Why do i feel extreme fatigue?
Fatigue or exhaustion is a common symptom. Everyone knows the feeling of being tired, weak and exhausted because it can affect everyone at some point in their life.
Fatigue or exhaustion is almost always temporary and can be attributed to specific and very different causes such as lack of sleep, a day of intense and stressful work, a tiring trip, a stressful situation or excessive exercise.
However, behind exhaustion, weakness and exhaustion can also hide illness, especially if the discomfort is long lasting and goes beyond general laziness.
If fatigue persists over time, it is advisable to go to the GP for review. Permanent fatigue is a symptom of many diseases. In some cases, symptoms such as weakness, lack of vigor and constant fatigue may be due to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
What are the causes of fatigue?
The fatigue is a symptom that can be due to very diverse causes. Weakness, exhaustion and fatigue are just a general symptom that can be due to a whole series of causes, from a harmless temporary annoyance to serious pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
It is often possible to get an idea of what could be the cause of sudden fatigue, for example, when a cold is being incubated or other symptoms are experienced in addition to fatigue.
The spectrum of possible causes associated with fatigue happens through non-pathological specific circumstances (stress, lack of sleep …) to serious illnesses, passing through mild and moderate pathologies. The most frequent causes are:
- Infections (eg, an incipient cold or flu)
- Infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses (eg, AIDS)
- Weaknesses and disorders of the immune system
- Heart disease (eg, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, coronary heart disease, myocarditis)
- Cardiovascular conditions (eg, hypotension or hypertension)
- Vitamin deficiencies or hematological alterations (anemia, anemia due to lack of iron, lack of vitamin B12)
- Psychic causes (eg, burnout syndrome, depression)
- Metabolic diseases (eg Diabetes mellitus)
- Hormonal causes (eg, hypothyroidism)
- Chronic bowel inflammation (eg, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
- Cancer (eg, leukemia, lymphomas)
- Side effects to pharmacological treatments (eg chemotherapy)
- Exhaustion due to special situations such as pregnancy or menopause
- Eating disorders (eg, anorexia nervosa, bulimia)
- Sleep disorders (eg, sleep apnea syndrome)
- Permanent fatigue due to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome)
How is fatigue diagnosed ?
In case of intense and constant tiredness, it is advisable to consult with the doctor so that he can arrive at a concrete diagnosis that explains this annoyance and the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
The causes of exhaustion can be very diverse, so it is usually necessary to perform a complete history to guide the diagnosis. Frequently asked questions are usually the following:
- Since when do you feel tired?
- How does weakness manifest?
- Do you attribute fatigue to a specific trigger?
- Have you recently had any illness?
- What diseases have you had before in your life?
- What diet do you follow and what are your lifestyle habits?
- Are there any medication that you take daily?
- Have you noticed that you suffer from other discomforts such as shortness of breath, weight loss or pain?
The medical history must be followed by a thorough physical examination, which includes a blood pressure measurement and the request to perform a blood test. Blood values determine whether exhaustion is related to anemia, altered blood glucose values, elevated inflammation markers, or hematological abnormalities.
Often the doctor can already determine the cause of exhaustion with the help of the parameters obtained so far, although according to the results it may be necessary to perform further tests.
What are treatments for fatigue?
Depending on the cause of fatigue, the doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment.
If tiredness, weakness and exhaustion are acute, it is generally advised to rest and avoid sources of stress, as well as avoid physical exertion. The best thing to do is take some time off to recover energy.
To prevent tiredness from becoming routine and manifesting frequently, it is advisable to lead a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, take care of food and do physical exercise on a regular basis.
If pathologies or infectious processes are responsible for exhaustion, treatment focuses on solving the general pathology. For this reason, in case of infection, in addition to all of the above, antibiotic treatment is also usually prescribed.
Cardiovascular diseases also require medical treatment. Likewise, metabolic and hormonal diseases (such as hypothyroidism) require specific treatment, for example, heart rhythm disorders require antiarrhythmic drugs.
If fatigue is related to poor nutrition, it may be advisable to seek nutritional advice to learn how to eat in a healthy and balanced way.
Sleep apnea syndrome is a pathology that greatly affects the general state of the people because the lack of restful sleep depletes. The problem can be solved by going to a dream unit.
If those responsible are stress and other psychic causes, in addition to avoiding stress and using relaxation techniques, it is often also advisable to consult with a therapist.
If the causes of fatigue are pharmacological treatments, it is important to tell your doctor to study the possibility of discontinuing treatment or change of drug to avoid unwanted effects.