Primary Or True Muscle Weakness
This shows itself as an inability to perform what you want to do with a muscle, even the first time you try. There is a reduction in the force which the muscle can exert, however hard you try. The muscle is not working properly – it has become abnormal.
When this kind of weakness occurs the muscles are often floppier than usual and reduced in bulkiness. It can happen, for example, following stroke. It is also seen in a condition called muscular dystrophy . Both of these conditions result in weakened muscles which cannot move the usual load. It’s a real change in muscle power.
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.
How Is Me/cfs Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose ME/CFS. Your doctor will diagnose ME/CFS based on your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your doctor may do some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Patients can be diagnosed with ME/CFS only after they have had symptoms for 6 months or more.
Check your symptoms with the healthdirect Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Fibromyalgia Fatigue
When To See A Healthcare Provider
You should see your healthcare provider if your fatigue:
- Has come on suddenly and is not the result of normal short-term physical or mental stress
- Is not relieved with rest, sleep, or removal of stressors
- Has become severe or chronic
- Is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms
- Irregular or fast heart rate
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Beat Chronic Fatigue Naturally
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.
Conditions Of Muscle Inflammation
Inflammatory diseases of muscle typically affect older adults and include conditions such as polymyalgia rheumatica , polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Some of these conditions respond well to steroids . Unfortunately, as explained above, steroids also cause muscle wasting and weakness.
Conditions of generalised tissue inflammation such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause muscle weakness. In a small proportion of cases of rheumatoid arthritis, muscle weakness and tiredness may be the only sign of the disease for some considerable time.
Don’t Miss: Upper Back Pain Dizziness And Fatigue
History Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Neurasthenia, a diagnosis characterized by chronic fatigue, was defined by George Beard in the best-selling book American Nervousness. The term neurasthenia, first used in 1869, meant lack of nerve force and was thought to be related to actual loss of nerve strength. Associated symptoms were headaches, loss of hearing, nearsightedness, increased blushing, bad dreams, dyspepsia, excessive sweating, tremulousness, general weakness, scalp tenderness, cramps, heart palpitations, phobias, increased ticklishness, flying neuralgias, chills, cold feet, cold hands, tooth decay, excessive yawning, impotence, and vaginismus. S. Weir Mitchell, the father of neurology, subsequently systematized the rest cure, a program of good nutrition, respites at spas, and massages. By the 1900s, brain fatigue was seen as emotional rather than literal nerve fatigue. Anxiety neurosis and depression, or psychasthenia, were concepts that distinguished some patients who would have fallen under the rubric of neurasthenia. Janet, who defined psychasthenia and asthenia, advised patients on how to use their energy budget. Research on fatigue in the early 20th century led to further understanding of neurocirculatory asthenia, or anxiety disorder. Operational fatigue was a World War II euphemism for all nervous reactions to combat. Menninger described neurotic fatigue as a deficit resulting from misdirected energy rather than lack of energy.
Diabetes Obesity And Being Overweight
Extra pounds and too much exertion of physical activity also causes chronic fatigue syndrome . Obesity makes it difficult to stretch the legs, arms and even reach the floor. Moreover, diabetes, which is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. When the body doesnt produce much insulin or has an insulin immunity to breaking down food into energy. When there is not enough energy in the body, the person may consistently feel tired or drained.
Also Check: How To Stop Fatigue From Depression
A Vitamin Or Nutrient Deficiency
A vitamin deficiency, such as not getting enough vitamin D or vitamin B12, could cause you to feel severely tired, per the Cleveland Clinic. Dehydration can have the same effect.
You could also feel suddenly exhausted if you’ve recently started a high-protein diet. It’s not the protein itself making you tired, but the lack of carbohydrates. Severely restricting carbs causes your body to enter ketosis, where it breaks down fat for energy, per the Mayo Clinic. The side effects of ketosis include fatigue as well as headache, weakness and bad breath.
These side effects are usually temporary, but if ketosis is causing your sudden energy crash, you may want to add more fiber-rich, complex carbohydrates to your diet, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend carbs make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories.
Similarly, skipping meals or following a very low-calorie diet could sap your energy. Keep in mind that people assigned female at birth should avoid eating fewer than 1,200 calories per day, and people assigned male at birth should eat at least 1,500 calories per day, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Rheumatoid Arthritis And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflamed joints
Rheumatoid arthritis , a type of inflammatory arthritis, is another cause of excessive fatigue. Because joint damage can result in disability, early and aggressive treatment is the best approach for rheumatoid arthritis.
Medications that may be used early in mild RA include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
Other drugs used in more serious forms of RA include the anti-cytokine therapies , as well as shots and other forms of treatment.
Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Sjogren’s disease, may also cause fatigue.
You May Like: Consumer Reports Anti Fatigue Mats
When To Call Your Doctor
If your fatigue prevents you from engaging in work or school, social or personal activities, then you should see your doctor, Dr. Patane says.
“When in doubt, it never hurts to speak to your doctor about this. It can be a simple evaluation, and we may be able to say there’s nothing seriously wrong and suggest lifestyle modifications,” he says. “One of the best ways to get better from fatigue is with good sleep hygiene and by slowly increasing daily exercise.”
Doctors Recommend Getting A Blood Test For Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndome If You Have Experienced Fatigue For Longer Than:
There is no blood test for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndome. However, if you have experienced unexplained fatigue lasting longer than three months, you may want to see your doctor to rule out possible medical problems.myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome may be considered if you have experienced fatigue for longer than six months — especially if you have chronic pain or other common symptoms of ME/CFS. Diagnosis is usually based on an evaluation of the patient’s history and a thorough physical and mental examination that rules out other potential causes.
Read Also: Fatigue Falling Asleep During The Day
How Is Fatigue Managed
Making sure you have good quality sleep can help you manage fatigue. Ensure you go to bed at the same time each night and stick to healthy sleep habits.
Eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity will also help improve your sleep and lessen fatigue. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables avoid junk food and try to avoid alcohol and caffeine since these can affect your sleep.
If you have fatigue, talk to your doctor about whether it is safe to drive or carry out your normal work duties.
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.
Does Daily Exercise Decrease Chances Of Fatigue
According to orthopedics and physical therapists, daytime fatigue may be diminished by continuous exercise and physical fitness routines. If you are starting a weight loss program due to your diabetes or obesity, consider asking your dietician for the right weight management procedure. You can set up a multistation home gym to work out at home
What Is Fibromyalgia
This musculoskeletal condition affects your whole body. When you have fibromyalgia, your brain may process pain signals differently. This could cause you to feel more intense pain. You may also have problems with your bowels, memory, sleep, or mood.
A related, key part of fibromyalgia is the presence of “tender points.â These are areas on your muscles and tendons that are tender when pressed. Typically, tender points are in your neck, back, knee, shoulder, elbow, and hip.
You may also have trigger points with fibromyalgia. These are areas on the muscles around your bones that hurt when pressed. Trigger points may also cause pain or tenderness that you feel in other areas of your body. This is called referred pain. You could have weak muscles, too.
You May Like: How Long Does Gluten Fatigue Last
Where To Get Help
- Your doctor
- Wilson J, Morgan S, Magin P, et al. 2014, Fatigue a rational approach to investigation, Australian Family Physician, vol. 43, no. 7, pp. 457-461, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. More information here.
- Fatigue, 2013, MedlinePlus, US National Library of Medicine. More information here.
- Fatigue, Mayo Clinic, USA. More information here.
- Fatigue in the workplace, WorkSafe Victoria. More information here.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Overcome Chronic Fatigue
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 patient’s 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 person’s 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 person’s 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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Army Fatigue Leggings Plus Size
How Does Chronic Fatigue Impact A Persons Life
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for six months or more. Even during resting periods, it may not treat a person diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Hence, this complex medical illness often relies on treating the symptoms rather than the disease itself. This disorder is also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, which may disable a person altogether. There are significant consequences of overlooking the symptoms of chronic fatigue. Mostly, there are times when fatigue may look like daytime tiredness or sleepiness. Yet, the first sign of continuous pain and lethargy needs a general physician for further examination and diagnosis.
I Have Muscle Weakness
If you have muscle weakness and visit your doctor, they will first need to know the following:
- How it began and how long you have had it for.
- Whether it is getting worse, getting better or staying the same.
- Whether you are otherwise well, are losing weight or have travelled abroad recently.
- What medicines or other drugs you have been taking and whether there are any muscle problems in your family.
Your doctor will need to examine you to see which muscles are affected and whether you have true or perceived muscle weakness. They will check to see whether your muscles are tender to touch or unusually ‘fatigable’. They may want to watch you walk.
They will then need to test your nerves to see whether the muscles are getting the right signals to act. Your doctor may need to test your central nervous system, including your balance and co-ordination. They may need to perform blood tests to look for abnormalities of hormones, salts and blood cells.
Depending on the results of these tests your doctor may also order the following:
- Nerve studies to make sure the nerves are conducting properly.
- A muscle biopsy to see whether the muscles themselves show signs of inflammation or damage. A biopsy is a procedure where a small sample is taken to look at under the microscope.
- Body scans such as CT or MRI to look for conditions elsewhere in the body which may affect muscle power and function.
Don’t Miss: Extreme Fatigue And Body Aches