What Is Severe Fatigue
Feelings of excessive fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness have different descriptions. Explaining correctly how do you feel to your doctor may be critical to find the real causes of extreme fatigue.
Let’s learn how can we make the difference between extreme fatigue and daytime sleepiness:
Definition of Extreme Fatigue
According to Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice, fatigue means an overwhelming sense of tiredness, lack of energy, and a feeling of weakness linked with physical or psychological problems.In simple words, fatigue is an unpleasant feeling that describes sensations of muscle weakness and low energy, but without having sleepiness.Fatigue is something that you feel when:
- you finish the physical activity or exercise,
- you are depressed,
- you are bored, and have no inspiration for doing something.
People with fatigue usually want to rest, sitting down on a chair, or laying down on the bad, but without wanting to sleep.
Definition of Daytime Sleepiness
Sleepiness, is the tendency to fall asleep during the day. A person with excessive daytime sleepiness has the desire to fall asleep or has unintended episodes of falling asleep in during daytime.
Compared to fatigue, sleepiness is in general a pleasant feeling of drowsiness. It makes you lie down, close your eyes, and fall asleep. This sensation is occurs in general before falling asleep.
Crashing Fatigue Caused By Hormone Imbalance
When women reach menopause, they usually experience a number of menopausal signs and symptoms, caused by hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalance happens when the body begins to produce fewer estrogen and progesterone hormones, as the ovaries slowly stop their monthly release of an egg in preparation for pregnancy. As hormone levels decline, they fall out of balance. It is not only hormone imbalance that directly causes fatigue. Crashing fatigue can also be caused by other menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, which can disturb sleep and leave women fatigued.
Watching Too Much Tv Before Bed
Rebecca Small, assistant medical director at Bupa says, Television, laptop and computer games can all stimulate the mind and therefore can prevent a good nights sleep. Reading, meditation and exercise such as yoga can have a relaxing affect, helping prepare your body for sleep.
Even having the light from street lamps come through your windows can disrupt your sleep, as the high-intensity LED light emits the same blue light as a screen, although its a smaller quantity. The American Medical Association have even issued a warning about street lights.
The blue light emitted from phones, laptops and TVs can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin by up to three hours, says Dr Vishal Shah, medical director at Thriva.
To avoid this blue light from screens, try limiting your TV watching and texting to an hour a night, and dont let it be the last thing you do before you go to bed and dont use your bed for anything other than sleeping. Its not a good idea to watch TV in bed, or anything else like sorting out bills, make shopping lists or arguing. Let your body recognise that when you get into bed its time for sleep.
As for the street lights, make sure to use black-out curtains to ensure that no light creeps through!
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Psychological Causes Of Fatigue
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.
What Happens When You Start Cutting Calories
Then there is the fact that your body thinks that there is a famine because youve got weight loss setting in so your body is like, Okay this is bad we havent had enough food to sustain our body weight now for days upon days upon weeks upon weeks. This famine is severe and its how are we not starve to death. What it decides is that its going to lower its metabolism low enough that it can still carry on necessary functions but maybe not optimally.
It lowers your thyroid level, and now youve got some pseudo hypothyroidism going, and it starts to subsist on fewer calories essentially and that makes you tired. Your metabolism slows down literally because your body thinks its doing you a favor by saving your life because clearly, the food has run out.
Ari Whitten: Yeah.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Yeah, so for lots of reasons you are like really tired.
Ari Whitten: Yeah for sure. Its interesting because of the whole metabolism down regulation thing, I guess its worth pointing out to people that there is actually a center in the brain that is monitoring whether you have enough calories to deal with your normal daily expenditure. If you dont then it starts to down regulate things.
We just talk about metabolism because its easier to talk about things in that way, but there is actually a couple of different pieces of that energy expenditure side of the equation that get down regulated. One is the resting metabolic rate, like your metabolism cropper.
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How Common Is Fatigue In Covid
Feeling fatigued is a very common symptom of COVID-19 for all age groups. On average, around eight in ten adults who are ill with COVID-19 will experience fatigue. Itâs slightly less common in children, affecting around half of those with COVID-19.
While 82% of app contributors who tested positive for coronavirus reported fatigue, just this symptom alone is not a sure sign of having COVID-19. Only 13% of people who were ill with COVID-19 experienced fatigue as their only symptom.
What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Fatigue During Menopause
Fatigue is a complex, multi-faceted symptom that can plague people at any stage of life. It is impacted by overall physical and mental health, by daily stresses and life events. But one of the most common and, at the same time, most troublesome times to experience fatigue is during menopause and the preceding perimenopause transition. Whats more, it often lasts for years, and its course is different for every woman.
Menopause-related fatigue can be caused by changing estrogen levels, but it is often compounded by common symptoms. Chief among these are vasomotor symptoms, which are experienced by up to 80% of women and include hot flashes and night sweats that can disrupt sleep. Whatever the point of origin, this fatigue can impact both womens personal and professional lives. With the proper support, however, treatment for fatigue during menopause can address the cascade of related symptoms and significantly improve quality of life.
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Other Causes Of Extreme Fatigue
Medications for depression like antidepressants, can cause sleepiness and fatigue. In one recent study, more than 90 percent of patients with major depression had severe fatigue despite the fact that more than 80 percent of these patients were already taking antidepressant medications. Read the study here.
Drugs that reduce the high blood pressure , especially alpha 2 receptor agonists, beta-blockers and alpha 1 receptor antagonists are also common causes of extreme fatigue.
Drugs that treat abnormal heart rhythm also may cause sedation.
What Autophagy Is And How It Impacts Your Energy Levels
Susan Pierce Thompson: Autophagy.
Ari Whitten: Autophagy which basically allows your body, your immune system and your cells to clean up the damaged and dysfunctional cell components especially in the mitochondria. When you have very short fasting windows at night which the vast majority of people do, you dont let your body do that cellular clean up adequately each night. Then you get a buildup of damaged cell parts and mitochondria and of course, thats another way that we see fatigue.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Yeah.
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How Would You Describe Fatigue Associated With Pots
People with POTS experience fatigue differently. Many describe it as feeling beyond exhausted. Its as if your energy is completely depleted. The fatigue is probably hundreds of times worse than your worst flu. People with POTS may also have trouble concentrating and thinking straight. Doing simple tasks may feel like youve just run a marathon.
This fatigue might come and go, hitting you without warning daily, weekly or less frequently. For some people, extreme fatigue lasts for days. Others may experience periodic attacks. It can come on at any moment even if you just woke up. And there is no amount of sleep or coffee that can make it go away.
Why Detox Pills Does Not Work
Ari Whitten: Yeah for sure. Then the toxin issue is huge, and a lot of people dont realize it but in order to detoxify your body its not just a simple matter of like taking some pills, some like colon cleanse pills or taking activated charcoal or something like that or bentonite clay.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Broccoli, did you watch that Michael Greger video on broccoli being the best detoxifier?
Ari Whitten: Yeah, so I did but there are certain compounds that can work to help stimulate detoxification, but there is another hugely important element to this which is as you pointed out these, the toxins actually are getting stored in our fat cells.
So, if a person never taps into those fat cells if they are just piling more fat on top of it, and they never actually enter a state of physiology where their body goes, Whoa we need to access the stored fuel lets burn that stored fat. They open up the fat cells, release the fatty contents into the blood stream and then the fatty acids start to get burned for fuel. If thats never happening those toxins stay locked in there.
Susan Pierce Thompson: For years, decades.
Ari Whitten: Yes, years or decades and its which in a way it sounds like a bad thing that they stay locked in there for that long, but in another sense, its actually a good thing. The body is trying to get them out of the blood stream so they are not constantly in circulation.
Ari Whitten: Thats crazy.
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How To Find Out More About Susan Pierce Thompson And Her Work
Ari Whitten: Yeah for sure. I think were just about out of time here but what I want to do is for anyone that is struggling with their weight go to Susans site take The Susceptibility Quiz and find if you are susceptible to food addiction, whats going on in your brain. Really get clarity on what the best method is going to be to help you lose fat sustainably and Susan do you want to add any thoughts on that?
Susan Pierce Thompson: Probably the easiest website for them to remember is foodfreedomquiz.com. If they just want to take the quiz, its also my website brightlineeating.com thats B-R-I-G-H-T-L-I-N-E Im sure youll have it in the show notes and stuff. If anyone is driving down the road or whatever and they want it in their head foodfreedomquiz.com will do it.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Yeah.
Ari Whitten: Well awesome thank you so much it was as always as our conversations always are its such a pleasure to talk with you. I think, I dont think any conversation has been had really around this subject before so I think this is going to really help bring a lot of clarity to people who are worried about their energy levels and they also want to lose weight and just really understanding the big picture of this process so that they can do things the right way and know what to expect and know how to make sure that they get their energy back.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Perfect, thanks so much Ari such a pleasure.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Bye.
Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
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Symptoms And Consequences Of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Sleep plays an important role in consolidating memory, restoring the immune system, and other vital processes. As a result, a lack of quality sleep may result in a host of symptoms that you may not immediately connect to sleep.
Even if you dont consciously feel sleepy, you may be suffering from excessive sleepiness if youre experiencing any of the following:
- Trouble staying alert
- Slower reaction times
- Risk-taking behaviors
Being sleepy can have wide-ranging effects on health and daily life. Consequences of daytime sleepiness include:
- Increased risk of car and work accidents
- Worse quality of life
- Problems regulating mood and emotions
- Social and relationship problems
Excessive sleepiness may be particularly dangerous for young adults, shift workers, medical staff, and people who drive a lot.
Long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher chance of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Daytime sleepiness in children may affect development, while in older adults, daytime sleepiness heightens the risk for falls and may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment, memory loss, and earlier mortality.
Coping Steps For Fatigue During Pregnancy
- Rest Make sure you allow yourself to get extra bed rest during the times you feel fatigued. This can be accomplished by going to bed earlier or taking a nap during the day, if possible. Avoiding fluids several hours before bed is also a good way to cut down on the number of times you have to get up at night to use the bathroom.
- Adjust Schedule If your current commitments or activities prove to be too draining during pregnancy, you may have to temporarily adjust your schedule to be less busy. This can include cutting back your hours at work, if possible, or asking friends and family to assist you with housework/errands.
- Eat a Balanced Diet Eating nutritious meals will go a long way toward supporting your energy levels. Make sure you get enough iron, protein, and calories. Fatigue can become worse if you are not getting the proper nutrients. Also, you will need to ensure you stay hydrated during your pregnancy.
- Moderate Exercise Although you may feel like you do not have the energy to exercise, if you incorporate moderate activity, such as a 30-minute walk, this will actually make you feel more energized. Exercise is beneficial in pregnancy unless your healthcare provider has advised otherwise.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Roger W. Harms, M.D., E.-I.-C. Mayo Clinic: Guide to a healthy pregnancy. USA: American Academy of Pediatrics.
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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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How Susan Got Involved In The Realm Of Weight Loss
Ari Whitten: Can you just talk a little about your background? I know that you are a professor, and you have a Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences, youve taught a number of different courses in university, in colleges.
Can you just talk a little bit about that, your educational background and scholarly background and now you are in the realm of weight loss. Its kind of an interesting transition.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Yeah, it was. I mean my personal background goes back further, but my Ph.D. is in brain and cognitive sciences and I didnt study food in the brain in grad school, nor in my postdoc.
I was studying high levels of cognition language and inductive reasoning and things like that and how they develop over the time course of development. I liked it okay, I mean it was interesting I like anything thats interesting but I didnt have any personal hook to it.
Maybe for that reason maybe because my personal food addiction was alive and well during my graduate school years and I was mostly face down in a bowl of cookie dough, I didnt publish a lot on it. My thesis was excellent and it ultimately got published in a top-tier journal, but I didnt publish a lot of other stuff. When I graduated I wasnt really fit for a job at Stanford or anything.
For the sake of prestige and my ego I was like, No I really want to love research because thats the only way you get a job at a really top school is to have a stellar publication record.
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