Have you ever felt like you are constantly tired and lack energy? DO you feel like you don’t have enough sleep or good sleep? Chances are you are suffering from fatigue and haven’t got it diagnosed yet.
Fatigue can either be physical or mental or both. It is an issue which is very hard for a common person to describe and figure out. The patient might use the terms like lethargic, exhausted and tired to narrate his condition and symptoms of what he/she are going through on a general note. Doctors recognize this mostly by a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition. Each year a million people visit the doctor concerning fatigue.
Even though fatigue is often described as tiredness, it is different to just feel tired or sleepy or sore. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily energetic after working out.
The most common Symptoms of Fatigue are:
- Chronic tiredness or sleepiness
- Sore or aching muscles
- Muscle weakness
- Slowed reflexes and responses
- Impaired decision-making and judgement
- Moodiness, such as irritability
- Impaired hand-to-eye coordination
- Appetite loss
- The reduced immune system function
- Blurry vision
- Short-term memory problems
- Poor concentration
- Reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand
- Low motivation.
The Causes of Fatigue could be:
- Lack of sleep– adults need about eight hours of sleep each night. Some people try to get by on fewer hours of sleep because of work pressure
- Too much sleep– adults sleeping more than 11 hours per night can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and a constant drowsy feeling.
- Alcohol and drugs – alcohol is a depressant drug that slows the nervous system and disturbs normal sleep patterns. Other drugs, such as cigarettes and caffeine, stimulate the nervous system and can cause insomnia.
- Sleep disturbances– disturbed sleep may occur for several reasons, like noisy neighbors, young children who wake up in the night and cry, a snoring partner, or an uncomfortable sleeping environment such as a messed-up bedroom.
- Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behavior – physical activity is the best stress buster and is responsible for releasing or letting go of stress. It boosts energy levels. It also helps you sleep.
- Poor diet – low kilo diets, low carb diets or high energy foods that are nutritionally poor don’t provide the body with enough fuel or nutrients to function at its best. Quick fix foods, midnight snacks especially chocolate bars or caffeinated drinks, only offer a temporary energy boost that quickly wears off and can worsen fatigue.
- Individual factors – personal illness or injury, illnesses or injuries in the family, too many commitments (for example, working two jobs, marriage) or financial problems can cause fatigue.
Workplace-related Causes of Fatigue
- Shift work– the human body is designed to sleep during the night. The late-night shifts wreck the sleeping pattern of an individual and hence they experience fatigue. A shift worker confuses their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
- Poor workplace practices– long work hours, hard physical labor, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom, working alone without communication or interaction, or fixed concentration on a repetitive task.
- Workplace stress– can be caused by job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, constant change, or threats to job security.
- Burnout– can be described as striving too hard in one area of life while neglecting everything else. ‘Workaholics’, for example, put all their all into their career, which puts their family life, social life, and personal interests out of balance.
- Unemployment– financial pressures, feelings of failure or guilt, and the emotional exhaustion of prolonged job hunting can lead to stress, anxiety, depression also.
Psychological causes of fatigue could be depression, anxiety or grief due to something.
If you are worried about your health, we advise you to consult a general practitioner or doctor before you start assuming you suffer from the above symptoms.