5 Common Causes of Fatigue

Fatigue can be defined as the tiredness that just does not go away and does not have an obvious explanation (such as working out too much the day before, staying up late last night, etc). It is often associated with generalized weakness and what is often described as "a brain fog". The presence of true liability warrants a visit to your physician for a medical assessment to make sure it does not have a pathological cause. The five conditions discussed below are some of the most common explanations of fatigue that doctors diagnose their patients with.

1. Anemia – a condition that occurs when red blood cell concentration drops down below what is considered normal. This can be detected with quick and inexpensive blood tests that measure blood values ​​known as hemoglobin and hematocrit (often part of a more comprehensive test called Complete Blood Count or CBC for short). There may be many different explanations to it, some are common (such as having heavy periods for a female), and some are due to rare medical conditions. In each case, raising your blood count back to normal will result in significant improvement of fatigue.

2. Hypothyroidism . – Thyroid is a small and critical gland in the middle of the neck responsible for producing thyroid hormones. Lack of adequate thyroid hormone production may cause severe fatigue. Thyroid disease is very prevalent in our population and is easily diagnosed with a blood test. Supplementing with either natural or synthetic thyroid hormone can completely reverse the symptoms.

3. Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies . Our bodies require innumerable amount of different chemicals to function properly and feel our best. Some shortcomings of those, such as vitamins B and D are readily detectable by a blood test, but there is still no way to detect every possible vital element that one may be short of. It is no secret that the average American diet is lacking in many essential ingredients with omega 3 fatty acids being one of the most common shortages. Although taking multivitamin supplements may appear like an easy solution, this usually does not achieve as much as one would expect. The reason is that the cells in our body do not seem to absorb and incorporate vitamins and minerals as efficiently when they come in a pill form. The scientist is still searching for answers but there appears to be something about biologically derived vitamins and elements that just makes them more acceptable with our body mechanism of nutrient uptake. In order to achieve an optimal nutrition that would combat fatigue one should follow a diet that includes yellow and green vegetables, various fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains and dairy products.

4. Low testosterone . This hormone deficiency is much more common than previously thought. Testosterone level begins to decline as men age and in some men the process occurs faster than in others. In addition, there are some young men who may have low testosterone for a number of reasons. It is important to check not just the total testosterone but the free (biologically active) testosterone as well, which may be reduced in a number of conditions. Testosterone is present in much smaller amount in women but it is still extremely important for their energy level and well being. The most common cause of low testosterone in women is oral contraceptives and menopause. Testosterone deficiency is commonly associated with decreased sexual drive.

5. Viral illness. One of the most common causes for fatigue in young people is mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus. While the illness itself may be nothing more than a few days of sore throat, the fatigue that comes after may linger for as long as six months. Also, there is a lot of scientific research going on right now into etiology of the condition Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and there are multiple virus suspects that are being evaluated.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Five million fibrobromyalgia sufferers in the US. Many of the five million, have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cfs).

In the Dictionary the definition describes chronic as; Lasting duration. reoccurring of disease or ailment. Well chronic is not the word used any more by some, for some are getting real help and great understanding on how to rid themselves of this painful illness. For there are new finds that have been brought to light for the cfs patient.

A large portion of the Fibromyalgia sufferers also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The symptoms for this ailment are:

1. Un-recuperative sleep, for far too many nights.
2. Waves of back pain, because the body never really gets to the place of rest, a lack of total relaxation.
3. Some have intension hip pain, which will disrupt good sleep.
4. Server fatigue, hence the name, Chronic Fatigue.

Long durations of sleepless nights, the body never gets to the place to unwind. That's the problem with fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it steals the quality of life from the sufferer.

Unfortunately many of these individuals, when left on their own, often times turn to a variety of substance and physical abuse. Drugs, alcohol, eating and sexual abuse to be more exact. Compared to other pain related disease, these patients have a higher percentage of these abuses.

The studies have shown that woman has a very high percentage rate of the substance abuses with Fibromyalgia and chronic Fatigue. This is no surprise to me for this illness strikes woman more than men. These abuses last for as long as the ailment persists, for the ailment is driving it. The problem then is, the abuse contributes to the longevity of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This pains me because there is new hope for the patient. This deep hole of pain and substance and physical abuse, can be left behind! The person can find an end to the despair and hopelessness, and live again!

Sometimes the patient may only need to change one thing in their lives and forever be free. Each person has their own trigger or triggers. Nowadays, without too much trouble, you can get down to the source of the triggers and avoid them. Sometimes it just a lack of a certain mineral in your diet!

Overcoming Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Could Be The Easy Part. The real obstacle then is the substance abuse. Like anything else, you take one day at a time, each goal is met with a new found zeal! Your life turns from strength to strength. Hey, with a good night sleep and life changing physical rejuvenation, a person can beat the substance abuse too! When you're strong, you can take on the next step and the one after that. You've got to see your self well, to be your old self again, sooner than later!

Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Burnout

For the past 10 years I have lived a fast paced lifestyle. Workaholism was my addiction. In my twenties, when I started my business I would work 7 days a week 10 hour days, then party and drink on the weekend, and not even think twice. I was driven and committed to creating financial wealth for myself. That all came to a screeching halt about 2 years ago when I reached a "wall." This term is commonly used in running but it clearly relates to our day to day lives.

When you reach the "wall" it feels like you can not go on anymore. That every ounce of your energy has been sucked out of your body.

I was working on franchising my business and moving into rapid growth, and I suddenly could not get out of bed in the morning. I had reached my "wall." Not only was I tired all the time, I had lost all my motivation and desire to do anything. Getting out of bed in the morning was a chore. This really scared me, suddenly my businesses began to decline and I started making very poor business and personal decisions. I felt as though everything was difficult and just getting through the day was a HUGE effort and energy drain. It kept getting worse as I continued to stay in denial with my signs and symptoms of stress and burnout. I refused to allow myself to slow down and admit that I was burnt out. It was not until I was forced into bed rest and crying every single day that I stopped and did some re-evaluation.
I decided it was time to simplify my life and create more space and time for enjoyment of my life and health. I sold one of my businesses and took 5 months off. Literally I just did the minimum to get by. I slept, read and nurtured my body mind and soul for 5 months.

I have since fully recovered with many lessons learned. I realize that I will never be able to work at the pace that I used to work in my twenties. I honestly do not want to work at that pace. Now I make sure I get plenty of rest, relaxation, down time and play time. I realize that my health and well-being is the greatest assets that I have and if I lose this then I will really be in trouble in my life. No amount of financial wealth can give you your health, if you have depleted your adrenals, and body.

Signs and symptoms of stress are not always obvious, you may mask the symptoms thinking that fatigue, headaches, forgetfulness, or illness are just a fact of life. Until you reach a mental breakdown, you will continue to keep forcing yourself towards chronic fatigue, unaware that your body is showing you signs and symptoms of stress. Usually whatever our vice is will we do more of when we are stressed. For example do you shop when you are stressed? Do you eat? Do you workout? Do you drink? If you find yourself doing more of these things almost excessively, that could be a clear sign that you are stressed out. Watch your own body for signs of stress.

Physical signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Frequent illness or colds
  • Headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Chest Pain
  • Heart Palpitations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep Problems
  • Digestive Issues
  • Lack of Sexual Drive
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Emotional signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of Focus
  • Getting Angered or Irritated Easily
  • Sadness
  • Worry or Feeling Anxious
  • Feeling insecure
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Depression
  • Inability to process information
  • Feeling helpless

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Alternative Treatments

Are you getting a good nights rest and still feeling tired? Are you so tired that you are unable to do much of anything else. Are you also experiencing muscle and joint pain though there is not any swelling? Maybe you also have a sore throat, night sweats, nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath. These are all symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. This disorder affects men and woman, mostly woman, in their thirties. These are men an woman who were formerly healthy. What is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and how can you treat it.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that affects the mind and various systems within the body. The Center for Disease Control first recognized this syndrome in 1988. Unfortunately, we do not know what causes CFS and there are not any specific tests that can be done to diagnose people with CFS. Doctors believe that it could have been a combination of multiple triggers such as stress, viral infection, nutrient deficiency, toxins and hormone imbalances.

The best that they can do as far as diagnosing a person with CFS is to look for the extreme fatigue that is not alleviated with rest coupled with at least four of the following symptoms. These symptoms are impaired short-term memory or concentration that has an effect on normal activities. A sore throat, tender lymph nodes in the neck or underarms, muscle pain, pain in multiple joint with no redness or swelling, headaches of a new type or severity, non-restful sleep and general malaise after physical exercise that lasts for more then 24 hours. These symptoms have to be present for six month or more.

Current research is suggesting that what CFS is, is actually myalgic encephalomyelitis which is a disorder that affects the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. Several researchers believe that it could be a new form of polio.

As frustrating as it is to feel so tired that even the simplest of tasks are to exerting there are things that you can do to help treat CFS. There are medicines that can be prescribed to treat the various symptoms, but at this time there is no conventional treatment for it. This has many sufferers of CFS looking for alternative methods.

Supplements have been effective in the treatment of CFS. Especially antioxidants, these nutrients kill some of the possible triggers such as bacteria and viruses. Other supplements known to aid in the treatment of CFS include B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, zinc, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q-10, and essential fatty acids.

Herbal remedies have been used successfully as well. Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Astragalaus membranaceus, and Withania somnifera. Some help to strengthen the immune system and others work with red blood cells and maximizing oxygen delivery, improving general body function.

There is another alternative treatment known as CBT or cognitive behavior therapy. CBT has helped many patients feel improvements in general energy levels and the numbers of hours they were able to work per week. CBT has helped patients free their mind of negative thoughts and nonproductive belief systems, helping them focus on the positive things in life and learning effective coping techniques.

If you are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome there are things that you can do to help you lead a more normal life. While there are not any lab tests to help us and doctors do not really understand what causes CFS there are treatments available to you.

Depression and Fatigue

Are you feeling depressed? Are you feeling fatigued? Are you feeling depressed and fatigued? Do you start feeling depressed, then start to feel fatigued? Do you feel fatigued for a week, then begin to feel depressed? Well, you are not alone. A 2004 study by lead author Petros Skapinakis, MD, MHD, Ph. D, revealed a strong correlation between fatigue and depression. This followed up a 2000 study by Skapinakis, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, that also showed a correlation between fatigue and depression.

The 2004 longitudinal study followed 3,201 subjects from 14 different countries for 12 months. The objective was to clarify the relationship between depression and unexplained chronic fatigue. The results showed a very strong correlation: the chronically depressed subjects were more than 4 times as likely to suffer from unexplained chronic fatigue. The subjects suffering through unexplained, chronic fatigue were almost 3 times as likely to contract a new episode of depression. The results clearly show that depression, in addition to depressing your mood, will bring down your energy level as well.

The 2000 study examined census data from 12,730 subjects in Great Britain. The analysis showed that individuals suffering from psychiatric morbidity had higher rates of unexplained chronic fatigue. These two studies prove a strong correlation, but they also provide room for further speculation. Are fatigue and depression two symptoms of the same physical or mental problem? Or does one cause the other? An intuitive story can easily be drawn to explain the cause-and-effect relationship-man becomes depressed, battles all day with mental conflict, loses motivation, is tired and sluggish since 'not doing anything' (in reality he is using his energy in mental wars all day and night). The story could also work in reverse-man is tired day after day, for no apparent reason. He can not perform as well at work or in his personal life, and therefore he becomes depressed. This relationship is obvious and clear.

However, the studies prove this causality themselves. The possibility still remains that this fatigue and depression are both actually caused by a third phenomenon. This third, independent factor could be chemical, mental, or even an external, socioeconomic factor.

I personally subscribe to the cause-and-effect model, but would be interested to see the results of further studies. The debilitating spiral of depression and fatigue is very difficult to overcome. It could be a boon to the afflicted to pinpoint an independent outside cause of their depression and fatigue. This factor could be addressed and corrected, thereby alleviating the depression and fatigue. One can only hope for more research and improvements in the science of this mental health struggle.