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Overview

Fatigue - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is the lack of motivation or energy (both mental and physical). Fatigue is different from drowsiness (the urge to sleep). Usually fatigue and drowsiness is diagnosed by a healthcare professional as it can be difficult to tell the difference between drowsiness and fatigue.It is usually difficult for the patient to describe fatigue it is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, lethargy and tiredness. Sometimes, fatigue can also be an underlying symptom of a much fatal disorder such as various sleep disorders, hear diseases, COPD, thyroid diseases, diabetes and anemia. In severe cases, fatigue can also result to Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Fatigue is not a disease, it is a symptom. It can either be psychological or physical.

Primary complaints of individuals experiencing fatigue:

  • Lack of ability or motivation to begin any activity.
  • The person gets tired easily once the activity has started.
  • The Individual experiences difficulty concentration or mental fatigue to start or finish an activity.

What causes fatigue?

  • Metabolic/Endocrine- Diseases like Cushing’s disease, liver disease, kidney disease, electrolyte abnormalities, diabetes, hypothyroidism and anemia can cause fatigue.
  • Infections- Many infections such as malaria, influenza (flu), HIV infection, cytomegalovirus, tuberculosis, hepatitis and infectious mononucleosis contributes to fatigue.
  • Heart and lung diseases- A lot of pulmonary and cardiac disorders such as pneumonia, asthma, COPD, valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure are also leading causes of fatigue.
  • Medications- Some medicines like blood pressure medicines, steroids, antistamines, drug withdrawal medicines and antidepressants can also give rise to fatigue.
  • Vitamin deficiencies- Certain inadequacy of vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron and folic acid can cause fatigue.
  • Psychiatric health- Bereavement, grief, alcohol abuse and depression can also cause fatigue.
  • Other issues- Illnesses such as fibromyalgia, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and rheumatology contributes to fatigue. Sometimes radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also cause excessive fatigue.

Diagnoses:

Sometimes, fatigue can be serious and should be diagnosed as soon as possible. The doctor or the healthcare professional usually includes tests like CBC (complete blood count test), electrolytes test, blood sugar test (electrolytes test), thyroid hormone, CPK (illnesses which cause muscle inflammation), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG), CT scans and X-rays.

How is fatigue treated?

Since fatigue is a sign of an underlying disorder, the treatment usually depends on the condition which causes fatigue. The disorder can be psychological, physical or a combination of both.

Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Non communicable
Symptoms
Chronic tiredness Headache Dizziness Aching muscles Moodiness Impaired decision

Popular Health Tips

Ischemic Heart Disease - Symptoms, Risk Factors and Diagnosis

MBBS, PG Diploma in Clinical Cardiology, Fellowship in Non invasive cardiology
Cardiologist, Gurgaon
Ischemic Heart Disease - Symptoms, Risk Factors and Diagnosis

Ischemic heart disease is also known as ischemic cardiomyopathy in medical lingo. It generally results from weakened heart muscles due to previous conditions such as heart attack or other coronary diseases. The left ventricle of an IC patient tends to enlarge and gets dilated. As a result of this, the heart fails to pump an adequate amount of blood into the body resulting in a heart failure.

A doctor typically tries to find out the underlying cause of the condition and evaluate the extent of damage that has already happened. A combination of surgery, lifestyle changes, medication and other methods could be recommended to fix the condition.

Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease:

An early stage ischemic heart disease could not show any symptom at all. However, if the IC results from diseases related to the coronary artery, some of the common symptoms that are encountered include dizziness and fainting, unexplained weight gain, fatigue, congestion in the lungs, chest pain, swelling in the abdomen, sleeping problems, swelling of the feet and the leg, shortness of breath etc.

Risk Factor of Ischemic Heart Disease:

IC is typically caused by coronary artery diseases and heart attacks. Some of the other risk factors of this disease include diabetes, high cholesterol, long history of drug abuse, obesity, family history of cardiac diseases, amyloidosis, blood pressure, long history of smoking and bad lifestyle. Men are at increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease. Women above the age of 30 who is an active smoker and consume contraceptive pills are also at a high risk of developing ischemic cardiomyopathy.

How Is IC Diagnosed?

A cardiologist will perform a physical exam and conducts one or several tests to diagnose the condition. A blood work measuring the level of triglyceride and cholesterol is the first step towards it. This can be followed up by several imagery tests such as MRI and CT scan to examine the internal tissues. Some other tests that could be done by a cardiologist include ECG, angiography, EKG and radionuclide studies.

How Is The Condition Treated?

There is a step approach to treatment for ischemic heart disease. The first is lifestyle related. A healthy diet must be followed on a regular basis. Diet should be free from cholesterol, sodium and processed fat. Quitting smoking and drinking is a key lifestyle change that a person will have to undergo. In the medication front, a cardiologist might prescribe beta blockers, blockers of calcium channels, aldosterone inhibitor and blood thinners. The idea behind every medication is to ensure that the heart muscle works at the optimum level. If medication doesn’t work, a doctor might suggest procedures such as stent insertion, pacemaker implant, angioplasty and radiation therapy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.

3194 people found this helpful

Tips To Treat Acne in Pregnancy!

MBBS , DGO , FIMAS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Tips To Treat Acne in Pregnancy!

Many women experience acne during pregnancy. It is most common during the first and second trimester. During pregnancy our body produces an increased amount of hormones called androgens which can cause the glands to grow and produce more oil. This oil leads to bacteria, inflammation, and breakouts. This is natural, and nothing to worry about from a health perspective. There is often no way to prevent acne during pregnancy as it is not possible to control the hormonal changes that lead to the problem. However, you can take following precautions to check its outbreak:

  1. Use a mild, soap-free face wash or cleanser to clean your face daily. You should cleanse your face not more than twice a day.
  2. Pat your skin dry after each wash as rubbing with towels or washcloths can irritate the facial skin, leading to the problem.
  3. Use oil-free moisturizers, face wash and makeup.
  4. Use an oil-free sunscreen lotion whenever going out during daytime.
  5. Wear full-sleeve clothes to avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight.
  6. Wash your hair regularly especially if you have oily hair.
  7. Maintain proper hygiene. Wash and clean your towels, pillowcases and hats regularly.
  8. Drinking lots of water to flush to keep the skin hydrated.
  9. Have a balanced diet containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins A, E and B complex and fibre.
  10. Avoid oily, greasy foods and fast foods.
  11. Have adequate sleep and practice some relaxation techniques to avoid fatigue and stress.
  12. Stop touching your face that often as bacteria from your fingers can pass on to your face.
  13. Buy makeup products after utmost diligence.
  14. You should also take zinc supplements to prevent acne.

If you still get acne despite following the above mentioned tips, then you should take appropriate medicine as prescribed by the dermatologist. Medicines like Clindamycin e.g. Cleocin T, Clindagel, Azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex) and Erythromycin are considered safe during pregnancy. You can also apply the medicine only as recommended as most products are intended for daily or twice-daily use only. Also try some home remedies like apply a mixture of honey and ground oatmeal to your face and rinsing off gently. Massage gently with a plain carrier oil such as argan oil or olive oil. You can also consider applying aloe vera gel to cure acne. These treatments will not be as effective as taking medicines though.

However, avoid hormone therapy including anti-androgens like spironolactone, flutamide and estrogen as these can lead to major developmental changes to the foetus. Oral tetracycyclines and topical retinoids should also be avoided. Accutane also leads to increased risk of miscarriage, hence do not even consider it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

2827 people found this helpful

Headache - Can Eyestrain Be the Reason Behind it?

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, Diploma in Ophthalmology , Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad
Headache - Can Eyestrain Be the Reason Behind it?

Eye Strain is an umbrella term that denotes a number of symptoms that relate to the extended use of eyes as well as discomfort that may come from excessive smartphone and computer use. This condition may or may not lead to significant eye damage and is usually characterised by blurry vision, headaches and a feeling of dryness in the eye as you blink less which creates less tears. This may happen due to the extended use of the eye when you are following objects on a screen or staring at a screen for too long. So, is eye strain the cause of your headaches?

Find out more in this article.

Causes: Eye Strain or Asthenopia is caused by concentrating on visually intense tasks like reading from texts that have a fine print, the use of computers and other screens for prolonged periods, and trying to focus on objects in the dark. This can lead to distress of the muscles in this area which can also cause eye strain leading to a variety of symptoms including double imagery and even headaches and mild migraine like conditions.

Eye Muscle Imbalance: When there is eye strain which leads to headaches, it can also give rise to eye muscle imbalance which makes it difficult to concentrate with both eyes at the same time. In such cases, one may need bifocal glasses so as to fix the issue and prevent such debilitating headaches to remain on a persistent basis.

Diagnosis: Digital eye fatigue and ocular eye strain leading to headaches can be diagnosed by a doctor with the help of regular eye examinations. In any case, one should have the eyes checked at least once a year. This is especially important if your job involves sitting in front of the computer screen for prolonged hours.

Symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms of these headaches that are caused by eye strain. Apart from blurry vision which does not allow the patient to see properly and clearly without glasses, it can also cause headaches with symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light. Retinal or eye migraines do not necessarily have to come with headaches, but the pressure can be painful enough.

Treatment: To begin with, the best form of treatment for headaches born from eye strain includes prevention which can be done by getting plenty of rest and sleep even as we limit the hours spent in front of the screen. One can also lower the resolution of the screen and make it more ambient. Also, the screen should be placed at a considerable distance from the eyes. The doctor can also prescribe glasses and eye drops for better eye lubrication. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.

4896 people found this helpful

Depression - Know the Tell Tale Signs!

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Depression - Know the Tell Tale Signs!

Feeling sad is one thing, but a persistent feeling of sadness can overtake your life, and is anything but healthy. Depression is not something to be ashamed of. It is a common condition, that can be treated if identified early. 

Treatment of depression usually involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The effects of depression vary from person to person, but some symptoms are commonly experienced in all cases. These symptoms can be categorised as physical changes, behavioural changes, cognitive changes and emotional changes. 

  1. Physical symptoms of depression: Feeling tired all the time is one of the most common symptoms of depression. The person may also have persistent headaches and sporadic muscle pains. Insomnia or sleep troubles are often associated with depression. This can further lead to significant fatigue, and a vicious cycle ensues. Sleep troubles can also lead to the formation of dark circles under the eyes, and make the patient’s skin look dull. Patients suffering from depression often find themselves losing weight due to a significant loss of appetite, or find themselves snacking excessively, and hence, putting on weight. 
  2. Behavioural symptoms of depression: Depression can make a person withdraw from his or her friends and family and become a recluse. A loss of interest in activities that would usually excite the person is another characteristic symptom of depression. This condition can make a person unable to concentrate or focus on work and other activities, and hence, may affect productivity in school or the workplace. Depression can also make a person rely heavily on alcohol, sedatives etc. 
  3. Cognitive symptoms of depression: Depression can make a person feel worthless, and leave them with a bleak outlook on life. A depressed person will often find himself or herself criticising themselves harshly for things that may or may not be their fault. This can make them increasingly more agitated or irritable. Depressed people may also turn to violence and trigger reckless behaviour such as gambling, substance abuse, reckless driving or taking up a rash sport. 
  4. Emotional symptoms of depression: Feeling sad for no reason characterises depression. This sadness can overwhelm a person and make them feel guilty about indulging in anything that could make them happier. It can also make the person lose confidence in himself/herself, thus making him/her indecisive about simple decisions. Other emotions that are commonly experienced by depressed people include irritability, frustration, guilt, and disappointment. 

A frequent but ignored symptom is thoughts of self-harm or suicide, leading to deliberate self-harm/suicide attempts. If you or someone you know suffers from any of the above symptoms, you may need help! Visit your Psychiatrist at the earliest to have yourself evaluated, and started on an appropriate course of management.

4517 people found this helpful

Premenstrual Syndrome - How It Can Be Treated?

MD, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Premenstrual Syndrome - How It Can Be Treated?

Premenstrual syndrome is a common condition that affects women who are menstruating. A multitude of psychological and physical symptoms might show up before the onset of a menstrual period. What causes PMS is unknown, but fluctuating hormonal levels (progesterone and oestrogen) seem to be linked to it.

Symptoms
PMS has many symptoms. These vary in severity and frequency and aren’t the same in every woman. These are the common symptoms of PMS:
1. Tenderness of breasts
2. Bloating
3. Increase in weight
4. Agitation
5. Impaired concentration
6. Backaches or headaches
7. Fatigue
8. Anxiety
9. Irritability
10. Depression or mood swings
11. Overeating or food cravings

Diagnosis
A doctor might recommend a few tests to understand and rule out related symptoms:

  1. Diary: Keeping track of the PMS symptoms in a diary for a few months to check the duration will help you understand the condition better. You might be able to see recurring patterns in your behaviour and moods after keeping track of them for few consecutive months.
  2. Thyroid test: Thyroid disease is fairly common in women and a lot of its symptoms match those of PMS. To rule out any thyroid problem, a test can be done to check the efficiency of the thyroid.

Prevention
Relief can be found by treating the symptoms as there is no prevention of the condition. A nutritious diet, sufficient rest and exercise can help deal with the symptoms better.

Treatment

  1. Nutrition: Proper nourishment leads to overall mental and physical well-being. Dietary changes like consuming less caffeine, sugar and salt might reduce the PMS symptoms. Supplements prescribed by your doctor such as vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6 help as well.
  2. Medications: Painkillers such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin may provide relief from cramps, backache, breast tenderness and headache. If the PMS causes severe depression, your doctor may prescribe certain antidepressants.
  3. Being Informed: Tracking your periods by maintaining a monthly diary can help you understand and in turn prevent the severity of the PMS symptoms. Learning about coping mechanisms can help you as well. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
4170 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Im shaik zubair. Im depression in last 3 years. I do not no whats things happened to me, im not satisfaction with my lyf. Im thinking unnecessary things. Day by day, my mind was block. I dnt Understand what should I do. IM NOT SERVING MY LIFE WELL. PLEASE SUGGEST ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO.

Masters In Clinical Psychology
Psychologist, Lucknow
Take help You are at the right platform Talk about your issues Consult with me or any psychologist for therapy and counseling Connect with me through text or audio on Lybrate app All the best.

Hello Dr. My father is suffering from psoriasis for last 10 years 2,3 years back I started losing my hairs I thought it's normal hair fall so got shaved bt as my hairs grew it started again then my joints started paining I started feeling fatigue I researched on internet about psoriasis as it can be inherited I had small small black black patches on my tummy and underarms I thought it was psoriasis and I found out that gluten causes the problem so I stopped eating wheat rai and barley (gluten source) then I lost weight around 5 to 6 kg Bt yesterday I was checking on internet about joint pain I got to hiv have same symptoms like joint pain, weight loss, weakens skin rashes and allergy please suggest me something can it be hiv or I have psoriasis as my father.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Psoriasis is thought to be an immune system problem. Triggers include infections, stress and cold. The most common symptom is a rash on the skin, but sometimes the rash involves the nails or joints. Treatment aims to remove scales and stop skin cells from growing so quickly. Topical ointments, light therapy and medication can offer relief.

I have frequent headache and weeks ago I went to fast food n eat momo. Few minutes later I faint n vomited. Feeling dizzy. This days suffering from insomnia, tired during day time, lack of fatigue.

DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke Neurology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Neurologist, Kolkata
Dear friend, Please note if it is new or you had this symptom before. In fact please note the details of the event and meet a good neurologist at the earliest opportunity as because we need to to examine you and investigate as necessary.

I want to quit smoking. But every time I try I have withdrawal issues like anxiety, uneasiness and tiredness. Can you help me.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Detailed assessment is needed. Like the reason behind smoking, number of cigarettes and comorbid medical condition. Next you should be assessed for withdrawal from smoking and for reducing further craving. Thre are medications to reduce nicotine craving too. If you consult a psychiatrist they will be able to help you. All the best.
1 person found this helpful

From some days, I am going through emotional stress and tension becoz of business and relationship. My mind is way hard blank about doing something. Fatigue, headache, uninterested in doing anything is observed on a daily basis. I don't get up even from the bed for the whole day. I just get up to eat something and sleep. The full body is drained out of energy and I even don't find my passion to be followed nowadays. Is this pointing towards depression? please help. Thoughts are getting more negative day by day.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
Yes, this could be an anger-related depression. You need immediate help and if neglected it may lead to more complications. You must go and meet with a counselor immediately and if that person advises that you meet with a doctor you must do so and cooperate to your utmost. Please visit these professionals along with your parents. In the meantime please do the following sincerely because you could resolve the problem better with good cooperation: Have a good night’s sleep, have a good breakfast of more proteins, meditate often, remain free of stress, eat a lot of fiber, nuts, avocado, exercise regularly, eat dark chocolate, do Yoga meditation exercises, etc. I suggest you do the opposite of what this depression makes you feel like doing (actually, not doing): you will need to fight this condition. You must become active; stay upright during the daylight time; meet people; never sleep during the day, wake up by 6 am every day, play some active games, especially contact games, do physical exercises, talk to people and join some social clubs, attend Yoga classes etc. Watch sitcoms on TV or comedies and cheer yourself up. Go for excursions in groups, for outings, camps, conferences, and religious conventions. Get a pet dog and spend time training it, exercising it and relating to it. Expose yourself to some sunlight every day, at least, 30 minutes but not in the scorching heat. Whatever happens, please incorporate these three important adaptations in your life: always be responsible, be respectful, and be functional. If you did these three, lots of things will go well in life. Please pray and have faith in God to alleviate your sufferings. Don’t wait for others to help. Use your own motivation, which might be at its lowest, but persevere and win this battle. Above all to be really happy, you need to live in love and for love. Learn all about emotions and how to handle them and that will get you out of the depression rather easily and quickly. A counselor is there only to facilitate you, all the hard word must come from you, and your cooperation with that person is very critical for your success. Be positive every day and learn to be contented with what you have. Do some left brain exercises: it is the happy brain. Here are a few suggestions: shut your left nostril and breathe, move your eyes from right to left and vice versa for at least half a minute at a time, and do callisthenic exercises with some form of counting, regularly. Whatever happens please cooperate with the therapy and do not discontinue until the condition is completely resolved.
3 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Fatigue?

What causes fatigue?

Diagnoses:

Play video
Anemia
Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin.. Symptoms of anemia -- like fatigue -- occur because organs aren't getting what they need to function properly.
Play video
Myths Related To Thyroid Disease
Diagnosing thyroid problems is very challenging; symptoms are often vague and nonspecific, such as fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Hence its important that one should be clear about the few common myths associated with Thyroid.
Play video
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway. Symptoms may be present for years or even decades without identification, during which time the individual may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.
Play video
Know More About Thyroid Disorders
Hi,

This is Dr. Pradnya Mulay. I am a homeopath. I practice at Kharghar Navi Mumbai.

Today I am going to talk about thyroid disorders and its homeopathic management. Thyroid is one of the most important organs I the body. It is an endocrine gland. It is placed in front of the neck below Adams apple. This gland regulates various metabolic processes, metabolic rate, blood sugar level, blood calcium level, growth rate. Its mechanism is regulated by a feedback mechanism. Pituitary gland and hypothalamus gland in brain control the thyroid gland. So disorder of these two can also cause the disorders of thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism, this is a condition where there is insufficient production of thyroid hormones because of this patient experiences fatigue, mentally being foggy, concertation difficult, muscular and joint pain, fluid retention, constipation, dry skin various menstrual disorders and a prominent symptom being wright gain. Hyperthyroidism thyroids is excessive production of thyroid hormones because of which there is an increase in metabolic rate. Patient complains of tremors, fatigue, and palpitations that is fast heartbeat, nervousness, increased bowel movements, sweating, poor concentration and the standout symptom being un-intentional weight loss. We diagnose thyroid function disorders with thyroid function test. In some cases sonography and epilepsy is advised if the swelling is present. In most of the cases thyroid can be well managed with the medicine and not a life threatening disease but some may need surgery. Homeopathy aims to deal with the root cause of the disease. It stimulates the natural capabilities of the body. Some common medicine are Fucus Vesiculosus, it stimulates the production of thyroid hormones there by controls the metabolic rate. Lycopus, in case hyperthyroidism this remedy never fails. Calcarea Carb this remedy suited for the case of hypothyroidism where patient complains of constipation along with sweating on head. Sepia if she is weak, pale, yellow faced, she is chilly in warm room, and she has so many menstrual complains, menses too early to profuse. Lycopodia, for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism with gastric bubbles, yellow face, blue rings around the eyes, patient often is irritable. Graphites, super for the patients of hypothyroidism with constipation, patient is sad, timid, and weepy. These are some indications of homeopathy for thyroid disorder.

For any query or treatment contact me on Lybrate on in my clinic. Thank you.
Play video
Osteoarthritis Pain
Causes, symptoms, and treatment of Osteoarthritis

Hi, this is Dr. Jayini P Ram Mohen, chief consultant, orthopedic surgeon, Pace Hospitals, Hitech City-Hyderabad.

See out of my experience, I practice in this place for eleven years. Out of my experience, I have seen most of the software people they present to me with all sorts of pains such as upper back and lower back pains, knee pains and sheen pains. What I have observed is most of these patients suffer from Vitamin D Deficiency rather than any orthopedic problems. Vitamin D Deficiency is an endemic condition which we are seeing in this modern era. Actually, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. A commonly known thing about vitamin D it s synthesized when a person is exposed to sunlight. But in the modern lifestyle even though you are exposed to sunlight, people work in a closed environment, morning to evening, they are not exposed to sunlight.

So, what is happening is inevitably everybody is ending up with vitamin D deficiency. The symptoms are fatigue; you feel tired at your working place, you feel bone pain whenever you are walking, whenever you are straining, like regular activities also you feel strained. And you feel pain in the joint and you are thinking capabilities goes down, it affects every metabolism of the body from the head to toes.

Most of us know that we get vitamin D in our body from the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. But the modern lifestyle does not allow you to fulfill that. So, for most of my patients, I prescribe vitamin D supplements on a regular basis along with calcium supplements because Vitamin D is part and parcel of calcium metabolism. You compulsory need calcium and vitamin D together in our metabolism. So the other ways which promote improving your calcium metabolism are by doing regular exercise for 10-15 minutes in a day. This keeps you in a good condition for a long time.
Causes, symptoms and treatment of Osteoarthritis
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice