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What are the Symptoms of Fatigue?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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Fatigue is a tired or exhausted feeling that can be a sign of other health conditions. Symptoms of fatigue may include exhaustion, sleepiness, and lack of energy. At times, it can interfere with normal life, adversely effecting people's personal and professional lives. Fatigue may be caused by lack of sleep and stress. If fatigue symptoms become overwhelming, it's important that people visit a doctor to determine if the symptoms are the result of a more serious health problem.

People who experience symptoms of fatigue may be suffering from depression, chronic pain, sleep disorders, or problems with the thyroid. Those who have chronic fatigue syndrome may also suffer from symptoms of fatigue. Certain medications may also cause people to feel tired all of the time. Medicines such as blood pressure pills, allergy medication, and other types of drugs may cause people to suffer from symptoms of fatigue.

When a person experiences excessive fatigue, it's important that he or she visits a physician to determine the cause. Fatigue that is accompanied by weight changes, pain, or other abnormal symptoms are warning signs that a more serious ailment may be present in the body. People who receive adequate sleep but still experience fatigue should also schedule a medical physical with a physician.

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When a patient visits a doctor because of fatigue symptoms, he or she will undergo a thorough medical examination. The doctor will take the patient's family and medical history to receive further information that will help with a diagnosis. Next, the doctor will ask the patient about his or her way of life.

The patient will need to inform the doctor concerning his or her sleeping and eating habits. A patient will also tell the doctor if he or she has been under a large amount of stress. Doctors will also perform a blood test or urinalysis on patients so the specimens can be screened for a variety of diseases.

Depending on the type of diagnosis given by the doctor, patients may be prescribed antibiotics, antidepressants, medicines to create a healthier thyroid, or medication to treat sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea. Patients may be asked to take multivitamins on a daily basis and follow a healthier diet. Further suggestions may include increasing physical activity, avoiding alcohol, and finding new ways to deal with stress. The doctor may also recommend that the patient pursue a different type of work schedule to deal with symptoms of fatigue.

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everetra
Post 13

@SkyWhisperer - In my case it was sleep apnea that was causing me trouble. It didn’t matter how many hours of sleep I got each night; I still woke up feeling tired.

The reason is that sleep apnea was interrupting my normal breathing patterns, so that I would start and stop during the evening. It’s as if you’re trying to get some sleep but every few hours someone wakes you up again. You’ll be tired in the morning, no matter how many hours that you sleep.

Finally what I did was I got a CPAP mask. That thing was expensive, but it was worth it. Now I wake up feeling fully refreshed and ready to seize the day.

SkyWhisperer
Post 12

@Mammmood - Yeah, the B vitamins are very important. I’ve heard that if you’re suffering from fatigue or stress of any kind you need the full dose of B complex vitamins. Don’t get it in a multivitamin – that’s rarely enough dosage to get you what you need.

Get a separate B complex vitamin pill that contains the B vitamins and folic acid. For the B vitamins the B6 and especially the B12 vitamins are the most important to get your energy levels back up. I would try that first before going to a medical solution.

Mammmood
Post 11

For some time I had both symptoms of dizziness and fatigue. I would get “vertigo” just standing up for a few moments, and in a few instances I almost collapsed.

It wasn’t hard to trace the cause however. I had gone on one of these extreme diets, where you were pretty much eating almost only vegetables and fruits, and some nuts and seeds here and there for your protein requirements.

I was eating like a squirrel. Well, as a result I wasn’t getting enough of the B vitamins and you need that for your brain, so my blood sugar was dropping and I was becoming light headed. I corrected my diet (still supplementing with vegetables) and everything went back to normal.

titans62
Post 10

I don't know what my problem is, but I just cannot stay awake in the evenings. I just feel like my entire sleep schedule is ruined, and I can't get it back on track. A few years ago when I was in college, I had a pretty regular and healthy sleep schedule (which is unusual for a college student). I would stay up until midnight or 1am and then sleep until 8 or 9 until it was time to get up for class. After I graduated, though, I got a job where I could pretty much set my own hours.

Usually, I like to be up by 8:30 so that I can get to work at a reasonable

time. The problem is that I can't go to sleep before 2, no matter what I try. At least for me, 6 1/2 hours of sleep isn't enough. Then, since I didn't get enough sleep, I always end up falling asleep on the couch for an hour or so of the evenings. Even if I try not to lay down, it's like I am drawn to it.

That nap just keeps the cycle going, because then it stops me from being able to go to sleep early again. I have heard fatigue like that can be caused by certain hormones. Does anyone have any ideas?

kentuckycat
Post 9

@Izzy78 - Yes, I did finally snap out of the problem. Like I mentioned, I was so fatigued and tired because I didn't have anything to keep me occupied. Since I didn't have any money coming in, I spent a lot of time trying to find work. I finally found a short term job where I could do data entry from home. That at least gave me something to take my mind off of things. Eventually, my life balanced out, and my mood went back to normal.

The thing I do think is interesting is that they usually say a symptoms of fatigue is loss of appetite, but a symptom of some depression is wanting to eat all the time

. I definitely was more in line with the fatigue, though. There were a couple of times where I didn't eat for two days in a row, and didn't even feel hungry. I finally forced myself to eat something.

Like the article says, you should definitely seek help if you have symptoms of weakness and fatigue, because some people won't get over it on their own.

Izzy78
Post 8

@kentuckycat - It is too bad to hear that. It sounds like maybe you found a solution to the problem. Did you?

I know for the longest time, I felt like depression was always something that people came up with as an excuse when they couldn't handle the normal pressures of life, but then I had a short bout of depression. It really can be a rough time. I can't imagine the people who constantly suffer from chronic depression. That's not to say I don't think a good portion of people could fight their depression on their own if they chose to, but I know definitely believe there are some cases where you can't help it.

Does anyone know if depression or other causes of fatigue can be genetic or if they are mainly individual problems?

kentuckycat
Post 7

@KaBoom - I know what you mean. I had a time a year or so ago where I got very depressed over some things. I wasn't working at the time, and didn't really have anything to keep me occupied, so there was nothing to take my mind off how I felt.

Before the depression started, I was very spontaneous and would be up for doing anything, but after that I never felt like even going out and having dinner with people. I think the worst part for me is that I was self-aware enough to know that I was depressed, but didn't even feel like going to see someone about it.

Like someone else mentioned, I would sleep for about 12 hours a day. I constantly felt tired, and sleeping was the easiest way not to have to worry about what was going on around me.

KaBoom
Post 6

I think stress can definitely cause symptoms of weakness and fatigue. I know when I get stressed out, I pretty much feel like I've been run over by a truck. Even though there's nothing physically wrong with me, I feel so tired I can barely function. All I want to do is sleep!

Which of course makes me even more stressed out, because I end up napping instead of being productive. This creates a vicious cycle that's hard to get out of!

JaneAir
Post 5

@starrynight - Of all the fatigue causes, I think chronic fatigue syndrome is the most controversial. From what I understand, usually they diagnose someone with chronic fatigue after they rule out other causes for the fatigue. Sometimes I wonder if doctors are missing something treatable in some of these patients!

Regardless, I believe that fatigue can be debilitating. I experienced pretty severe fatigue once when I was on allergy medication. I remember being at work and being unable to keep my eyes open!

I had to switch to a non-drowsy allergy medicine, which isn't as effective. But at least I can function and do my normal daily activities!

starrynight
Post 4

@turquoise - A friend of mine has chronic fatigue syndrome, which can be a cause of fatigue. It's very frustrating for her, because a lot of people don't understand the disorder and don't believe it's a real thing!

Unfortunately for my friend, it's very real. And it affects her life every day. She is literally too tired to get out of bed some days. And she has muscle and joint pain as well as sensitivity to light. This makes it very hard for her to hold a job.

Luckily, my friend was able to get on disability. It's not a lot of money, but it's enough for her to live on.

candyquilt
Post 3

@turquoise-- Yes, I have chronic fatigue syndrome too. But I also have fibromyalgia which causes chronic fatigue. The drugs I'm using for symptoms of fibromyalgia generally help with the fatigue as well. I also have headaches, muscle pains and confusion from time to time.

Does your sister have any other symptoms? If there is an underlying condition causing the CFS, additional symptoms can point in the right direction.

turquoise
Post 2

My sister has all the signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. She sleeps way too much! It's like she just cannot wake up and when she does, she doesn't even feel rested.

She used to have a full-time job but she started getting more and more exhausted over time and had to cut down to part-time. Now, she's unemployed and staying with my parents until she can find a treatment for her condition.

I really feel for her because I know she wants to feel better and more energetic. The doctor has prescribed her some new medications which will hopefully help with her symptoms. Apparently, there is no cure for this condition and she just has to wait and hope that it goes away eventually.

Does anyone else have CFS? Can you share your experiences with me?

discographer
Post 1

I have had extreme fatigue for the past nine months. And it has gotten especially bad in the last three months. I sleep on average 10-12 hours a day. And when I'm up, I don't feel like doing anything. I work from home so there is no reason for me to go out. Someone has to drag me outside in order to go for a walk or to exercise.

I haven't been eating more but I've gained a lot of weight in this time period, around 20 pounds. And I also have depression symptoms and have been on antidepressants.

I finally went to the doctor last week and told her my symptoms. They did a routine blood test

for me and found that I have hypothyroid. Apparently my thyroid is not producing enough hormone. It completely explains my symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue.

I've been put on synthetic thyroid hormones and have already started feeling better. I have been sleeping less the last two days and I lost 5 pounds this week!

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