Here are some tips for reducing fatigue:
- Get adequate, regular, and consistent amounts of sleep each night.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Exercise regularly.
- Learn better ways to relax. Try yoga or meditation.
- Maintain a reasonable work and personal schedule.
- Change your stressful circumstances, if possible. For example, switch jobs, take a vacation, and deal directly with problems in a relationship.
- Take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and drug use.
If you have chronic pain or depression, treating either often helps address the fatigue. However, some antidepressant medications may cause or worsen fatigue. Your medication may have to be adjusted to avoid this problem. DO NOT stop or change any medications without instruction from your doctor.
Stimulants (including caffeine) are NOT effective treatments for fatigue, and can actually make the problem worse when the drugs are stopped. Sedatives also tend to worsen fatigue in the long run.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor right away if
- You are confused or dizzy
- You have blurred vision
- You have little to no urine, or recent swelling and weight gain
Call your doctor if:
- You have ongoing, unexplained weakness or fatigue, especially if accompanied by fever or unintentional weight loss
- You have constipation, dry skin, weight gain, or intolerance to cold
- You wake up and fall back to sleep multiple times through the night
- You have headaches
- You are taking any medications, prescription or non-prescription, or using drugs that may cause fatigue or drowsiness
- You feel sad or depressed
- You have insomnia
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your doctor will obtain your medical history and perform a complete physical examination, with special attention to your heart, lymph nodes, and thyroid. He or she may ask questions about your lifestyle, habits, and feelings.
Questions may include:
- How long have you had fatigue? Did it develop recently or awhile ago?
- Have you had fatigue in the past? If so, does it tend to occur in regular cycles?
- How many hours do you sleep each night? From when until when? Do you awake feeling rested or fatigued? Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you awake during the night? Do you snore or does someone who sleeps nearby tell you that you snore?
- Do you feel fatigued or tired throughout the day? Does it tend to get worse as the day goes on or stays about the same?
- Do you feel bored, stressed, unhappy, or disappointed?
- How are your relationships?
- Has anyone in your life recently passed away?
- Have you had more activity (mental or physical) lately?
- What is your diet like?
- Do you get regular exercise?
- Do you have any other symptoms like pain, headaches, or nausea?
- Have you had any recent change in appetite (up or down) or weight (up or down)?
- Do you fall asleep uncontrollably during the day?
- Do you take any prescription or non-prescription medications? Which ones?
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include the following:
- Blood tests for anemia, thyroid function, and possible infection.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.