Causes of Fatigue and How to Manage It
Hemochromatosis | Gastro Liver Care

Fatigue is a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. It isn’t the same as simply feeling drowsy or sleepy. When you’re fatigued, you have no motivation and no energy. Being sleepy may be a symptom of fatigue, but it’s not the same thing.

Fatigue is a common symptom of many medical conditions that range in severity from mild to serious. It’s also a natural result of some lifestyle choices, such as lack of exercise or poor diet.

What causes fatigue?

There are many potential causes of fatigue. They can be divided into three general categories:

  • lifestyle factors
  • physical health conditions
  • mental health issues

Lifestyle factors

If you’re experiencing fatigue, your activities and other lifestyle choices may be the root cause. For example, fatigue can result from:

Physical health conditions

Many medical conditions can also cause fatigue. Examples include:

  • anemia
  • arthritis
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • infections, such as cold and flu
  • sleep disorders, such as insomnia
  • eating disorders, such as anorexia
  • autoimmune disorders
  • congestive heart failure
  • liver disease

Mental health issues

Mental health conditions can also lead to fatigue. For example, fatigue is a common symptom of anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder.

When is it time to see your doctor?

You should make an appointment with our doctor if you’re feeling fatigued and you:

  • can’t think of anything that might account for your fatigue
  • have a higher-than-normal body temperature
  • have experienced unexplained weight loss
  • feel very sensitive to colder temperatures
  • regularly have trouble falling or staying asleep
  • believe you may be depressed

If you’ve made efforts to address the most common lifestyle causes, such as lack of rest, poor eating habits, and stress, without success, and your fatigue has continued for two weeks or more, make an appointment with your doctor.

How will your doctor treat fatigue?

our doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on what’s causing your fatigue. To make a diagnosis, they will likely ask you questions about:

  • the nature of your fatigue, including when it started and whether it gets better or worse at certain times
  • other symptoms that you’ve been experiencing
  • other medical conditions that you have
  • your lifestyle and sources of stress
  • medications that you’re taking

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