Fatigue is the feeling of exhaustion when you lack adequate energy and strength to continue with the work. In most cases, the person with fatigue feels like taking rest due to the lack of energy. This is different from the general weakness wherein the person lacks enough muscle and physical strength. Fatigue and weakness can be due to underlying health problems.
Fatigue can be identified from the presence of a combination of the following symptoms:
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Lack of concentration
- Inability to continue with the task at hand
- Urge to take a rest
Fatigue is a common symptom for many illnesses, and in most cases, it improves with simple home remedies and treatment without a visit a doctor.
The common causes of fatigue are:
- Emotional stress like anxiety, divorce and loss of a loved one may result in fatigue. This is also true when the stress levels cross the threshold levels for a person. Excessive stress leads to despair and then to fatigue, if it persists for a long time.
- Alcohol abuse and drug abuse are also common causes of fatigue. Excessive caffeine intake and eating disorders are also known to result in fatigue after a period of time.
- Certain medications including antidepressants, antihypertensives, steroids, sedatives and antihistamines may cause exhaustion and fatigue.
- Sleep problems including lack of sleep, sleep apnea, insomnia, inadequate sleep, all may result in fatigue. Wide fluctuations in the sleep patterns, due to the job requirements, often affect the person’s quality and quantity of sleep and result in fatigue.
- Chronic pain is yet another reason for fatigue in people, particularly because pain disrupts the sleep pattern. Exhaustion results from continuous pain and disruption in sleep.
Many health problems have fatigue as one of the most common symptoms:
- Heart diseases including coronary artery disease and heart failure
- Diabetes and other metabolic disorders
- Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Kidney problems
- Liver diseases
- Infectious diseases like malaria and flu
Fatigue is also associated with conditions like pregnancy, cancer, and depression.