It seems that nowadays people view “being tired” as a sign that they are doing well and getting everything accomplished that they’ve set out to achieve. However, fatigue can be a sign of serious medical issues in some cases, and should not be ignored, or in some cases, celebrated. Contrary to what you might think, fatigue can be more than just feeling tired or lacking energy, and may be caused by an underlying physical condition, the result of poor lifestyle choices, or even mental illness. At the Functional Health Center of the Carolinas, we are here to help you get down to the root cause of your sense of fatigue and help you find the right treatment option.
Medical Factors of Fatigue
In addition to mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), there are many other medical conditions that can present symptoms of fatigue such as:
- Eating, sleep, thyroid, and autoimmune disorders
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Diseases such as Addison’s disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Infections such as the flu or common cold
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Congestive heart failure
It is important to make note of any additional symptoms you are experiencing and to bring them to your doctor’s attention. Early detection and treatment is vital for many of these conditions.
Lifestyle Factors of Fatigue
There are multiple lifestyle factors that can contribute to fatigue that can be modified to help reduce symptoms. When examining your symptoms, look for potential triggers so that you can share your experiences accurately with your doctor. This can help us to determine what factors are at play to determine your diagnosis.
Certain lifestyle factors or experiences that can be worth noting to your doctor during your consultation can include:
- Recent or current periods of emotional stress or grief
- Increased physical exertion
- Lack of sleep or physical activity
- Being obese or overweight
- Taking certain medications
- Unhealthy diet
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Using drugs or consuming alcohol on a regular basis
When should I see my doctor?
Though it is common to feel tired or less than yourself some days, especially as you get older. If the feeling continues over the course of multiple days or even weeks, you should seek a medical consultation.
This is especially true if you have made attempts to modify the potential lifestyle factors that could contribute to your symptoms, such as consuming a nutritious diet, getting plenty of sleep, and partaking in a healthy amount of exercise.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek care immediately as your symptoms may be signs of a serious medical condition:
- Thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or desire to harm another person
- Chest pain
- Severe headache
- Vomiting blood
- Rectal bleeding
- Feelings of faintness
- Severe pain in the back, pelvic, or abdominal region
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
At the Functional Health Center of the Carolinas, we understand the importance of addressing symptoms of fatigue promptly so you can return to the life you enjoy. If you have questions about fatigue, or if you wish to schedule an appointment, contact our office today at (704) 625-2994.