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Causes Of Severe Fatigue And Weakness

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Its important for you to exercise your whole body every day, or at least every other day. A good exercise plan starts slowly, allowing your body time to adjust. Any kind of exercise is acceptable, including walking, riding a stationary bike, yoga or swimming , and strength training. Whatever kind of exercise you do should be at a moderate intensity so you can say to yourself I am working somewhat hard. Avoid exercise that makes you feel sore, stiff or exhausted.

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How Can I Feel Less Tired

Some changes to your lifestyle can make you feel less tired. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a fatigue diary to help you find patterns throughout the day when you feel more or less tired.
  • Exercise regularly. Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. If you have concerns about starting an exercise program, ask your doctor if there are any activities you should avoid. Moderate exercise may improve your appetite, energy, and outlook. Some people find that exercises combining balance and breathing improve their energy.
  • Try to avoid long naps late in the day. Long naps can leave you feeling groggy and may make it harder to fall asleep at night. Read A Good Nights Sleep for tips on getting better rest at night.
  • Stop smoking.Smoking is linked to many diseases and disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, and breathing problems, which can drain your energy.
  • Ask for help if you feel swamped. Some people have so much to do that just thinking about their schedules can make them feel tired. Working with others may help a job go faster and be more fun.

Why You Might Be Tired All The Time

Before you see a GP, you may want to work out how you became tired in the first place.

It can be helpful to think about:

  • parts of your life, such as work and family, that might be particularly tiring
  • any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as bereavement or a relationship break-up
  • how your lifestyle may be making you tired

A GP will look at the following causes of tiredness:

  • psychological causes

Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes.

Most psychological causes lead to poor sleep or insomnia, both of which cause daytime tiredness.

Psychological causes include:

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Too Much Or Too Little Activity

A person with fatigue may not feel able to exercise, and a lack of exercise can cause further fatigue. A lack of exercise may eventually cause deconditioning, making it harder and more tiring to perform a physical task.

Fatigue can also affect healthy individuals after prolonged, intense mental or physical activity.

A Worsening Of Your Fatigue After Exertion

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It is common to experience tiredness and fatigue during and even after an episode of illness. Fatigue for weeks or months after a serious illness can be quite normal. People who are recovering from an illness often report feeling a little better each day, it can take time to fully recover. With Long COVID you may feel fatigued after activities which were not previously difficult to cope with and this can affect your quality of life and ability to function as you did previously. This is more likely to occur at the end of the day or at the end of a busy week.

Sometimes people experience a number of other symptoms worsening after physical stress. This could include brain fog, muscle aches or headaches alongside increased fatigue. Clinicians may call these post exertional symptoms. They are not in themselves dangerous but can affect your quality of life.

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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.

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Tired All The Time Here Are The Most Common Causes Of Fatigue In Seniors

Medically reviewed by Dr. Kenneth Knowles, MD on February 16th, 2021

Fatigue is often dismissed as a lack of energy, but its a symptom that can quickly become debilitating. This extreme feeling of weakness and/or tiredness affects everyone differently and has a number of causes. Sometimes the explanation is simple, like not getting enough sleep. On the other hand, fatigue thats occurring frequently could be a symptom of more serious health concerns. For seniors, ongoing fatigue or weakness is often associated with the lattermaking it important to remain cautious and consult with a medical professional when experiencing any new, sudden feelings of fatigue. That said, here are some of the most common causes of fatigue in older adults:

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Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Shift work can wreak havoc on your body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. When you work nights or rotate shifts, your body doesn’t know when to be awake and when to sleep, which causes fatigue.

Daylight is often a cue to be awake. If you must sleep during the day, try to make your sleeping area as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. If you must work at night, keep your workplace brightly lit. Try to work night shifts all in a row and avoid frequently rotating shifts. Stay away from caffeine, and stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible on days off.

Myth: Cool Air Can Keep You Awake

Top 5 Extreme Fatigue Causes

Blasting your AC or opening the window may keep you cool, but this does little to counteract drowsiness. Think of how well people sleep on cold winter nights. In fact, keeping your room cool is a commonly given tip for getting better sleep. Playing loud music is also useless in fighting driver fatigue.

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When Should I Call My Doctor About Fatigue

Itâs normal to feel tired now and then. Everyone experiences occasional, brief fatigue due to illness, sleep disturbances, travel or changes in diet or medication. But you should talk to your healthcare provider if youâre tired all the time. Call your provider if:

  • Your fatigue lasts longer than a few days
  • Youâre having a hard time going to work or performing daily activities.
  • There isnât a clear reason for your fatigue.
  • It comes on suddenly.
  • Youâre older .
  • Youâve also been losing weight.

Fatigue can be a sign of a serious health condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have fatigue along with other symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath or pain in your chest, arm or upper back.
  • Fast, pounding, fluttering or irregular heartbeat.
  • Headache or vision problems .

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Eating And Drinking Habits

Diet can affect how tired or energetic a person feels. Maintaining a moderate and well-balanced diet can lead to better health and better sleep.

Here are some tips to try:

  • Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Eat snacks that are low in sugar.
  • Avoid junk food and follow a well-balanced, healthful diet.
  • Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

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Moving More Could Mean Living Longer

More than 2,900 older adults over the age of 60 participated in the study, rating on a scale of one to five how tired they typically felt following various activities. Some of the activities examined in the survey include a leisurely 30-minute walk, light housework, and heavy gardening.

After tracking health and mortality outcomes among participants for roughly three years, and accounting for various additional factors that may increase mortality risk , study authors came to a remarkable conclusion. Specifically, adults who scored 25 points or higher on the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale were 2.3 times more likely to pass away over the next 2.7 years in comparison to others who scored below 25 points.

There has been research showing that people who increase their physical activity can decrease their fatigability score, Dr. Glynn explains. And one of the best ways to increase physical activitywhich simply means moving moreis by setting manageable goals and starting a routine, like a regular walk or scheduled exercise.

The study is published in the Journal of Gerontology.

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Why Do I Feel So Tired

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It is likely that a mixture of physical and emotional factors are contributing to you experiencing fatigue after stroke.

  • Physical causes

The physical impact of the stroke on your brain and body can trigger fatigue. In the early weeks and months after a stroke, your brain and body are healing.

The rehabilitation process can involve trying to do things in a completely new way, or learning and doing exercises, which can be very tiring.

You may have lost mobility and fitness while in hospital, or because of the stroke, and being physically inactive is linked to fatigue.

If you have muscle weakness after your stroke, this can mean you use energy in different ways. For example, walking and completing other daily activities may well take up much more energy than they did before your stroke, making you more likely to feel tired. However, even those who make a good physical recovery can still experience fatigue.

  • Emotional changes

Feeling low or anxious is common after a stroke, and can come with a sense of fatigue. If you feel your mood is low or you are constantly irritable or tense then dont ignore it. Your GP can prescribe medication or refer you for practical support such as counselling. Read more about emotional changes after stroke.

  • Other factors

Other factors that can affect how tired you feel include sleeping problems such as insomnia and sleep apnoea . You might have trouble sleeping due to muscle stiffness or joint pain.

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Treating Depression To Improve Insomnia

âInsomnia can precede a bout of depression or increase risk of a relapse in someone with a history of depression, but treating the insomnia can improve the outcomes of depression,â agrees Jason Ong, PhD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

But Ong says itâs also important to address the depression that may exist independently of the sleep issues. If you think you are depressed, be sure to discuss this with your doctor, who can help you decide on whether treatment for it should be part of your sleep therapy.

Some antidepressants may also cause sleeplessness. In that case, your doctor or sleep specialist can investigate other options. âTry to find an antidepressant with sedating properties,â Ong says. âOr if the most effective antidepressant for you causes insomnia, you may be able to take it in the morning instead of night.â

Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD, clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, uses insomnia as a clue to other issues when evaluating a new patient.

âInsomnia is one of the ways to identify depression, and I make sure all of my patients get depression and anxiety screening,â Zafarlotfi says. âWe need to address both the sleep problem and the depression. It doesnât matter which came first.â

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Disease Activity And Fatigue

Fatigue and arthritis go hand in hand for many people with arthritis. The main culprits are the inflammatory disease process and the accompanying chronic pain.

  • Inflammation. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your body and inflammation is the result. The body undergoes stress as it tries to cope with the release of inflammatory cytokines in the blood. That can cause fatigue, especially when disease activity is high or low-grade inflammation remains for a long time.
  • Chronic Pain. The pain-fatigue connection can be a vicious circle. Dealing with arthritis pain for months at a time over many years can wear you down. It can affect your sleep habits, which adds to your exhaustion. Being fatigued, in turn, can worsen pain and make it more difficult to manage.

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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.

Muscle Damage Through Injury

What Causes Chronic Fatigue? Why Do I Experience Weakness?

There are many ways in which your muscles can be directly damaged. The most obvious is injury or trauma such as sporting injuries, pulls and sprains. In any muscle injury, bleeding from damaged muscle fibres occurs inside the muscle, followed by swelling and inflammation. This makes the muscle less strong and also painful to use. Localised pain is the primary symptom but weakness also results.

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What Is Pots And Why Does It Cause Fatigue

POTS is a group of symptoms resulting from dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we dont consciously control like sweating and blood circulation.

In people with POTS, more blood collects in the lower body when standing upright. The heart beats faster to pump it up to the brain, but with little success. The causes of POTS are unknown, but the problem is thought to lie in the communication breakdown between the brain and the cardiovascular system.

POTS-related fatigue is physical in nature and the mechanism behind it is not fully understood. It may have several causes, including your body working harder to move the blood.

Low On Energy Get Care At Home

If left untreated, the underlying cause of your persistent fatigue may go undetected. So, when youre feeling overly tired, it is best to consult a medical professional as soon as you can. DispatchHealth can help you find the root cause of your ongoing fatigue or weakness. Our on-demand service focuses on bringing personalized, same-day medical care to your home, helping you receive comprehensive medical attention without the stress of arranging for transportation or waiting in a germy room. We treat a wide range of serious conditions, and were in-network with most insurances.

To learn about how DispatchHealth is responding to visit requests during coronavirus or to request care today, simply contact us via phone, mobile app, or website.

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Fuel Yourself With The Right Stuff

Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are the three main macronutrients â and each plays a role in keeping us energized. Carbs provide quick energy to help you feel better right away, whereas protein and fats digest more slowly for sustainable energy until your next meal. Combining all three macronutrients sets you up for the best of both worlds.

Balanced bites to try:

  • A pear with a side of pistachios

  • A hearty slice of toast with mashed avocado and white beans

  • Sliced apple wrapped in prosciutto

  • A sprinkle of breakfast cereal on top of yogurt

A quick walk in the morning or evening will boost your energy level. A great playlist or audio book are useful tools to keep you moving.

Psychological Causes Of Fatigue

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Studies suggest that psychological factors are present in at least 50 per cent of fatigue cases. These may include:

  • Depression this illness is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress a person who is chronically anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

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Can Fatigue Be Prevented

Fatigue as a symptom can occur as the result of many causes and therefore, prevention is not an issue. More importantly, the early recognition of fatigue will allow a person to seek medical care and potentially have an earlier diagnosis of the underlying cause made.

Sometimes, symptoms like fatigue arise gradually and it is difficult for the person to realize that there is a problem. It may take an outside perspective from a friend or family member to appreciate a difference in function. Self-awareness of gradual decline in body performance is often difficult as a person makes repeated small accommodations to complete daily activities.

How Can My Doctor Manage Fatigue

To find out what is causing your fatigue, your healthcare provider will ask questions about your lifestyle and medications and will conduct a physical examination. They might order some lab tests to test blood and urine. If you are a woman of child-bearing age, your provider will probably order a pregnancy test.

To relieve fatigue, your provider will treat the condition or disorder thatâs causing it. Depending on your health, your treatment plan may include a combination of medication, exercise, or therapy. If youâre taking a medication that makes you feel exhausted, talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of stopping the medication or trying another one.

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