There are several synonyms of fatigue which can be used alternately to define similar condition of the mind and body and they are exhaustion, tiredness and lethargy.
Fatigue can be mental and physical. The former occurs when your mind is overworked and performing a task seems an insurmountable challenge while physical fatigue is associated with tiredness in your muscles that hinders your physical performance.
Symptoms associated with fatigue
There are several symptoms associated with fatigue and the degree of tiredness is dependent on the reason behind. Due to exhaustion a person loses his ability to carry out daily chores. A person experiences the following under chronic fatigue:
- Tiredness, swelling and pain in legs and hands
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Depression, Stress
- Disturbed sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of appetite, feeling drained, sleepy
- Blurred vision
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Haltered hand-eye coordination
- Shortness of breath
- Unresponsiveness/ lack of consciousness
Causes of fatigue
- Obesity, diabetes, underweight, malnutrition- deficiency of vitamins and minerals , hypothyroidism, anaemia, lung and kidney disease
- Heart diseases like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease
- Pulmonary disorders like asthma, COPD, pneumonia
- Sleep apnea, high stress levels, insomnia, working till late night, jet lag, over-thinking, anxiety, travelling, over exercising
- Medicines like anti-depressants, sleeping pills, steroids, blood pressure medicines, anti-histamines
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, loss of blood, surgery, etc.
- Tuberculosis, fever, malaria, viral infections- HIV, hepatitis, influenza
Diagnosis of Fatigue
Your doctor will diagnose the course of the fatigue which implies the time of its occurrence, how consistent it is, the degree of severity, etc. He/she will analyse your general habits, working hours, food habits, etc. before coming to a conclusion.
Make sure you tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines or have any medical history
After evaluating your health in details, he may suggest you the following tests to find out the precise reason:
- TSH test
- CBC test
- Blood sugar
- Electrolyte test
- ESR test
- Creatinine test
- Urine test
- X ray
- Imaging tests
How can be fatigue treated?
There could be three possible ways to alleviate fatigue:
1.Medicines: Since fatigue is the outcome of an underlying disease, like anaemia, hypothyroidism, infections, diabetes etc.; it will go away with treatment of the health complication. Your doctor might reduce the dose of those fatigue- causing medicines temporarily
2.Therapy: Several therapies are performed on a person to reduce mental as well as physical exhaustion and tiredness. They are graded exercise and psychological counselling
3.Change in lifestyle- this entails holistic improvement of your mind and body. Physical fatigue can be controlled with changing sleep patterns, indulging in fun activities to beat stress and eating healthy. Yoga and meditation are must needed for people suffering from anxiety and depression.
What to expect?
Since fatigue is an outcome, it disappears with the treatment. However, you need to conscientiously follow your doctor’s advice for a speedy recovery.
We insist you to focus on transforming your bad habits, keeping yourself hydrated and cutting down on smoking and drinking. Stay is a positive atmosphere to boost your mental energy. Good luck!
Date last updated: January 11, 2015