What Exams Procedures And Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Fatigue
For the evaluation of fatigue, the health care practitioner will take a complete history of the patients fatigue, along with questions in regard to associated symptoms. The health care practitioner may inquire about the following activities and symptoms to determine the probable cause of the fatigue:
Quality of Life
Does the level of fatigue remain constant throughout the day? Does the fatigue get worse as the day goes on, or does the fatigue begin at the start of the day? Is there a pattern to the fatigue ? Does the fatigue occur at regular cycles? How is the persons emotional state? Does the person feel unhappiness or disappointment in life? Sleep pattern determination. How much sleep is the person getting? During what hours does the person sleep? Does the person awake rested or fatigued? How many times does the person awake during sleep? Are they able to fall back asleep? Does the person get regular exercise? Any exercise? Has the person had any new stressors in their life? Change in relationships, jobs, school, or living arrangements? What is the persons diet? Is there a high intake of coffee, sugar, or excessive amounts of food?
The definitive diagnosis depends on discovering the underlying cause of the fatigue this is determined by evaluating the history, the physical exam and the appropriate test results.
When Is Being Too Tired A Problem
Let’s face it: We aren’twhat we used to be as we get on up there. Aging has many wonderful aspects, butone of the many problems is that we do not have the stamina and energy we didwhen younger. That is a normal part of aging and just something that comes withthe territory. However, being excessively tired or listless can be termedfatigue.
Diseases That Have Fatigue As The Main Symptom
When your immune system is grappling with a disease, that fight requires energy. So it’s probably not surprising that almost any disease you can name has fatigue listed among its symptoms.
“Fatigue may be the most common symptom people report, and in and of itself it can’t point you toward a diagnosis,” says Roxanne Sukol, MD, a preventive medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
Also complicating matters: “There are so many different ways to measure fatigue,” says Anne Cappola, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. “Does it mean you’re sleeping more? Or can’t exercise as long as you used to? Or don’t have energy at the end of the day?”
Fatigue comes in different flavors. “There’s physical fatigue, but also emotional fatigue and psychological fatigue,” she says. “People underestimate the effects of psychological stress on energy levels, but in retrospect, after that stress is gone, they realize that was making them so tired.”
Whenever a patient sees Cappola for fatigue, she says she talks with them about reasonable expectations. “Our society builds this belief that you should be on the run all the time, but that’s not sustainable for many of us,” she says. “If your schedule’s changed or you haven’t been sleeping enough or something else is going on, feeling tired is natural.”
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Myth: Cool Air Can Keep You Awake
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.
Is It Sleepiness Or Fatigue
Sleepiness can occur when a person does not get enough good quality sleep, or when they have a lack of stimulation. It can also be a symptom of a health condition that interferes with sleep, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
Sleepiness is more likely to be short-term than fatigue. It is usually treatable with regular and consistent sleep.
However, fatigue especially when it is chronic is often associated with a health condition or problem. It may also be its own chronic condition, called chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Fatigue is associated with many health conditions and lifestyle factors. The sections below will outline these in more detail.
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Can Emotions Cause Fatigue
Are you fearful about the future? Do you worry about your health and who will take care of you? Are you afraid you are no longer needed? Emotional stresses like these can take a toll on your energy. Fatigue can be linked to many conditions, including:
- Stress from financial or personal problems
- Feeling that you no longer have control over your life
Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to fatigue. Regular physical activity can improve your sleep. It may also help reduce feelings of depression and stress while improving your mood and overall well-being. Yoga, meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy could also help you get more rest. Talk with your doctor if your mental well-being is affecting your sleep or making you tired.
Fatigue Cause No 1: Cfs And Fibromyalgia
If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can’t manage your daily activities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia are a possibility. Both can have various symptoms, but persistent, unexplained exhaustion is a main one.
Fix: While there’s no quick fix for CFS or fibromyalgia, patients often benefit from changing their daily schedule, learning better sleep habits, and starting a gentle exercise program.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
If you can figure out the reason for feeling tired yourself, and do something about it, then no. If the tiredness is getting in the way of your life, or making you feel unhappy, or you feel unwell, then yes, you should visit your doctor.
You should definitely see a doctor if you feel tired and have lost weight without trying to. Also see a doctor if you have other symptoms as well as being tired, such as coughing up blood, a change in the way your guts are working, heavy periods or a lump somewhere it shouldn’t be.
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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What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, is a condition in which fatigue lasts six months or longer and is not related to other diseases or conditions. People with CFS experience symptoms that make it hard to do daily tasks like dressing or bathing. Along with severe fatigue that doesnt get better with rest, CFS symptoms can include problems with sleep, memory and concentrating, pain, dizziness, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes. Learn more about CFS.
Allergies And Chronic Fatigue
How are allergies one of the causes of chronic fatigue? According to doctors, celiac disease is the inability to digest gluten and leads to fatigue symptoms. These allergies can vary from food , allergens like pollution, pet fur, insects, and dust. If you feel that an underlying medical condition may come from the symptom of fatigue, avoid intolerance with allergens and other possible factors that trigger your allergies.
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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.
Fatigue Due To Insufficient Or Poor Quality Sleep
Not surprisingly, if you are not getting a sufficient number of hours of sleep, you will feel tired. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that adults sleep 7-8 hours each night, yet one in three of us are not getting that. You may be able to function on more or less than the recommended number of hours, but its important to get in the habit of achieving them every night.
You may also feel extreme tiredness if your sleep is of poor quality. Signs that your sleep quality needs to improve are:
- You take more than half an hour to fall asleep after getting into bed
- You tend to wake up more than once per night
- Once awake in the middle of the night, it takes you more than 20 minutes to get back to sleep
- You are asleep less than 85% of your time in bed
Generally, poor sleep is due to bad sleeping habits which can be improved. There are also medical causes of poor sleep quality, such as sleep apnea.
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Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people’s lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog — a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.
What Is The Treatment For Tiredness
There is no specific treatment for tiredness. The days of doctors prescribing a tonic are over, as there is nothing which really works. The secret is to try to narrow down the cause and then do something about that.
If the cause is a medical condition then often treatment of the condition will resolve the tiredness. For example, if you have anaemia then iron supplements can treat this and the tiredness resolves as your blood count improves. It is thought that even supplementing low-range-of-normal iron levels helps with tiredness. If you are found to have an underactive thyroid gland then a pill which replaces the thyroid hormone you are missing is usually very effective and you will find you have more energy.
If you are found to have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may be referred to a specialist in this illness for help through psychological therapy, graded exercise therapy, or medication.
If you have anxiety or depression, this can be helped by talking therapy , cognitive behavioural therapy , medication or various other possible treatments.
It may seem bizarre, but physical exercise can actually be remarkably effective for treating tiredness. Any moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling, can help you feel less tired. Regular exercise is also an excellent way to stay healthy.
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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.
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Myth: Only Old People Fall Asleep At The Wheel
More than half of fatigue-related crashes are caused by drivers younger than 25. Others who are at the highest risk: men, people with sleeping disorders, adults with children, commercial drivers, drivers with jet lag, and shift workers. Working the night shift increases your risk by nearly six times. Rotating shifts that disrupt your sleep cycle and working more than 60 hours a week can also set you up for fatigued driving.
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What Causes ‘your’ Fatigue
Many physical and mental illnesses, as well as lifestyle factors, can cause your fatigue, and that can make it hard to diagnose. In some cases, it might be something simple and easy to fix, like having caffeine at bedtime. But other causes, like heart disease or COPD, are serious, and you may need to start long-term treatment right away.
Your doctor can help you sift through your health issues, as well as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits, in order to zero in on the cause and help you on the road to recovery.
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.
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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.
Hypothyroidism Tends To Make People Feel Sluggish
Hypothyroidism tends to make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed.
It is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. Inflammation of the thyroid gland is the most common cause. Other symptoms may include hair loss, depression, heavier menstrual periods, weakness, unintentional weight gain and being more sensitive to cold.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider right away if you have any of the following:
- Confusion or dizziness
- Little or no urine, or recent swelling and weight gain
- Thoughts of harming yourself or of committing suicide
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue, especially if you also have a fever or unintentional weight loss
- Constipation, dry skin, weight gain, or you cannot tolerate cold
- Wake up and fall back to sleep many times during the night
- Headaches often
- Are taking medicines, prescribed or non-prescribed, or using drugs that may cause fatigue or drowsiness
- Feel sad or depressed
Treatment depends on the cause of your fatigue symptoms.
What Are The Types Of Tiredness
Unlike fatigue, tiredness can typically be relieved by a good nights sleep and some rest. When the tiredness becomes overwhelming and sleep seems to have little to no effect, thats when you know its fatigue.
There are a number of different types of tiredness that we can all experience in our day to day lives, these include:
- Energy highs and lows, usually during certain points of the day
- Emptiness due to skipping breakfast or meals
- Lack of stamina
- Tired but unable to fall asleep
The above types of tiredness are typically a result of a poor diet, a general lack of important vitamins and minerals in your everyday diet or even drinking too much caffeine throughout the day – with the latter being one of the reasons you might find it hard to fall asleep even when you feel exhausted. Check-in on your vitamin levels from home with LetsGetChecked to make sure your levels are within a healthy range.
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