What is fatigue?
Fatigue is defined as extreme tiredness and limited energy. It can interfere with your ability to conduct basic activities, including work and daily routines. Fatigue can be both acute (short term), or chronic (long term, over 6 months). Fatigue is almost always a symptom of another condition, and appropriate treatment depends on the cause.
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue can be caused by many factors, including:
- Too much activity/physical exhaustion
- Not enough activity/sedentary behavior
- Lack of sleep
- Poor quality of sleep, sometimes because of sleep disorders
- Poor diet
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Chronic illness, such as lung or kidney disease
How can you prevent or alleviate fatigue on your own?
- Get enough sleep, with a goal of 7-9 hours of per night
- Exercise regularly. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity each day
- Eat a healthy diet and do not skip meals. Eat multiple servings of fruits and vegetables each day
- Limit your use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Remember caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate
- Stay hydrated. Try to drink 2 liters of water per day, or enough to keep your urine clear to very light yellow
- Limit medicines that can cause fatigue. These includes tranquilizers, sedatives, and some cold and allergy medicines
When should you seek medical care for fatigue?
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You have new symptoms such as fever or a rash
- Your fatigue gets worse
- You have been feeling down, depressed, or hopeless, or have lost interest in activities that you usually enjoy
- You still feel fatigued after taking the self-care steps described above
Fight Fatigue with Pivotal Health
If you need medical care for your fatigue symptoms, connect with Pivotal Health. Our triage support team can arrange for one of our experienced licensed providers to see you in the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule. Pivotal Health clinicians can do the following before creating a treatment plan for you:
- Test for acute infections like Influenza, Covid, or UTI that can cause fatigue
- Do blood draws to test for anemia or other conditions
- Assess and diagnose anxiety and depression using various tools. We then can recommend a therapist or medications, depending on your situation
All Pivotal Health clinician visits, including those to assess and treat fatigue, include follow-up consultation to ensure you’re on the road to recovery.