A generalised sense of exhaustion or lack of energy is referred to as fatigue. It differs from merely feeling sleepy or drowsy. You lack both energy and motivation when you are exhausted. Sleepiness may be a sign of exhaustion, but the two are not the same.
Many medical disorders, ranging in severity from moderate to serious, frequently exhibit fatigue as a symptom. It also happens naturally as a result of some lifestyle decisions, including not exercising or eating poorly.
See your doctor if your weariness doesn’t go away with adequate rest and nourishment or if you think it might be brought on by a physical or mental health condition. They can collaborate with you to identify the root cause of your exhaustion and address it.
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue may have a variety of causes. They can be categorised into three broad groups:
- lifestyle elements
- physical state of health
- mental illness problems
Your activities and other lifestyle decisions could be to blame for your exhaustion. For instance, the following can cause fatigue:
- physical effort
- absence of exercise
- absence of sleep
- being obese or overweight
- Stressful emotional times
- taking specific drugs, including sedatives or antidepressants
- frequent alcohol consumption
- utilising illegal narcotics, like cocaine
- overdosing on caffeine
- not maintaining a healthy diet
Physcial health issues
Fatigue is a common symptom of many medical problems. Examples comprise:
- syndrome of protracted weariness
- illnesses like the common cold and flu
- A condition called Addison’s disease that can mess with your hormone levels
- thyroid underactivity, or hypothyroidism
- Overactive or hyperthyroidism thyroid
- disturbances of sleep, such as insomnia
- disorders of eating, including anorexia
- autoimmune conditions
- enlarged heart failure
- renal illness
- liver illness
- persistent pulmonary obstruction (COPD)
Difficulties with mental health
Fatigue can result from issues with mental health as well. As an illustration, exhaustion is a typical sign of anxiety, sadness, and seasonal affective disorder.
Fatigue is a symptom of thousands of diseases and ailments. The following are a few of the most typical causes of fatigue:
- Illness and infection: Multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, cancer, and kidney disease are just a few illnesses that might make you tired. Moreover, illnesses like mononucleosis, HIV, and the flu can manifest as fatigue.
- Mental health issues: The exhaustion brought on by despair or anxiety may make doing daily tasks challenging or impossible.
- Autoimmune disorders: Several autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, have fatigue as a symptom.
- Hormone imbalances: Issues with your endocrine system (the glands that produce hormones in your body) might make you feel exhausted.
- The most prevalent reason of weariness is hypothyroidism.
- Persistent illnesses such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or CFS) result in extreme, persistent exhaustion.
- Cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and congestive heart failure all commonly present with fatigue.
- Deficiencies: Fatigue is frequently brought on by anaemia and other vitamin deficiencies (such as vitamin D or vitamin B12). Fatigue can result from dehydration since the body needs a lot of fluids to function.
- Fatigue is one of several symptoms that can result from weight issues and eating disorders such anorexia, bulimia, obesity, and underweight.
When is it time to see your doctor?
If you’re experiencing exhaustion and any of the following, you should schedule a visit with your doctor:
- I cannot think of anything that could explain your weariness.
- have a body temperature that is higher than usual
- having lost weight that isn’t being explained
- feel incredibly sensitive to cooler climates
- regularly experience sleep difficulties
- you think you might be depressed
Make an appointment with your doctor if your weariness has persisted for two weeks or more and you’ve tried unsuccessfully to address the most frequent lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep, bad eating habits, and stress.
Your fatigue may occasionally be brought on by a significant medical problem. If you develop weariness and any of the following symptoms, visit the hospital right away:
- abdominal bleeding
- throwing up blood
- terrible headache
- suffering from chest discomfort
- fainting sensations
- unsteady heartbeat
- breathing difficulty
- significant discomfort in your pelvis, back, or abdomen
- Having suicidal or harmful thoughts
- thoughts of hurting someone else
You should also visit your doctor if you frequently feel weary even after getting a good night’s sleep, lack motivation to start the day, or find it difficult to do tasks that are usually simple. These could be indications of depression or a sleep issue.
Your doctor will attempt to rule out any problems during your examination, such as adverse drug reactions. In order to ascertain whether the exhaustion is caused by a particular condition, such as anaemia, hypothyroidism, or liver inflammation, he or she may also request blood testing (hepatitis). If your doctor cannot identify a cause, do not be shocked. I’ve discovered that most of the time, rest and a good night’s sleep help people recover from exhaustion.
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