Fatigue. It doesn't let us get out of bed without feeling exhausted. It makes everyday life difficult.
Fatigue is a societal problem. It can have many causes.
Can we blame ourselves for its occurrence?
The answer is certainly known. Often, yes.
Because of lack of sleep, we sometimes find it difficult to wake up and suffer from morning fatigue.
Long-term stress and insufficient or no rest. It is also common after a high dose of physical exertion.
Fatigue is divided into two main groups. Physical and mental fatigue.
It has two variants...
Physical fatigue has its basis in lifestyle. Mental fatigue also. The two forms are related.
When fatigue affects our body, muscles, bones, head, eyes, we don't feel well mentally. We are anxious, unmotivated, unable to concentrate, even depressed.
When our psyche doesn't keep up, neither does our body.
The reasons are various...
Excessive or insufficient physical activity, lack of sleep, excessive stress, excessive workload, daily family responsibilities, diet composition and fluid volume.
What if illness is behind the fatigue?
Illness puts a strain on the body, the immune system, the metabolism, the cardiovascular system and in fact any part of the human body.
From the "classic" viruses (colds, flu, COVID) to anaemia, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, from milder causes to serious ones.
Health threatening, life threatening? Maybe.
Depends on the triggering cause, which may be a serious illness.
During the year, we also experience so-called spring, autumn and winter fatigue...
Your most frequent questions are as follows:
- What are the causes of constant general fatigue and drowsiness? I have strange conditions, great fatigue...
- Why do I experience excessive chronic fatigue?
- I repeatedly have afternoon fatigue...
- Can vitamins and supplements help me with it?
- Is it the cause of my headaches and muscle aches?
- How can I get tested for chronic fatigue?
We'll give you the answers as we go along...
The most common causes
It is a consequence of lifestyle.
In the first step, we'll do a short test:
We'll answer the questions:
- Have we had enough sleep?
- Have we been exposed to excessive physical activity, either in sport or at work?
- What was the level of stress and mental/work load?
- What did we eat?
- Did we drink enough?
- Did we travel?
- What medications were we taking?
- Did we use alcohol, drugs?
- Sleep and getting enough of it
Adequate and healthy amounts of sleep are necessary to replenish energy, regenerate the body, shut down the nervous system and thoughts. Our body, of course, does not sleep, it works constantly.
In addition to the well-known rule (7 to 8 hours of sleep), we should also take care of proper sleep hygiene. How and where we sleep (place, bed, mattress, pillow, blanket) also matters.
Watch out for the opposite problem.
Sleep lasting 12 hours is also not satisfactory.
- Physical activity
Did we exercise more than we should have? Did we indulge in more physical activity than we were used to?
This, of course, depletes the remaining energy reserves.
The tasks of a job or home life are the same. The principle of muscular work is the same in every situation.
- Mental and work load - night shifts
Employment and family life will also put a mental strain on you.
Fatigue is common even in children...
School and learning exhausts a child, young pupil or student.
Many jobs require mental exercise.
Office work - working at a computer, sitting and standing for long periods, monotonous and one-sided workload.
In addition to mental activity, it takes its toll on the musculoskeletal system, the cervical spine or sacrum, the entire back.
The strain can resemble a heart attack...
Pain, dizziness, tingling in the upper limbs, sweating and nausea, even vomiting can be added. A problematic cervical spine thus results in a long list of health problems.
Thoracic spine pain causes radiating into the chest and shortness of breath. In this case, these problems are not a symptom of heart disease.
Prolonged viewing of the monitor puts a strain on the eyes. Therefore, pain, burning, and fatigue in the eyes and head are not uncommon.
The composition of the diet plays a part in the causes of fatigue. Hard-to-digest foods boggle our minds. Digestion requires a certain amount of energy.
After a good meal, afternoon fatigue, yawning and head dropping during the day are common. Metabolism, digestion and energy acquisition also require energy expenditure.
Adequate drinking has its place. Dehydration is an unnecessary complication.
Long journeys are naturally exhausting. It does not matter whether we travel for work or rest.
The worst are long flights that cross time zones...
Some medications have fatigue as a side and undesirable effect. These are mainly antibiotics, antihistamines, diuretics, drugs with sedative and psychoactive effects, drugs for the stomach or for the treatment of elevated cholesterol or hypertension.
- Alcohol, drugs
In case of ingestion of substances from this group, exhaustion must be taken into account.
Let's evaluate the answers of the 8 points listed. Did you answer yes to at least one of them?
Lack of energy has a cause.
Daytime sleepiness is common. In this case, fatigue is normal. It's natural.
Its seasonal form is an example of when increased fatigue is normal.
The change of season, the transition to autumn, winter, spring has its basis in meteosensitivity.
We are affected by weather, low or high ambient temperature, pollen, allergies(hay fever), seasonal colds and flu.
We remember the waves of covid-19 and the omicron version. The state of exhaustion, weakness and fatigue of the whole body persists for weeks, months.
Women and energy
Women experience frequent fatigue due to hormonal changes.
Every month with menstruation, hormone levels, ovulation, premenstrual syndrome - PMS, fatigue can come.
Fertilization leads to pregnancy.
Fatigue is common in pregnancy - at its beginning, during the second and third trimesters. And likewise before and after childbirth.
Frequent fatigue also accompanies women in menopause.
It is, of course, part of these physiological states.
The associated difficulties, whatever their cause
Exhaustion and weakness can be accompanied by...
Manifestations associated with fatigue:
- dizziness, light-headedness
- nausea to vomiting
- diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion and abdominal pain
- muscle weakness
- muscle pain
- bone pain
- pain in the limbs
- frequent infections and reduced immunity
- impaired reactivity, slowed reflexes, poor judgment
- reduced attention, concentration
- depression and anxiety
- memory problems
- moodiness and mood swings
- yawning and head dropping
Illness? Cause of excessive exhaustion?
Constant extreme exhaustion may have a disease cause.
If you suffer from unexplained fatigue, you need to see a doctor.
A history of your current difficulties, together with details of associated illnesses, can direct your GP to specialist investigations.
We have already mentioned the common colds and viruses. The body responds to pathogens in the body with a high heart rate, increased temperature and fatigue that will keep you bedridden.
Among the many diseases we can name the following:
- high blood pressure
- tachycardia and rapid heartbeat
- bradycardia and slow heart rate
- high cholesterol
- and other cardiovascular diseases
- thyroid disease - hyper and hypothyroidism
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies (vitamin C, magnesium and others)
- reduced fluid intake - dehydration
- Lyme disease
- rheumatic diseases
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- liver disease
- viruses and chronic inflammation, coronavirus infections, mononucleosis
- neurological diseases, migraine, headaches, SM
- obesity and overweight
- digestive disorders - IBD, celiac disease, IBS
- chronic pain
- liver and kidney diseases
- oncological diseases
- diseases of the respiratory system
- burnout syndrome
- sleep disorders
- sleep apnoea syndrome
- depression and anxiety disorders, stress, sadness
- and many others...
Important in the diagnosis is history, blood and urine tests and laboratory results, hormone, mineral, vitamin levels, ASLO, CRP, physical examination, imaging, X-ray, CT, MRI, USG.
And others as per previous findings.
Questions from the spectrum are also essential: what is the intensity of fatigue and its manifestations, the effect on daily activity, sleep and rest, physical activity and mental stress, diet and fluids, medications and the possibility of relaxation.
What helps and how is it treated?
Fatigue has a wide range of possible causes. There is no clear-cut answer or definitive treatment.
Lifestyle changes, enough physical activity and rest (active and passive), sleep hygiene, dietary supplements - vitamins, minerals. At the same time, think about a balanced and varied diet.
Some people find good music helpful, others find caffeine and coffee or tea or chocolate helpful. Contact with people can also be pleasant (put down the smart devices...). Everyone can find their own way to a higher level of satisfaction.
With illnesses, the solutions are more complex. The important thing is first of all diagnosis and then appropriate treatment.
So it's not hard to face it. It's harder to avoid it...
We often get depressed from excessive fatigue. Let's ask ourselves the basic questions and maybe we can get out of the problem without the help of drugs, complicated diagnosis and "surgery". Of course, this only applies to fatigue that does not require medical attention.
The cause may not just be mind-set and lifestyle. It may be disease.
And so we repeat and repeat:
It's better to go for a preventive check-up than to read for hours on the Internet...
Especially if it largely affects your daily life (family and work).
You can also find more information in our articles:
- What are the causes of malaise and excessive fatigue? Can illness be the cause?
- Apathy, fatigue, drowsiness: do you know the causes?
- Fatigue: Is it related to digestive disorders? + 9 tips to prevent it
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What are its causes and symptoms + Diagnosis
- What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
- Do you suffer from fatigue in pregnancy?
- Muscle weakness, fatigue and pain all over the body, limbs? What are its causes?
- Is spring and autumn fatigue a myth or a reality?
Diseases with symptom "Fatigue"
- Angina pectoris
- Angina tonsillitis
- Aortic diseases
- Aortic dissection
- Atrial and ventricular septal defect
- Atrial fibrillation
- Axial spondyloarthritis
- Bechterev disease
- Breast cancer
- Burnout Syndrome - Burn-out
- Cardiac tamponade
- Cardiogenic shock
- Carotid artery stenosis
- Celiac Disease
- Cerebrovascular diseases
- Cervical Cancer
- Chlamydia Infection
- Chronic venous
- Congenital Cardiac Defects
- Coronavirus - COVID-19
- Crohn's disease - Morbus Crohn
- Cushing's syndrome
- Cyst on the ovary
- Cytomegalovirus infection
- Depressive disorder - depression
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Dry eye syndrome
- Enteropathic Arthritis
- Fallot tetralogy
- Fatty liver disease
- Gallbladder stones - cholelithiasis
- Anorexia - Mental anorexia
- Heart failure
- Heart Tumors
- Heart valve disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Hypertensive crisis
- Infectious Mononucleosis
- Inflammation of the Ovaries and Inflammation of the Uterine Appendages
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ischemic heart disease
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Kidney stones
- Liver Cancer
- Lung cancer
- Lyme disease
- Mammary Gland Inflammation
- Middle Ear Infection
- Monkeypox - Monkeypox
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myocardial infarction
- Oesophageal cancer
- Cancer of the oral cavity
- Ovarian cancer
- Overlap syndrome and mixed connective tissue disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Post-thrombotic syndrome