When To See A Doctor For Your Fatigue
If youre still feeling tired all the time despite doing all you can to improve your diet, sleep and exercise habits, its time to see a doctor. Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and lifestyle and see if you have any other medical issues or are taking any medications. Your doctor may ask you to have various tests to see if you have another medical condition that is causing your extreme fatigue. If this is the case, you will get the answer to why you feel exhausted and be on your way to being treated and feeling better.
Underactive Thyroid And Fatigue
Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, sluggishness, feeling run-down, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain
The problem may be a slow or underactive thyroid. This is known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, about 17% of all women will have a thyroid disorder by age 60. And most won’t know it. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should. The result is hypothyroidism, or a slow metabolism.
Blood tests known as T3 and T4 will detect thyroid hormones. If these hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed, and you should begin to feel better fairly rapidly.
The Doctor May Examine You
The doctor may check your weight and height, if it seems relevant. You may not be examined, as it may depend on your answers to some of the questions above however, the doctor may think it relevant to:
- Check your lymph glands to see if they are enlarged.
- Check your thyroid gland to see if it is enlarged.
- Look at your eyes to see if you might be anaemic.
- Listen to your chest and feel your tummy and the organs in your tummy.
- Check your joints for swelling or inflammation.
- Check the strength of your arms and/or legs.
- Ask you for a sample of your urine to check for sugar or infection.
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Fatigue Cause No : Sleep Apnea
Some people think they’re sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: youâre sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed. Your doctor may order a sleep study to check for this.
Fix: Lose weight if you’re overweight, quit smoking, and you may need a CPAP device to help keep your airway passages open while you sleep.
Fatigue Cause No : Caffeine Overload
Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and jitteriness. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.
Fix: Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.
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Not Eating Enough Calories
Consuming too few calories can cause feelings of exhaustion.
Calories are units of energy found in food. Your body uses them to move and fuel processes like breathing and maintaining a constant body temperature.
When you eat too few calories, your metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy, potentially causing fatigue.
Your body can function within a range of calories depending on your weight, height, age and other factors.
However, most people require a minimum of 1,200 calories per day to prevent a metabolic slowdown.
Experts on aging believe that although metabolism decreases with age, older people may need to eat at the top of their calorie range in order to perform normal functions without becoming fatigued .
In addition, its difficult to meet your vitamin and mineral needs when calorie intake is too low. Not getting enough vitamin D, iron and other important nutrients can also lead to fatigue.
Your body requires a minimum number of calories in order to perform daily functions. Consuming too few calories can lead to fatigue and make it difficult to meet nutrient needs.
Why Am I So Tired What Am I Lacking
If your tiredness isnt caused by something obvious such as a lack of sleep and you dont suspect an underlying condition such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid, its sometimes worth looking at what youre eating and what nutrients you may be lacking.
There are a handful of vitamin deficiencies that might be the cause of your fatigue. If youre deficient in iron , vitamin B12 , or vitamin D , tiredness and consistent fatigue can occur.
Think this may be the case for you? You can check in on your vitamin levels from the comfort of home with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home vitamin and mineral tests which test for some of the most common vitamin deficiencies.
Fatigue can be a result of a number of different health conditions or illnesses. If you feel as if youre always tired and its not a result of any lifestyle changes such as an increase in physical activity, its important to find out more. You can do this by visiting your doctor and keeping a close eye on your health and wellbeing with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home health tests.
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Fatigue Cause No : Diabetes
In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body’s cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.
Fix: Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy, and medications to help the body process sugar.
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.
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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.
Pots: A Little Known Cause Of Extreme Fatigue
Everyone knows what being tired feels like at the end of a long day. But some people experience fatigue so severe and so seemingly random that its hard to describe. If that sounds familiar, there could be more going on than daily stress.
While there are many causes of fatigue, one of them is frequently missed and misdiagnosed: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome . Physical medicine and neuromuscular specialist Tae Chung, M.D., answers questions about POTS and extreme fatigue as one of its symptoms.
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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
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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Waking Up A Lot In The Night
A lot of us wake up in the night so briefly that we cant remember doing it. It makes us think weve slept right through but in the end, waking up more than five times a night can be the equivalent of losing an hours sleep. So while there might be plenty of reasons for waking up in the middle of the night, including the symptoms of menopause and insomnia, there are other more natural reasons like noises in the house or outside.
So if you fit into the latter category, check out this simple technique used by registered nutritionist and army veteran, Rob Hobson.
How to fall asleep in 2 minutes:
Rob Hobson shared the following trick with us that has reportedly used by the US military in the past to get to sleep in difficult circumstances.
This technique is said to work for around 96 per cent of people after practising for around six weeks, he said.
- Relax the muscles in your face, such as tongue, jaw and around the eyes.
- Drop shoulders as low as they will go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.
- Breathe out, relaxing your chest then legs, working downwards from the thighs to the feet.
- Say Dont think, dont think for 10 seconds to clear your mind.
By setting a proper routine for yourself, its also possible that your body will adapt better to times when it should be asleep and awake so youll feel less tired. To do this, its important to fix your sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time every night, then wake up at the same time every morning.
You Need A New Pillow Or Mattress
A new mattress should be purchased every 7-10 years. If your one is starting to reach the end of its life cycle, it could be impacting your sleep.
Before buying a new one, its important to understand your own preference and the different options available when you shop.
Even if you go to bed early and think youre sleeping through until morning, your pillow could be undoing all this good work. The right pillow will support your neck and spine and prevent back pain. An old or uncomfortable pillow means that youll toss and turn all night which stops your body getting the rest it needs, making you feel tired.
Pillow test: Place the middle of the pillow over your arm, if the sides hang down its time to buy a new one!
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Reasons For Feeling Sleepy All The Time
Are you yawning and wondering, “Why do I feel so tired all the time?” If so, you may have excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue. These are among the most common complaints healthcare providers hear, and they’re not an easy thing to fixin large part because they have many potential causes.
Fatigue is a “lack of physical or mental energy.” The term is often used to mean tiredness that’s not relieved by rest. For it to be clinical fatigue, meaning that it’s medically significant and should be treated, it involves:
- Feeling too weak to start an activity
- Quickly tiring during activity
- Difficulties with concentrating, memory, and emotional stability
It’s common for sleepiness, fatigue, and other terms like tiredness or low energy to be used interchangeably. They all overlap with each other and distinguishing between them usually isn’t important for a diagnosis.
EDS is defined as an “inability to maintain wakefulness and alertness during the major waking episodes of the day.” If you have EDS, you may find yourself dozing off unintentionally or at inappropriate times. EDS isn’t a passing thingthe official diagnostic criteria say it has to occur daily for three months or longer.
Heart Attack Or Stroke
While you may be on the lookout for chest pain to signal problems with your heart, you should also add sudden-onset fatigue to the list, per the American Heart Association. .
In addition, the AHA points out that fatigue or confusion can be one of the initial symptoms of a stroke. Other signs might include a severe headache, arm weakness and difficulty with walking or talking.
If you have sudden exhaustion along with any other symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately. In either case, your likelihood of recovery is better the sooner you get treatment.
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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 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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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.