When Lethargy Hits Hard
is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy.
Tiredness; Weariness; Exhaustion; Lethargy
Fatigue is different from drowsiness -- drowsiness tends to
be simply the feeling of a need for sleep while fatigue involves
a lack of energy and motivation as well. Drowsiness and apathy
(a feeling of indifference or not caring about what happens)
can be symptoms of fatigue.
of fatigue may help define its underlying cause. Individuals
who wake up in the morning rested but rapidly develop fatigue
with activity may have an ongoing condition. Individuals who
awaken with low energy and have fatigue that persists throughout
the day may be suffering from depression. However, these are
not absolutes. Chronic fatigue should be evaluated by your
health care provider.
can be a normal and important response to physical exertion,
emotional stress, or lack of sleep. However, it can also be
a nonspecific sign of a medically serious psychological or
physical disorder. Fatigue that is not relieved by enough
sleep, good nutrition, or a low-stress environment should
be medically evaluated. Because fatigue is a common complaint,
a potentially serious cause can be overlooked.
* Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)
*Anorexia or other eating disorders
*Chronic allergic-type disorders
*Chronic liver disease
*Chronic kidney disease
*Chronic use of illicit drugs such as cocaine or alcohol
*Chronic fatigue syndrome
*Anemia including iron deficiency anemia
*Congestive heart failure
*Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (a disease affecting children
*Muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy
*Excessive physical exertion
*Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus
*Obstructive sleep apnea
There are no direct cures for the most common fatigue problems.
Ways to help reduce fatigue include the following:
*Getting more sleep
*Learning better ways to cope with stress
*Changing jobs or learning new ways of dealing with career
*Taking a vacation
*Dealing with relationship pro
fatigue can often be reduced by alleviating chronic pain.
Treatment for depression also often helps with this problem,
although some antidepressant medications may cause or worsen
fatigue. Medication may have to be adjusted to avoid this
diet, a program for regular exercise (within prescribed limits),
and adequate rest are recommended.
maintain a reasonable schedule, and develop good sleep habits.
stimulants does not work and can actually make the problem
worse when the drugs are discontinued. Tranquilizers generally
intensify fatigue. Vitamins may not solve the problem, but
if taken in moderation they may be helpful.
your health care provider if
Contact your health care provider if you have prolonged, unexplained
weakness or fatigue, particularly if accompanied by fever
or unintentional weight loss.
fatigue is not caused by a physical disorder, you may be referred
for psychological counseling or psychiatric evaluation for
depression or other disorders that can lead to this symptom.
tests that may be performed include the
*Blood tests for anemia
*Thyroid function tests
*Other blood studies such as CBC and blood differential
(R) thedailystar.net 2005