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Fatigue: Symptoms, Causes, treatment, Medications and Therapies

Fatigue is basically not a disease but could be a symptom of an upcoming or present disease or condition. It is described as a feeling of being exhausted or tired and that a person needs a break and rest for a span of time. There are several reasons why a person gets fatigue and some of these are lack of enough sleep, overwork, reduced energy, boredom and even lack of exercise.  Once you notice you are having fatigue, you can expect that you are developing or already having a medical condition. Furthermore, there are medications and types of treatment that causes a person to develop fatigue just like undergoing chemotherapy. So, when feelings of fatigue are experienced then it would be better if further assessment may be done to determine what causes you this condition and if in case underlying disease or illness is present then immediate intervention will be provided.

In order for the doctor to understand and further evaluate you from having fatigue, you must describe the pattern of fatigue. Different patterns may mean differently and the underlying illness may vary also. If you are having low level of energy starting from the moment you woke up until the end of the day, this may mean that you are on the stage of depression. On the other hand, when you frequently get fatigue after or during activities even when you have rested then this may mean you have issues with your thyroid hormones and other health issues.

Fatigue Syndrome

Fatigue Syndrome or Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder where in the underlying cause is still hard to identify. In this condition, the person experiences severe fatigue and worsens if the person does physical and even mental activities. More so, no matter how much rest you provide getting fatigue is not relieved. The cause of this syndrome is still under researches but several theories already arose. Based on the studies, chronic fatigue syndrome is a multifactor condition such as infection caused by virus and also psychological stress.

Series of test must be performed before the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome so that possible health conditions associated with fatigue may be eliminated. More so, the treatment of this syndrome is focused on palliative only.

Fatigue Symptoms

Aside from the main symptom itself, fatigue where the name of the syndrome is derived, there are eight other symptoms that are linked to it and these are:

  • Sore throat
  • Visible enlargement of the lymph nodes on both armpits and the neck
  • Memory loss and reduced concentration
  • Muscle pain with unknown cause
  • Severe headache
  • Uninvigorating sleep
  • Joint pain that may be referred to other joints
  • Extreme exhaustion every after activities either mental or physical that may last for 24 hours or more

Fatigue causes

The probable causes of fatigue vary and below are the most common ones:

  • Most types of anemia such as Iron deficiency anemia
  • Persistent use of prohibited drugs like cocaine
  • Alcoholism
  • Severe and constant feelings of pain
  • Alteration of sleeping pattern like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea
  • Certain medications like anti-depressants and sedatives
  • Depression
  • Abnormalities of the thyroid gland both hyper and under active

Fatigue may also be associated with a number of diseases such as:

  • Anorexia Nervosa and some other eating disorders- lack of intake of sufficient foods causes reduced energy level thus resulting to weakness and fatigue
  • Addison’s disease- the adrenal glands of the body no longer yield enough steroid hormones needed by the body
  • Cancer- proliferation of abnormal cells within a specific part of the body
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Infections whether bacterial, parasitic or viral
  • Kidney and liver diseases

Fatigue treatment

As stated earlier, the treatment for fatigue mainly focuses on relieving the symptoms.


  • Anti-depressants- for most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome, the individuals with this syndrome also experiences depression so anti-depressants like SSRIs and MAOIs are prescribed. In addition to this, minimal dose of such anti-depressants aids in the patients’ sleep and for pain relief.
  • Sleeping pills- if home remedies on problems with sleep are not effective then doctors may prescribe medications to help you get enough sleep.


The combination of exercise program and psychological counselling has been proven to be effective for those who have chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Psychological counselling- establishing conversations with a good counsellor supports you in finding your way in coping up with the changes and limitations in activities that you are currently experiencing because of the syndrome. Feelings of self-esteem and authority indeed help in improving your view in life.
  • Exercise program- with the assistance of a physical therapist, you can identify the best exercises you need. Most of the time it will begin with range of motions and as time goes by your endurance with the exercise increase.

Muscle Fatigue

This is a state where the muscles of the body could not utilize the normal force or requires more than the average force in performing particular activities. Several factors may be involved in here like exercise-induced and genetic issues that may eventually lead to muscle weakness.

Our body is our wealth that is why we must always take good care of it or else we may experience different health issues and illnesses. Once you are having fatigue, this may be a sign that you may need longer rests and relaxation. Take time to breath and relieve yourself from stress.

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