Fatigue

Alternative names:

Exhaustion; Lethargy; Tiredness; Weariness

Definition:

A feeling of lack of energy, weariness or tiredness.

Considerations:

Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Apathy is a feeling of indifference; this may accompany fatigue but may also exist independently.

Fatigue represents a normal and important response to physical exertion, emotional stress, or lack of sleep.
Fatigue can also be a nonspecific symptom of a psychological or physiologic disorder. Pathologic (illness-related) fatigue is not relieved by adequate rest, adequate sleep, or removal of stressful factors. Fatigue that is not relieved by normal means, or that occurs in the absence of a known cause or other symptoms should be medically evaluated.

The pattern of fatigue may help delineate its underlying cause. Individuals who arise in the morning rested but, with activity, rapidly fatigue may have an ongoing condition or disease. Individuals who awaken fatigued and the level of fatigue remains constant throughout the day may be suffering from depression. However, these are not absolutes and chronic fatigue should be evaluated by a health care provider.

In many cases, fatigue is related to boredom, unhappiness, disappointment, lack of sleep, or hard work. Because fatigue is such a common complaint and is often caused by psychological problems, its potential seriousness is often overlooked.

Fatigue

Can be known for lack of alertness and reduced mental and physical performance , often accompanied by drowsiness .

Causes 

  • Lack of sleep
  • Long work hours 
  • Shift rotation
  • Noise
  • Too much stress
  • Alcohol 
  • Drugs 
  • Worries
  • Illness
  • Advancing age

Signs and symptoms 

  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor communication 
  • Getting angry quickly 
  • Lesser alertness 
  • Impaired decision making skills 
  • Slow reaction time 
  • Always tired

Management of fatigue

  • Sleep strategies
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Health and fitness 
  • Stress management 
  • Drug and alcohol counseling

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