What Is Excessive Fatigue?
Feeling always tired or overexertion is a normal part of life these days and nearly every person goes through this situation where he or she feels overworked and extremely fatigued. These cases of feeling always tired and fatigued can be treated successfully with rest and therapies, but there are cases where an individual feels tired without any known cause and the tiredness lasts for longer than it really should. Some individuals feel constantly tired and fatigued without any rhyme or reason. These individuals have less energy to do tasks and their productivity goes down drastically. These individuals also feel very low emotionally and this extreme fatigue also causes severe psychological problems as well. Excessive fatigue is not the same as feeling sleepy, although an extremely fatigued person will have a desire to sleep. A fatigued person does not have a motivation to do anything either at home or at work. In some instances, excessive fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical condition which may require medical attention, although majority of the times excessive fatigue is related to lifestyle habits of an individual.
What Are The Causes Of Excessive Fatigue?
In order to get relief from feeling always tired or fatigued, the first step is to make a note of things that makes an individual tired. Fatigue in general can be caused due to three factors and those are lifestyle habits, medical conditions, or psychological issues.
Feeling Always Tired Linked To Lifestyle Habits: An individual indulging in the following may complain of feeling constantly fatigued:
- Alcohol abuse
- Caffeine use
- Excessive physical exertion
- Significant periods of inactivity
- Sleep deprivation
- Utilizing medications like antihistamines or cough medicines
- Eating junk food a lot.
Feeling Always Tired And Its Link To Psychological Conditions: Some of the psychological factors which may make an individual constantly fatigued are:
- Grief over some loss
- Excessive stress.
Medical Conditions That Can Make You Feel Always Tired: Some of the medical conditions that can cause excessive fatigue are:
- Acute liver dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic renal disease
- Cardiac disease
- Certain classes of medications like pain medications, cardiac medications, antihypertensives, and antidepressants
- Restless legs syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Diabetes mellitus.
Indications To Seek Immediate Medical Attention For Excessive Fatigue
An individual should schedule an appointment with a physician in case if the individual has been feeling excessively fatigued or always tired for over a period of two weeks despite adequate rest, eating a healthy diet, and having little stress. The individual needs to go to the nearest emergency room in case if constant fatigue is accompanied by the following:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Severe abdominal, pelvic, or back pain
- Severe headaches.
How Is Excessive Fatigue Diagnosed?
It is extremely difficult to diagnose as to what is causing excessive fatigue or why is a person feeling always tired as there are a number of factors which complicate the diagnosis. The physician will first inquire about any history of drug or alcohol use, emotional or psychological trauma, and will conduct tests to rule out tumors or other factors that may be causing constant fatigue in an individual. The diagnosis is complicated as there can be many conditions that can be causing constant fatigue in an individual. There may also be periods of remission and then a relapse which further complicates things. Also, the symptoms associated with fatigue vary so much that it becomes very difficult to pinpoint a particular cause for an individual’s fatigue.
What Are The Treatments For Excessive Fatigue?
The treatment for constant fatigue is dependent on the underlying cause of the fatigue. If it is caused due to alcohol or drug use or abuse then stopping them immediately can improve an individual’s condition. If fatigue or the feeling of always tired is caused by psychological factors like anxiety or depression then consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist can help with the fatigue that the individual is suffering from. Apart from this, it is encouraged that there be support groups formed to include the physician, the patient, the family members, and a therapist which helps the patient a lot, as the patient with a feeling of always tired or excessive fatigue may also have loss of independence, mood swings which may affect relationships with friends and family due to the tiredness and irritability, decreased libido, and poor memory.
Even though there is no particular medication to treat chronic fatigue but if an individual maintains a healthy diet, avoid drugs and alcohol, taking regular psychiatric medications if suffering from a psychiatric problem, having good sleep wake cycle, and undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy can definitively help improve the condition.
Reducing stress and promoting relaxation through biofeedback, deep breathing, massage, meditation and yoga also help patients overcome the feeling of always tired or cope with chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the NIH.