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Fatigue/Exhaustion

fatigue-or-exhaustion

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By Medicover Hospitals / 12 Jan 2021
Home | symptoms | fatigue-or-exhaustion
  • Feeling tired, with low energy, and a strong desire to sleep that interferes with normal daily activities. Fatigue can have causes that are unrelated to an underlying disease. Examples include lack of sleep, strenuous exertion, jet lag, a heavy meal, or aging
  • Article Context:

    1. What are Fatigue\Exhaustion?
    2. Causes
    3. Diagnosis
    4. Treatment
    5. When to visit a Doctor?
    6. Home remedies
    7. FAQ's

    What are Fatigue\Exhaustion?

  • Fatigue is when you are feeling overtired or exhausted, lack of energy, and a strong feeling of sleep. It is a common symptom for many for change in lifestyle and many other reasons. This symptom severity range might be mild to serious.
  • There are two major types of fatigue: physical and mental fatigue:
    • A person suffering from physical fatigue may have physical difficulties doing the things they usually do, such as climbing stairs. Symptoms include muscle weakness and the diagnosis may involve performing a strength test.
    • With mental fatigue, a person may have a harder time concentrating on things and staying focused. They may feel drowsy or have difficulty staying awake while working.

    Causes:

  • Fatigue causes are mainly divided into 3 categories:
    • Lifestyle factors: Not taking adequate nutritious food, taking certain medications, emotional stress, lack of sleep, lack of physical activities, boredom, consuming alcohol regularly, drug addiction.
    • Physical or medical health conditions: Malaria, tuberculosis, infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, HIV, flu, hepatitis, anemia, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, massive blood loss, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, kidney disease, pregnancy, thyroid conditions.
    • Mental health issues: anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder

    Diagnosis:

  • To diagnose the underlying cause of fatigue, your doctor or licensed health care professional will ask you several questions related to your symptoms. You can better help your healthcare professional diagnose the underlying cause of fatigue by providing complete answers to these questions:
    • Describe fatigue. Is it constant or intermittent? Is it mild, moderate, or severe? Does it happen with or after certain activities or events, such as stress, exercise, or just before menstruation?
    • How long have you had fatigue?
    • ask about other symptoms, such as a cough, digestive problems, rashes, or other concerns
    • What other symptoms do you have with fatigue?

    Treatment:

    • There is no specific treatment for fatigue. The days of doctors prescribing a "tonic" are over, as nothing really works. The secret is to try to pinpoint the cause and then do something about it.
    • If the cause is a medical condition, treating the condition will often resolve the tiredness. For example, if you have anemia, iron supplements can treat this and the tiredness resolves as your blood count improves. Even supplementing iron levels in a low range of normal is believed to help with fatigue. If you are found to have hypothyroidism, a pill to replace the missing thyroid hormone is usually very effective and you will find that you have more energy.
    • If the cause is a side effect of the medication, it may be possible to switch to something that works better for you.
    • If you are found to have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may be referred to a chronic fatigue specialist for help through psychological therapy, gradual exercise therapy, or medications.
    • If you have anxiety or depression, this can be relieved with talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, or several other possible treatments.
    • It may seem strange, but physical exercise can actually be very effective in treating fatigue. Any moderate exercise, like walking, swimming, or biking, can help you feel less tired. Regular workouts are a great way to stay healthy.
    • If you don't get a good night's sleep, it's tempting to try to "make up" by taking naps during the day when possible. This really won't help; in fact, it can get your body clock out of sync, so you may end up sleeping less well at night. There are many ways you can try to improve your sleep if you have insomnia, and this, in turn, can improve your tiredness.

    When to visit a Doctor?

  • When fatigue continues for a week or more, then immediately consult a doctor or seek a medical emergency. In some cases, fatigue is caused by serious physical or medical health conditions along with any of the following:
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Vomiting blood
    • Severe headache
    • Pain in your chest area
    • Feelings of faintness
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Shortness of breath
  • In some cases, fatigue is caused by mental health conditions along with any of the following:
    • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
    • Thoughts of harming another person

    Home Remedies:

  • By changing some lifestyle can help in reducing fatigue:
    • Drink more fluids to stay hydrated
    • Healthy eating habits
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get enough sleep
    • Avoid stress
    • Avoid work or social schedule that is stressful
    • Do relaxing activities, such as yoga, meditation
    • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    • Consume less caffeine
  • These lifestyle changes may help you reduce fatigue. It is also important to consult your doctors to make recommendations for any medical health conditions.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Fatigue can cause a wide range of other physical, mental, and emotional signs, including:
    • chronic fatigue or drowsiness
    • headache
    • dizziness
    • sore or sore muscles
    • muscular weakness
    • slowed reflexes and responses
    • impaired decision making and judgment
    • mood swings, such as irritability
    • hand-eye coordination disorders
    • loss of appetite
    • reduced immune system function
  • Call for an appointment with your physician if your fatigue has continued for two weeks or more despite trying to rest, reduce stress, choose healthy food, and drink plenty of fluids.
  • The more exhausted you are, the more you crave foods high in fat and carbohydrates. When you are exhausted, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. Its natural response is to crave the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a calming hormone. One easy way to access it is to ingest comfort foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat.
  • Medically, fatigue happens to everyone - it's an expected sensation after certain activities or at the end of the day. Usually, you know why you are tired and a good night's sleep helps to solve the problem. Fatigue is a lack of daily energy; unusual or excessive fatigue of the whole body is not relieved by sleep.
  • The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of fatigue condition:
    • Dextroamphetamine
    • Amphetamine
    • Amantadine
    • Methylphenidate
    • Modafinil

    Citations:

  • Fatigue or Exhaustion - https://www.bmj.com/content/325/7362/480.short
  • Fatigue or Exhaustion - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0013794495001786
  • Fatigue or Exhaustion - https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.160.2.221