We all complain of tiredness, exhaustion and lack of energy after hectic physical or mental activity. Medically, this state is referred to as fatigue. It is defined or described as lack of energy to do anymore physical or mental activity. It is due to the reason that the concerned person has worked to his/her full capacity and is unable to work anymore. Although most people suffer from exhaustion and tiredness in routine life however when someone keeps on complaining about exhaustion, tiredness or lethargy even after having proper rest and sleep then it is really a matter of concern. And this is exactly referred to as fatigue in medical science. Fatigue is not considered to be a disease or disorder in medical science rather it appears as a symptom of some other problem related to the health of a person. It may be due to prolonged illness or lack of certain nutrients in diet or even low level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Types of fatigue
Fatigue may be classified into two main types- physical and mental fatigue. It is to be noted that mental fatigue is also called as psychological fatigue.
Physical fatigue- It is a condition of the body when the capacity of muscles to carry out various tasks such as climbing stairs, or carrying something reduces to considerable extent. It becomes too difficult for the sufferer to perform routine tasks efficiently and easily.
Mental fatigue- Under this condition, it becomes quite difficult for the sufferer to concentrate on things. Even there may be lack of consciousness and the sufferer may lose interest in routine activities. There is feeling of sleepiness and may become so intense at times that the concerned person may feel like intoxicated.
It is worth noting that if a person is physically fatigued then it may have adverse effect upon his mental health as well. Similarly, mental fatigue reduces the capacity of the body to perform various tasks.
What causes fatigue?
- Fatigue may be caused due to multiple factors as given hereunder.
- Extreme physical activity
- Lack of proper rest and sleep
- Low level of hemoglobin in the blood
- Mental states such as stress, tension, depression
- Use of drugs or certain medicines
- Keeping awake late at night
- Lack of certain nutrients in the diet
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Disorders relevant to the endocrine glands such as high or low level of blood sugar
- Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Disorders relevant to the gastro intestine
- Gastro esophageal reflux
- State of inactivity or sedentary lifestyle
Signs and symptoms of Fatigue
Fatigue is characterized by multiple signs and symptoms as given below.
- Constant feeling or state of tiredness and exhaustion
- Pain in muscles
- State of dizziness
- Shortness of breath even after doing minor physical activity
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable behavior
- Loss of concentration
- Low level of consciousness or alertness
- Lack of motivation
- Problems in co-ordination amid hands and eyes
- Constant headache
- State of being indecisiveness
- Changing moods
- Malfunctioning of the immune system
- Blurriness of the vision
- State of drowsiness or sleepiness