Fatigue (Tiredness)

What is fatigue?

Fatigue or tiredness is a feeling of constant weakness. It can affect anyone. Most adults experience fatigue at some point in their life. Fatigue can prevent a person from fulfilling their daily tasks. Physical and mental fatigue are different. Repeated physical exhaustion can lead to mental fatigue.

How bad is my fatigue?

Mild: Fatigue can be relieved by rest

Moderate: Fatigue not relieved by rest; limiting instrumental activities of daily life (preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone).

Severe: Fatigue not relieved by rest, limiting self-care activities of daily life (eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet).

How to manage mild fatigue?
  • Curb or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol intake to sleep better and ease insomnia.
  • Avoid taking a nap in the afternoon. Create a sleep routine.
  • A balanced diet and plenty of water will keep your body nourished and hydrated.
  • Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise can help you relieve stress and gain more energy.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
How to manage moderate and severe fatigue?

Get emergency help if your fatigue is related to a mental health problem and the symptoms include:

  • Thoughts of harming yourself or of suicide
  • Concern that you may harm someone else
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Feeling that you might pass out
  • Severe abdominal, pelvic or back pain
What causes fatigue?
  • Medical causes ( thyroid disorder, heart disease or diabetes).
  • Cancer treatments (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy)
  • Lifestyle-related causes – alcohol or drugs or lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes
  • Emotional concerns and stress (mental health problems, depression, grief, irritability and lack of motivation).
  • Viruses
  • A weakened immune system
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalances

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