Fatigue, or extreme tiredness and lack of energy, can happen for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s a sign of something more serious. However, you can often combat fatigue by making simple changes to your lifestyle, like improving your diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
What Is Fatigue? tiredness is when you feel overwhelmingly tired and low on energy. It’s different from just feeling sleepy. When you’re fatigued, you lack the motivation and energy to do anything. Sleepiness can be a part of tiredness, but they are not the same thing.
Fatigue can be a symptom of many different medical conditions, ranging from mild to severe. It can also result from lifestyle choices such as not getting enough exercise or eating poorly.
What Causes Fatigue? Fatigue can be caused by various factors, which can be grouped into three categories:
- Lifestyle Factors: Sometimes, your daily activities and lifestyle choices can be the root causes of tiredness. This includes physical exertion, lack of physical activity, insufficient sleep, being overweight, emotional stress, boredom, grief, certain medications, alcohol use, drug use, excessive caffeine consumption, and poor diet.
- Physical Health Conditions: Many medical conditions can lead to fatigue. Some examples include anemia, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, infections (like colds and flu), thyroid problems, sleep disorders, eating disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and lung conditions.
- Mental Health Issues: Mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder can also cause fatigueness.
When Should You See a Doctor? If you’re feeling consistently fatigued and:
- Can’t pinpoint a reason for your fatigue
- Have an unusually high body temperature
- Experience unexplained weight loss
- Feel very sensitive to cold temperatures
- Struggle with sleep regularly
- Think you might be depressed
Then, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you’ve tried addressing lifestyle causes like improving your sleep, diet, and stress levels for two weeks without success, it’s crucial to see a doctor.
In some cases, fatigue may signal a serious medical issue. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience tired along with symptoms like rectal bleeding, vomiting blood, severe headaches, chest pain, faintness, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, severe abdominal or back pain, or have thoughts of self-harm or harming others.
How Will the Doctor Treat Fatigue? Treatment for tired depends on its underlying cause. Your doctor will ask you about your fatigue, other symptoms, existing medical conditions, lifestyle, and medications you’re taking. If an underlying medical condition is suspected, your doctor may order tests like blood or urine tests.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Fatigue: To combat from daily activities, consider these steps to boost your energy and overall health:
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids.
- Follow a healthy eating plan.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Manage and reduce stress.
- Avoid overloading your schedule.
- Engage in relaxing activities like yoga.
- Steer clear of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
These changes can help alleviate fatigue. Additionally, follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan if you have any diagnosed health conditions. Unaddressed tiredness can negatively impact your physical and emotional well-being.