Fatigue negatively affects nearly every aspect of life and your ability to function. In addition, this extreme exhaustion has been linked to car accidents and accidents on the job. Between three and ten percent of people experience fatigue that interferes with their lives enough to visit the doctor. Fatigue can result in many symptoms, such as:
• Extreme and ongoing tiredness
• Muscle aches and weakness
• Mood changes
• Slow reflexes and hand-eye coordination
• Decreased appetite
• Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly and making decisions
• Vision problems
• Decreased motivation
• Short term memory problems
There are many causes of fatigue. Some causes are related to an underlying illness or medical condition that has not been diagnosed, which is why experts recommend a visit to the doctor for extreme fatigue that lasts for a long time. In these cases, when the underlying medical condition is treated, the fatigue is often resolved.
Other issues that contribute to fatigue are related to lifestyle. These include not getting enough sleep, poor diet, smoking, alcohol and drug use and other lifestyle factors. Changes to sleep and dietary habits are often effective for reducing fatigue. Some additional lifestyle changes you might want to consider include eating a nutritious diet, getting some exercise, going to bed earlier at night or treating insomnia.
There are other factors believed to contribute to fatigue, such as stress at work and at home. Shift work, hostile work environments and financial stress all result in fatigue. Psychological causes, such as depression, anxiety, grief and other issues are also believed to play a role.
Treating fatigue is difficult because it is not a medical condition, rather a symptom of circumstance and lifestyle. Some of the tools used to diagnose the underlying cause of fatigue include examining the individual’s medical history, performing a thorough physical and conducting a wide range of tests to check the blood, saliva, urine, also x rays and tests for infections and hormonal imbalances can help to uncover the cause and provide appropriate treatment.