What Are The Signs And Symptoms Associated With Fatigue
Fatigue is a symptom that usually has some underlying cause. Fatigue may be described by people in different ways, and may include some combination include weakness, lack of energy, constantly tired or exhausted, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and/or difficulty starting and completing tasks.
Other symptoms such as fainting or loss of consciousness , near-syncope, rapid heartbeat , dizziness or vertigo may also be described as part of the fatigue experienced by the affected individual. The presence of these symptoms may actually help lead a health care practitioner to discover the underlying cause of the fatigue.
The potential causes of fatigue are numerous. The majority of diseases known to man often list fatigue or malaise as possible associated symptoms. This is complicated by the fact that fatigue can occur in normal healthy individuals as a normal response to physical and mental exertion. However, normal fatigue may begin to become abnormal if it becomes chronic, extreme or prolonged fatigue usually this occurs when a person experiences chronic or prolonged physical or mental exertion. For example, unusually hard physical or mental exertion for one day can result in normal fatigue that may last about a day or sometimes more, depending on the exertion level, while daily unusually hard physical or mental exertion may result in prolonged fatigue . This latter situation may develop into abnormal fatigue.
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Which Of The Following Is Often A Symptom Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a term used to describe a group of symptoms, with fatigue being the most prominent. Other key symptoms include muscle and joint pain, sleep disturbances, headaches, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes. These symptoms can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and similar chronic conditions.
Fatigue also is frequently a symptom of conditions that are distinct from chronic fatigue syndrome but are often associated with it — including some autoimmune disorders and fibromyalgia.
Treatment Of Normal Fatigue
If one has fatigue from any of the things that cause it listed above, you don’t have to be a doctor to understand that if you eliminate the cause, then this should remedy the problem. In other words, if you are not getting enough sleep, then get enough by trying to be regular in time of retiring and getting up. If you are doing too much to too little then do the opposite. For example, moderate exercise on a regular basis is a very good treatment for couch potato syndrome. If medicines are the problem, talk to your physician about substitutions with a medicine that does not cause fatigue in you. Today there are often many good medicines that can be used for treatment of a medical problem that vary in their degree of side effects, especially drowsiness.
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Exercise Can Help Counter The Effects Of Fatigue
Exercise can often help relieve the effects of fatigue, especially more short-lived, acute forms of fatigue. Remaining physically active is important for patients with CFS, however, the approach to exercise must be individualized since exercise can cause the symptoms to become worse for some people. Other things that may help: better hydration, better diet, relaxation, and, of course, more rest and better sleep.
Caffeine and other stimulants may help fight fatigue in the short term, but longer-term, they may actually contribute to the problem.
How Much Sleep Keeps Cognitive Decline At Bay
To keep cognitive decline at bay, aim to get betweenseven and eight hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than this can increase your risk of developing fatigue and brain fog.
Additionally, make sure you get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
If you still experience fatigue and brain fog after making these lifestyle changes, be sure to speak with your doctor. They may be able to help you identify and treat the underlying cause of your symptoms.
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Food Allergies Food Intolerance And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, sleepiness, continued exhaustion
Although food is supposed to give you energy, medical research suggests that hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. In fact, fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance or food allergy. Celiac disease, which happens when you cant digest gluten, may also cause fatigue.
Ask your doctor about the elimination diet. This is a diet in which you cut out certain foods linked to a variety of symptoms, including sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them, for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test — or invest in a home test such as ALCAT — which may help you identify the offending foods.
Not Getting Enough High
Not getting enough sleep is one of the more obvious causes of fatigue.
Your body does many things while you sleep, including store memory and release hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels .
After a night of high-quality sleep, you typically wake up feeling refreshed, alert and energized.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, adults need an average of seven hours of sleep per night for optimal health .
Importantly, sleep should be restful and uninterrupted in order to allow your brain to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle .
In addition to getting enough sleep, maintaining a regular sleep routine also seems to help prevent tiredness.
In one study, adolescents who went to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends reported less fatigue and less difficulty falling asleep than those who stayed up later and slept fewer hours on the weekends .
Being physically active during the day may help you get more restorative sleep at night. One study in older people found that exercising helped improve their sleep quality and reduce levels of fatigue .
Furthermore, napping may help boost energy levels. Taking naps has been shown to decrease tiredness in pilots, who often experience fatigue due to long working hours and jet lag .
To improve the amount and quality of your sleep, go to bed at roughly the same time every night, relax before sleeping and get plenty of activity during the day.
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Is It Possible That I Have Pots And Was Incorrectly Diagnosed
This is entirely possible. Given how common POTS symptoms are and how unfamiliar many doctors are with this condition, diagnostic mishaps happen. POTS is frequently misidentified as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, anxiety disorder, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, myositis, etc. It is also possible that you have both POTS and one of these conditions, which may complicate the diagnosis. Sometimes people with POTS are told that its all in your head, implying that the cause of their symptoms is psychological. If you feel like something is physically wrong, dont hesitate to seek a second, and even a third or fourth opinion.
COVID-19 and POTS: Is There a Link?
Although many people recover quickly from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, others who recover may continue to experience symptoms for months. Researchers are still determining the cause of these extended symptoms, but some COVID-19 “long-haulers” may actually be dealing with POTS.
How To Boost Your Energy
Now that we know the main causes of low energy, we can now better tackle this problem. Here are some ways to help you boost energy.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Our society devalues sleep for some reason, yet it is the number one most effective way to ensure you feel alert and energized throughout the day. Begin with setting a plan for sleep habits.
As an example, I aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night during the week and 8-9 hours of sleep on weekends. The plan includes getting to bed before 12 am and, in some cases, before 11 pm. Part of this plan includes not eating at least 2 hours before bed, though I have to admit I dont always achieve that and when I do eat too close to bedtime, it noticeably disrupts my sleep throughout the night.
2. Dont Forget to Drink Water
Hydration is a simple one to tackle in my opinion. Weve got so many third-party sleep and hydration tracking mobile apps nowadays and using your default phone reminders allows you to set a reminder to drink a glass of water.
I suggest setting a reminder to drink a glass of water several times throughout the day. I personally feel best when consuming between 3-4L of water per day .
Exercise doesnt need to be as strict as going into a gym and lifting weights, though I suggest doing just that as it is very beneficial for your physical and mental well-being. Simply going for a 15min walk 3-4 times throughout the day would yield great results in terms of boosting your energy.
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Medical Causes Of Fatigue
Certain medical conditions and chronic diseases may also cause fatigue in the elderly. Some of these conditions include:
Anemia. This occurs when you have a low red blood cell count, making your body have to work harder in order to get your cells the oxygen they need. This can result in fatigue due to the extra strain on your body.
Sleep disorders. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea interfere with sleep cycles and can create disturbances throughout the night that prevents the sufferer from achieving meaningful rest. This lack of proper sleep over a period of time may lead to fatigue.
Thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism is more common with age and is characterized by lower thyroid function than normal. Those with hypothyroidism may experience fatigue along with weight gain, constipation, and hair loss.
Inflammatory disorders. Issues tied to inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can cause fatigue, as well as joint stiffness and pain.
Cancer. Cancer cells grow and spread rapidly, which can use a lot of an individuals energy resources and leave them feeling fatigued.
Chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome does not have a known trigger but can cause someone to experience fatigue persistently over the course of many months and years.
Chronic Infection. Chronic infections such as tuberculosis and HIV can cause significant fatigue in patients.
Psychological Causes Of Tiredness
Psychological tiredness is much more common than tiredness caused by a physical problem. Both anxiety and depression can make you feel very tired. Eating disorders can make you feel tired, particularly if you are underweight or overweight. Any cause of a sleep problem will also cause tiredness during the day.
Stress is a common cause of tiredness, either because it interferes with sleep, or because of the effect of having a worry on your mind all the time.
Other possible causes include:
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What Is The Treatment For Fatigue
The treatment for fatigue depends upon the cause. Some treatments for conditions that cause fatigue include medications, antibiotics, vitamins, and exercise. Medical treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause. Fortunately, many causes of fatigue may be treated with medications, for example, iron supplements for anemia, medications and machines to help sleep apnea, medications to control blood sugar, medications to regulate thyroid function, antibiotics to treat infection, vitamins, and/or recommendations for dietary changes and a sensible exercise program. Again, treatment of the underlying cause is the key to treatment of the symptom of fatigue.
Bacterial Or Viral Infection
You have a cold or the flu. Youre feeling worn down and tired. Thats because your body is fighting the infection and its putting a strain on your immune system.
More serious bacterial and viral infections can interact with different organ systems which can cause fatigue, says Dr. Ankerman.
Infections like mononucleosis and COVID-19 can even cause long-lasting tiredness.
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How Will Your Doctor Treat Fatigue
Your doctors recommended treatment plan will depend on whats causing your fatigue. To make a diagnosis, they will likely ask you questions about:
- the nature of your fatigue, including when it started and whether it gets better or worse at certain times
- other symptoms that youve been experiencing
- other medical conditions that you have
- your lifestyle and sources of stress
- medications that youre taking
If your doctor suspects you have an underlying medical condition thats causing your fatigue, they may order some medical tests. For example, they may order blood or urine tests.
Youre Overdoing It On Sugar And Refined Carbs
When you eat things that are sugary or high in refined carbs , it causes your blood sugar to spike, explains Jessica Cording, MS, RD, author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. In the moment, that can make you feel kinda hyper. But, unfortunately, all of that sugar and carbs will lead to an inevitable crash. That can leave you feeling tired, Cording says.
If you continue overloading on a ton of sugar and refined carbs, you can also cause something known as insulin resistance in your body, Dr. Khan adds, which is when your body cant use glucose as well as it should. The result: You feel tired a lot.
How to fix it: Try to cut back on how much sugar and refined carbs youre having on a regular basis, Cording says. FWIW, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting your intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories.
When youre going to have sugary or carb-filled foods, try to balance out the meal with some protein and fat, like adding nut butter atop your crackers. This can help lower the odds youll have an energy crash afterward, Cording notes.
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Being Overweight Or Underweight
Overweight increases the risk of fatigue by increasing the risk of conditions that have fatigue as a common symptom, such as diabetes or sleep apnea.
Carrying more weight and experiencing joint or muscle pain can lead to or exacerbate fatigue.
Similarly, people with underweight may tire easily, depending on the cause of their condition. Eating disorders, cancer, chronic diseases, and an overactive thyroid can all cause weight loss, as well as excessive tiredness and fatigue.
Tips For Relieving Fatigue
There are also a lot of strategies to relieve fatigue, and remember that one method may work for you but may not be as effective as another, but here are some of the most common ones that are deemed to be efficient:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
- Get enough sleep every night and take short naps throughout the day if needed
- Restrict your physical activity and allow your body to recover
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Take supplements such as iron or magnesium if you are
Both brain fog and fatigue can be debilitating conditions that affect your daily life. However, by knowing what they are and the most common causes, you can take steps to alleviate these symptoms and improve your quality of life.
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Tired Legs Fatigue And Low Energy State Whats The Connection
Dear Dr. Mo: I feel tired and my legs feel tired and not just in the morning but sometimes during the day and in the evening. What could be causing me to feel low like that?
Dear reader: Feeling tired, sleepy and lacking energy is called fatigue and all these symptoms are our bodys response to something we call Low Energy State.
Weakness is usually one of the first symptoms of any medical condition and it should not be ignored. Together with shortness of breath these two are the most common first presentation of majority of illnesses.
If weakness/fatigue doesnt go away after enough sleep, good nutrition and reduced stress a doctor should check it out.
Tiredness in legs can commonly be just a result of too much walking, standing or running but if it doesnt go away or keeps coming back even without excessive physical exertion then you may be in a Low Energy State for some reason that you should discover and correct asap.
Now, a whole variety of reasons exist that result in Low Energy State, which then goes on to cause weakness, fatigue and more specifically, tired legs among other symptoms. These can include:
Lifestyle reasons feelings of fatigue are most commonly caused by sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders , overwork , sedentary behavior or unhealthy habits
Of course, these 3 categories can and often do work in combination and diagnosis can be difficult at first.
Yours in health,
Try An Elimination Diet
We typically recommend eliminating foods which can trigger digestive issues for 3-4 weeks.
These trigger-foods include: gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, corn and eggs.
After 3-4 weeks, try adding one food category back every 3-5 days and track how you feel.
If any symptoms return upon re-introducing that food, youll know its one you want to avoid.
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Dont Take Lack Of Energy For Granted
In todays hectic world, a lack of energy may seem to be the norm as we take on more tasks and continue to exhaust ourselves. But there comes a point when your low energy is trying to tell you something, and it could be more serious than you think.
Whether youre experiencing low energy daily or sporadically, and have already tried natural means to boost it eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep it may be time to look further into the causes. Dont you want to get back to those things you love?