also be caused by the following health issues:
- Anemia, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and liver or kidney disease are examples of metabolic/endocrine conditions.
- Infections include influenza, tuberculosis, and malaria.
- Cardiovascular (heart) and pulmonary (lungs) diseases include congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arrhythmias, and asthma.
- Depression and anxiety are two symptoms of poor mental health.
- Sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome are all examples of sleep problems.
- Vitamin deficiencies including a lack of vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.
- Other conditions include cancers and autoimmune/rheumatic diseases
- Medications used to treat other medical conditions may also cause fatigue. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, some blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and steroids are examples of such medications.
Sleep disturbances, diet, a lack of regular exercise, the use of alcohol or drugs, and other factors all are related to lifestyle causes.
Sleep disturbances: Daytime fatigue can occur if you do not get enough sleep, get too much sleep, or wake up during the night.
Diet: If you eat a lot of high-carbohydrate, high-fat, or quick-fix foods, sugary foods, and drinks, or caffeinated drinks, your body will not get enough fuel or nutrients to function properly. These foods may cause energy boosts that quickly wear off, resulting in a "crash" and worsening fatigue. Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol is a depressant that slows the nervous system and interferes with sleep. Cigarettes and caffeine stimulate the nervous system, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Inactivity: Physical activity is known to improve your health and well-being, reduce stress, and boost your energy levels. It will also help you sleep better and reduce fatigue during the day. Individual factors: Personal or family illness or injury, having too many commitments, and financial difficulties can all contribute to fatigue.
Drugs and medications:
Certain drugs and medications can make you tired. These are:
- some antidepressants
- anxiety medications
Heart and lung conditions:
Heart and lung conditions can impair blood flow, cause inflammation, and cause fatigue. These are some examples:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- valvular heart disease
- coronary heart disease
- congestive heart failure
The following sleep factors can also lead to fatigue:
- working late
- working shifts
- jet lag
- sleep apnea
- reflux esophagitis
When to Visit a Doctor?
Fatigue can indicate a serious health problem. If you have fatigue as well as the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:
A variety of factors can cause fatigue as a symptom, so prevention is not an issue. Recognizing fatigue early allows a person to seek medical attention and potentially receive an earlier diagnosis of the underlying cause.
Symptoms such as fatigue can appear gradually, making it difficult for a person to recognize that there is a problem. A friend's or family member's outside viewpoint may be required to recognize a difference. Self-awareness of a person's gradual decline in body performance is frequently difficult as a person makes slight changes to complete daily activities.