What Exactly Is Fatigue
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that many different things can cause. It can make it difficult to do everyday activities and may lead to feelings of frustration, irritability, and lack of energy.
There are two main types of fatigue: mental and physical.
Mental fatigue is the result of using your brain for prolonged periods of time and can be caused by activities such as studying, working, or attending social events.
Physical fatigue is the result of physical activity and can cause a person to feel tired after exercise or work.
Now that we know what brain fog and fatigue are, lets take a look at some of the most common causes for each condition.
Other Sources Of Fatigue
Your fatigue is not always directly related to your arthritis disease activity, inflammation or pain. In fact according to a 2017 study published inCurrent Rheumatology Reports your fatigue level probably has more to do with other contributing factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, sleep disturbance and depression. Several of them may work together to cause your extreme tiredness, but identifying and treating even one of these factors can provide relief.
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.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur when your blood doesn’t circulate properly, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors don’t totally understand the condition or why it happens, but they know that when a person with POTS stands upright, more blood collects in their lower body, causing the heart to beat faster to pump blood up to the brain.
Some people with POTS describe it as having sudden fatigue attacks, while others say it’s like having waves of sudden extreme fatigue and nausea or extreme fatigue “out of nowhere.” It can present differently depending on the person, but other symptoms might include:
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy when standing, or fainting
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps or muscle pain
- Feeling shaky
- Sweating a lot
POTS tends to run in families, and there’s a link between POTS and having highly mobile joints , per Johns Hopkins Medicine. If you think you have it, see your doctor, who can run a test and make a diagnosis.
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 .
- Nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
- Muscle weakness.
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What Medical Conditions Cause Fatigue
Hundreds of conditions and disorders lead to fatigue. Some of the most common causes of fatigue include:
- Disease and infection: Cancer, kidney disease and multiple sclerosis are just a few diseases that cause fatigue. Fatigue can also be a sign of infections such as mononucleosis, HIV and flu.
- Mental health conditions: Fatigue from depression or anxiety may make it difficult or impossible to perform daily activities.
- Autoimmune disorders: Fatigue is a symptom of many autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hormonal imbalances: Problems with your endocrine system can lead to exhaustion. Hypothyroidism is a common cause of fatigue.
- Chronic conditions:Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia cause severe, long-lasting fatigue.
- Heart and lung problems: Fatigue is a common symptom of cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , emphysema and congestive heart failure.
- Deficiencies:Anemia and other vitamin deficiencies are often responsible for fatigue. Dehydration can cause fatigue because the body needs plenty of fluids to function.
- Weight problems and eating disorders:Anorexia, bulimia, obesity or being underweight can lead to fatigue and a range of other symptoms.
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.
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Does The Patient Suffer From Depression
If they also complain of tiredness and weight gain consider hypothyroidism.
If they are tired and nauseated, and describe polyuria or constipation consider hypercalcaemia.
If they have developed weight gain and thinned or red skin consider Cushings syndrome.
What Should I Know About Fatigue
What is the Definition of Fatigue?
Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both. Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Apathy is a feeling of indifference that may accompany fatigue or exist independently. In addition, individuals often describe fatigue using a variety of terms including weary, tired, exhausted, malaise, listless, lack of energy and feeling run down.
How Common is Fatigue?
Fatigue is common. About 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life. A physical cause has been estimated to be responsible 20% to 60% of the time, while emotional or mental causes comprise the other 40% to 80% of cases of fatigue. Unfortunately, fatigue can occur in normal individuals that experience intense physical or mental activity .
However, in contrast to fatigue that occurs with some diseases and syndromes, normal fatigue in healthy individuals is quickly relieved in a few hours to about a day when the physical or mental activity is reduced. Also, people occasionally experience fatigue after eating , which can be a normal response to food, especially after large meals and this may last about 30 minutes to several hours.
1. Have severe chronic fatigue for at least six months or longer with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis and
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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
Why Am I So Tired Common Causes Of Women’s Fatigue
Many women have come to accept that feeling tired, weak, or drained of any energy is the price to pay for a busy social life, personal life and career. But fatigue doesnt have to be a daily fight.
“Many people, especially women, don’t think of fatigue as something that they should seek medical attention for. They see it as something that is just a symptom of a busy life, but if you have a healthy lifestyle and are generally healthy, you shouldn’t be plagued by fatigue. There is often an underlying issue when women tell me they’re constantly tired,” says Damaris Wessel, DO, family medicine physician at Main Line HealthCare Family Medicine in Bryn Mawr.
Below, Dr. Wessel explores some of the most common reasons women face fatigue in their daily lives.
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Fast Fix For Mild Fatigue
Some of us are simply tired with no medical cause. The good news is that exercise may give us a boost. Studies consistently show that people who engage in regular exercise feel less fatigue than those who don’t. When exercising for energy stay in the low-to-moderate exertion range, such as walking, yoga, or light resistance training to fight fatigue.
What Can Cause Fatigue In Elderly
In the elderly, fatigue can be caused by a variety of underlying issues. Generally, fatigue occurs when the bodys metabolism, oxygen supply, hormone levels, or mental and emotional state are disrupted. Some of the most common causes include depression, issues with blood circulation, impaired breathing , hormone imbalances like hypothyroidism, malnutrition, and metabolic issues like diabetes mellitus.
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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:
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:
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.
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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.
Possible Causes Of Extreme Fatigue In Women
There are many reasons that could underlie extreme fatigue in women. Web MD lists some 7 factors that are the most common reasons for fatigue in women. Fatigue could be caused by anemia which causes hemoglobin deficiency and hence lack of energy.
Additionally hypothyroidism , an undiagnosed urinary tract infection, an overdose of caffeine, certain food intolerances, sleep apnea and an undiagnosed disease of the heart could be underlying causes of fatigue experienced by women.
Though these are the common causes, extreme fatigue in women could have these or other underlying causes as well
Depression, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep For women, who typically have to juggle home and professional commitments as well, stress is a reality of life simply taking on too much to do can be a cause of fatigue.
Research has shown that women are particularly prone to anxiety and depression and these can generate extreme fatigue in women.
Accompanying the fatigue could be other symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness or guilt, a greater desire to sleep, an unexplained weight gain, difficulty concentrating and so on.
Sometimes the fatigue could be caused by something as simple as lack of restful sleep, since insomnia and fatigue are closely linked. Indicators could be nodding off at inopportune times, being surprised by yawns when least expected, and general lethargy.
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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.
Common Causes Of Chronic Fatigue
How does it feel to have limitations on your daily activities? It may imply a negative impact on how we perceive our lifestyle. Every day, there are habits that people often forget to recheck. Significantly, working day and night without having a good sleep can lead to one of the causes of chronic fatigue. Doctors often suggest that stretching, strength training, and anaerobic exercises can stop these causes. People that want to enhance their endurance and flexibility should go to this site . Improving your core and ensuring that your heart rate is stable defeats the chances of chronic fatigue. Yet, be careful with how you work out and read more information regarding the causes of chronic fatigue.
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The Impact Of Caffeine And Energy Drinks
90% of American adults drink caffeine-infused beverages almost every day. This includes coffee, tea, and energy drinks, which have high quantities of sugar in addition to containing the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Some of the smaller energy shots can contain up to 160mg of caffeine in a 60ml bottle. With extreme tiredness, you may start drinking too much of these drinks to give yourself a temporary energy boost.
The problem is that these caffeinated beverages have short-lived results and do not tackle your general fatigue. Caffeine has a stimulatory effect on the nervous system, and creates a momentary surge of adrenaline. However, once it subsides, you are left drained of energy the opposite effect to what you wanted. Caffeine can also lead to other problems such as:
So rather than improving your fatigue, caffeine can cause you to feel worse.
How Are Abdominal Pain And Unintentional Weight Loss Treated
Abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss treatments can vary because their causes vary. Your doctor will try to determine the underlying cause. However, in the meantime, they may prescribe medication to help control your symptoms.
If a virus is causing your symptoms, antibiotics wont improve your symptoms because antibiotics are not effective against viruses.
If your abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss are due to a parasite, your doctor will determine the appropriate medication to kill the parasite.
Counseling can improve symptoms caused by stress and anxiety. Getting more rest and exercise may also help.
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