What Causes Fatigue? Why Am I So Tired And What Can I Do About It?

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Fatigue is often described as a lack of enthusiasm and energy, both physical and mental. This is distinct from drowning or sleepiness, which are signs that you need to sleep. Fatigue can also result from mental and physical extension. Generally, fatigue may be reduced by resting or engaging in less activity.

We frequently hear complaints about tiredness in connection with medical issues. It’s notable because it’s a symptom rather than a specific disease or medical condition. A frequent symptom of many illnesses is fatigue, which may occur alone or in combination with other symptoms. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Fatigue? How To Treat Fatigue?

Male and female definitions of fatigue are not the same. While women could characterize their tiredness, anxiety, or grief, guys might say they are exhausted. Weary, little, exhausted, and rundown are some terms that individuals use to express their fatigue. 

Symptoms Of Fatigue

A common sign of tiredness is its gradual tart, which means it develops gradually and worsens over time. The majority of people who suffer exhaustion might not realize how much energy they are losing at all. This is only apparent when they compare how well they can do activities over different periods.

Despite being an indication of an underlying illness, tiredness may cause several physical and mental symptoms, such as weakness, lack of energy, chronic weariness, lack of motivation, etc. 

Major Causes Of Fatigue

Fatigue may stem from a variety of factors. Fatigue is a potential symptom of most medical illnesses. Chronic and extreme weariness can have a variety of causes, including lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and stress.

Work-Related Fatigue

  • Fatigue Related to Employment: People who work overnight may have fatigue all day. This is because a person who works the night shift disrupts their circadian rhythm, designed for nighttime sleep. Poor work behavior, such as fixed attention, long hours, physical labor, irregular working hours, and repetitive tasks, can also lead to fatigue.
    Numerous professional stressors, such as bullying, a heavy workload, disagreement with a manager or coworker, and threats to job security, can lead to fatigue. 
  • Mental Health: Fatigue can be triggered by various factors such as depression, anxiety, and bereavement. These circumstances were the body down on both a physical and mental level, leading to extreme exhaustion.

Lifestyle 

Sleep issues, food, irregular exercise, drug or alcohol usage, and other things are frequently cited as lifestyle reasons.

  • Sleep Disturbances: You may feel tired throughout the day if you are sleeping too much, too little, or waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Nutrition: If you eat a lot of high-carb, high-fat, or quick-fix meals, along with sugary foods and drinks and caffeinated drinks, your body isn’t getting enough fuel or nutrients. Eating these meals may also give you a brief burst of energy that intensifies fatigue and causes a “crash”.

Medical Conditions

  • Drugs and alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the nervous system and makes it difficult to fall asleep. Caffeine and cigarettes will excite your nervous system and make it difficult for you to fall and remain asleep.
  • Lack of regular exercise: Exercise has been shown to increase energy, lower stress, and enhance overall health and well-being. It will also lessen daytime fatigue and improve your quality of sleep.
  • Factors specific to an individual: Financial difficulty, several obligations, personal or family sickness or injury, and exhaustion.
Medical Conditions

When accompanied by other symptoms, chronic fatigue may be a sign of some medical disorders. Many diseases have the potential to cause fatigue. Medical causes of exhaustion can be categorized using general sickness clarifications. These categories of illnesses include:

  • Sleep issues include insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea.
  • Insufficiency in vitamins: Inadequate amount of vitamin D, vitamin B1, or iron
  • Mental well-being: Anxiety and depression
  • Exhaustion might also be brought on by medications you take for other medical issues. This can include sedatives, certain blood pressure medicines, steroids, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs.

Diagnosis Of Fatigue

Your healthcare professional will perform various tests, one of which is listed below, to identify the reason behind your weariness.

  • Medical History: Your physician will inquire about any recent bouts of exhaustion as well as any traumatic life experience, including childbirth, surgery, high levels of stress at work, and family conflict.
  • Physical Assessment: Your physician will do a physical assessment to look for any indications of illness. Your doctor may not additionally inquire about your lifestyle and food.

A variety of tests are performed, such as blood, urine & X-rays.

Treatment Of Fatigue

The reason for fatigue determines how to treat it. Treatments for problems that lead to eariness might include vitamins, medicine, nutrition, exercise, and obtaining from bad habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, or smoking.

Thankfully, there are several treatments available for tiredness reasons. Antibiotics may treat infections, iron supplements can treat anemia, CPAP devices and drugs can treat sleep apnea, vitamins can manage vitamin deficiencies, and pharmaceuticals can maintain blood pressure and blood sugar.

While adopting a new lifestyle might help reduce fatigue, adhering to your doctor’s recommended course of action for any identified medical problem is crucial. Fatigue may have detrimental effects on both your physical and emotional health if left unaddressed.

Diagnosis Of Fatigue

Final Thoughts

The outcome is usually favorable since tiredness may be effectively treated for any cause. The underlying illness, the etiology, and your overall health influence the prognosis. Even while you can handle your tiredness, you probably can’t top the many causes of it.

Because of this, it is critical to recognize the symptoms of weariness so that you can get the right care and diagnosis as soon as possible. Sometimes, fatigue may be subtle symptoms that are difficult to recognize. If relatives and friends express worries about your lack of activity, talk to your healthcare provider rather than brushing them off.

References:

  1. Alwaystired? 7 hidden causes for your fatigue. (2017).
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/always-tired-7-hidden-causes-for-your-fatigue
  2. Fatigue in older adults. (2016).
    https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/fatigue-older-adults
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Fatigue. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/fatigue/basics/definition/sym-20050894

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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