Fatigue

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Fibromyalgia Overview Slideshow

Quick GuideThe 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue

The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue

What is the treatment for fatigue?

Since fatigue is a symptom of an underlying condition, the treatment depends upon the condition that is causing the fatigue, regardless of whether it is physical, psychological or a combination of the two.

There may be a lag time between when the illness has been treated and the intensity of fatigue symptoms; some symptoms may resolve as soon as the underlying condition is treated. For example, individuals who are anemic feel much better as soon as their red blood cell count increases, while those recovering from infectious mononucleosis may require weeks to have their energy levels return to normal.

Can fatigue be prevented?

Fatigue as a symptom can occur as the result of many causes and therefore, prevention is not an issue. More importantly, the early recognition of fatigue will allow a person to seek medical care and potentially have an earlier diagnosis of the underlying cause made.

Sometimes, symptoms like fatigue arise gradually and it is difficult for the person to realize that there is a problem. It may take an outside perspective from a friend or family member to appreciate a difference in function. Self-awareness of gradual decline in body performance is often difficult as a person makes repeated small accommodations to complete daily activities.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
<http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/>

Davis, Mp., Walsh, D. Mechanisms of fatigue, J. Support. Oncol., 8:164-174, 2010

MedlinePlus.com. Fatigue.
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003088.htm>

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2015

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