People describe fatigue in many ways. They may describe themselves as being physically weak or tired. They may say they feel they have no energy, feel “down,” or lack enthusiasm. Fatigue is usually not a condition in itself, but is a symptom of another illness or condition. It is also a very nonspecific symptom that may result from numerous possible causes.
What could be causing my fatigue?
There are too many potential causes of fatigue to list them all here. Our goal is to make it clear just how many possible causes there may be for your fatigue so you understand the detailed approach we must take to narrow down the answer and suggest a successful treatment.
Fatigue may be caused by:
- Metabolic conditions like anemia, hypothyroidism, and diabetes
- Infectious diseases ranging from the flu and mononucleosis to hepatitis and HIV
- Heart and lung conditions like asthma, congestive heart failure, and other forms of heart disease
- Medications including antidepressants and blood pressure medications
- Psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, grief, and eating disorders
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea
Fatigue may in fact be a side effect of practically any health condition, from cancer to obesity. Or it may be a side effect of treatments, such as chemotherapy. In unusual cases, you may be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, if your fatigue persists but does not seem to be associated with another health condition.
How is the cause of fatigue diagnosed?
The key to finding the cause of fatigue is often in clues provided by attendant systems. It depends on working closely with their primary care doctor to compile a comprehensive history of the condition. You should make your doctor aware of any other symptoms, such as:
- Weight loss
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
- Tiring easily
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Fevers and chills,
- Muscle weakness or pain, and/or
- Anxiety and depression
- Excess urination or thirst
- Dry skin and brittle hair.
This will help your doctor come to a successful diagnosis of the cause of your fatigue. Your doctor will likely ask you a lot of questions and may perform many tests to attempt to narrow down a potential cause.
The good news is that once we diagnose the cause of your fatigue, we can treat it.
You don’t have to live with fatigue. Please call 303-703-8583 or email Dr. Andy Fine in Littleton, CO to talk about the cause and cure of your fatigue.