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FATIGUE

Everyone gets tired once in a while but when it becomes a regular occurrence and starts to interfere with living a normal life, then it is time to see your doctor.

People often do not consider fatigue a serious problem especially when it occurs in younger people but fatigue could be a symptom of an underlying health problem.

Fatigue is the feeling of lack of energy and motivation, it can be mental, physical or both. It is not the same as drowsiness but fatigue is often accompanied by the desire to sleep.


If fatigue appears suddenly or becomes more frequent, it could be related to several common medical conditions or lifestyle.

You should consult your doctor to see if you have any of the following issues.

1. Anemia: This occurs when your blood has too few red blood cells or those cells have too little hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen through the bloodstream. The result is a drop in energy levels.

2. Heart disease: Heart diseases can cause the heart to pump blood less efficiently and lead to fluid in the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath and reduce the oxygen supply to the heart and lungs, making you tired.

3. Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can cause fatigue along with other symptoms such as weight gain, weakness, dry skin, feeling cold, and constipation.

4. Sleep problems: Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in your breathing, often lasting several seconds, or shallow breathing, while you sleep. It is common among older adults and those who are overweight.

*Another sleep-related issue is an overactive bladder or enlarged prostate, which forces repeated nighttime bathroom trips. Either of these can disturb your sleep enough to leave you feeling tired the next day

5. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) :  This is a group of symptoms resulting from dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we don’t consciously control like sweating and blood circulation.

In people with POTS, more blood collects in the lower body when standing upright. The heart beats faster to pump it up to the brain, but with little success. The causes of POTS are unknown, but the problem is thought to lie in the communication breakdown between the brain and the cardiovascular system.

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A medical checkup can identify issues that may cause fatigue and the treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause(s).

Your doctor can help diagnose and suggest possible treatments such as iron supplements for anemia, medications and machines to help sleep apnea, medications to control blood sugar, medications to regulate thyroid function, antibiotics to treat infection, vitamins, and/or recommendations for dietary changes and exercise.