Everybody feels exhausted or chipped in the course of life. Too much stress, too little sleep, poor diet: the causes are many. However, if the fatigue occurs more often or even permanently, despite sufficient sleep and healthy lifestyle, the cause should be clarified by a doctor.

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a symptom that occurs relatively frequently. A night with little or bad sleep sometimes makes you feel cut off or exhausted.

Fatigue is a symptom that occurs relatively frequently. A night with little or no sleep sometimes makes you feel choppy, tired or exhausted the next day.

The fatigue manifests itself, for example, by lack of concentration, physical weakness, listlessness or listlessness. But not only obvious things such as lack of sleep, a jet lag, weather changes or great effort can lead to fatigue. Fatigue is a common but very unspecific symptom of many diseases.

causes

Cold and flu illnesses are often announced days in advance due to dullness and exhaustion. Many other viral diseases such as the Pfeiffer's glandular fever or hepatitis A are initially noticeable by fatigue. Above all, the Epstein-Barr virus, the causative agent of Pfeiffer's glandular fever, is often the cause of fatigue and exhaustion.

The chronic form of glandular fever manifests itself almost always through chronic fatigue to chronic fatigue syndrome, also called chronic fatigue syndrome. Anemia such as iron deficiency anemia is associated with fatigue, caused by lack of oxygen. Other causes can be found in the cardiovascular system. Heart defects, vascular diseases or low blood pressure (hypotension) lead to a shortage of oxygen and thus to exhaustion.

In addition to metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus can also have a malfunction of the thyroid gland, usually a hypothyroidism, fatigue result. Other causes of fatigue include various medications (often antidepressants or antihistamines) or excessive alcohol consumption.

If the fatigue associated with weight loss and night sweats, special care is required. Weight loss, night sweats and fatigue is a typical triad of malignant events such as leukemia or other cancers.

In addition to the physical causes should also mental illnesses such as depression should not be ignored.

Diseases with this symptom

  • cold
  • Angina tonsillaris
  • flu
  • Pfeiffer's glandular fever
  • Hepatitis A
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cardiac defect
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Thyroid underfunction
  • Dreitagefieber
  • Puerperal fever
  • Dengue fever
  • Muscle inflammation (myositis)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • blood poisoning
  • leukemia

Diagnosis & History

Since fatigue is only a very nonspecific symptom of many illnesses, a detailed medical history is indispensable. During the conversation, the doctor should inquire about the duration, course and extent of the exhaustion and clarify any additional symptoms.

Also, the professional, family and social situation plays an important role and should be queried in the case history .. In the further clarification, various physical examinations and blood tests can be helpful. Depending on the suspected diagnosis of fatigue, further diagnostic procedures such as the sleep laboratory, ECG, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) are used.

complications

The complications associated with the symptom of fatigue in almost all cases are due to the underlying disease and the underestimation or ignoring of the symptoms. Often a fatigue and fatigue is not perceived as a symptom of a disease but interpreted as fatigue and attributed to lack of sleep or 'bad sleep'. In other cases, patients in a lethargy see no reason to spare themselves.

This underestimation of the symptoms can, if there is actually a disease, lead to complications. The first thing to mention here is the carry-over of an infection. Fatigue occurs in many infectious diseases. Such illnesses require, in addition to a therapy appropriate to the particular illness, also physical protection. If the signals are ignored for this, it can lead to a worsening of the disease and / or further spread of the pathogen in the body. The healing process can thus be delayed. In the worst case, complications such as heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) can occur.

The dangers of the symptom of exhaustion are thus, above all, to underestimate it and for this reason to show no adequate behavior, which may adversely affect the disease causing the symptom. The form in which the complication occurs can not be foreseen. In general, therefore, it is important to spare oneself in order to avoid sometimes life-threatening complications.

When should you go to the doctor?

Exhaustion and fatigue may indicate many illnesses, but it can also be a sign of over-exertion. Fatigue occurs when the body uses a lot of oxygen and nutrients and the reserves are not replenished.

Chronic diseases and an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to faster fatigue. If the fatigue persists for more than a week, the person concerned should always consult the doctor. It could hide a serious illness like cancer behind it. Often exhaustion is only related to obesity, lack of exercise and vitamin deficiencies. In order to transport 100 kg of body weight, the heart has to do much more than at 70 kg body weight. Because energy and oxygen consumption skyrocket, fatigue sets in much sooner than normal-weight people.

For unclear causes of rapid fatigue, a visit to the doctor is advisable. In connection with unexplained weight loss, a visit to a doctor is always necessary. If persistent stress leads to fatigue, the trigger must be corrected. If exhaustion is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath and nausea, the heart may be affected. If the symptoms are accompanied by severe thirst and weak wound healing, diabetes can be behind it. The cause of persistent fatigue is found out by the exclusion procedure. The doctor performs a survey and then a blood test.

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Treatment & Therapy

Not always in case of exhaustion a medically accompanied therapy is necessary. Often the reduction of stress or the improvement of sleep habits leads to more vitality.

Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson are helpful here.

If the exhaustion is due to sleep disorders, sleeping pills can be used. However, these often lead to dependencies and should therefore be taken only after consultation with the attending physician. Alternative are herbal sleep aids and sedatives such as hops or valerian.

However, if the condition of exhaustion is based on a disease, the fatigue can only be treated by treating this underlying disease.

The treatment options of fatigue are as diverse as their causes. Often drugs are used: in iron deficiency anemia, for example, iron preparations, in hypothyroidism, the missing hormones are substituted. In serious diseases such as tumors or heart disease and surgery may be necessary.

Outlook & Forecast

It is difficult to make a general prognosis. How well you can treat fatigue, depends on the original disease. In mild cases underlying dysphoric mood, the likelihood of complete control is very high. Frequently, a change in lifestyle is enough. Often, the associated exhaustion disappears after a few weeks. Regulated private and professional conditions as well as sports activities can make a significant contribution to this.

However, if it is a burnout disease, it is far more difficult to make a long-term positive prognosis. With continuous therapy, the chances of temporary healing are good. However, many mental illnesses associated with severe fatigue associated with high relapse rates.

Relapses can result in prolonged infection or a mental setback, in addition to strenuous physical exertion. These include deaths in the family, separations or problems with the workplace. In the long run, fatigue can return indefinitely.

Chronic fatigue syndrome can lead to a permanent inability to cope with everyday life despite treatment. A safe prognosis can only be made by the attending physician after a catchy medical history and treatment.

prevention

Best prevention for fatigue, fatigue and fatigue is a healthy lifestyle. These include regular sleeping hours, a healthy diet and adequate exercise.

How much sleep is necessary for regeneration varies from person to person. The standard is between 6 and 10 hours. For a restful sleep, the bedroom should be as dark and quiet as possible. The recommended sleep temperature is 16 to 19 degrees Celsius. In addition, the bedroom should be as quiet as possible.

Only when our body is sufficiently supplied with all the important nutrients, it can still function smoothly even in stressful life phases. Fresh fruits and vegetables as well as sufficient water consumption keep you fit. The regular practice of relaxation techniques, meditation or gentle sports such as yoga or Pilates is not only suitable as a therapy, but also as a prevention method for fatigue.

Lack of exercise during the day should be avoided. Even short walks in the fresh air or moderate physical activity about two to three hours before going to bed create an important prerequisite for a restful sleep. Because only when body and mind are exhausted at the end of the day, the so pleasant bed difficulty sets in.

↳ More information: Home remedies for weakness

You can do that yourself

When fatigue often helps a change in lifestyle and diet. A well-balanced and healthy diet replenishes the vitamin and mineral stores and compensates for possible deficiency symptoms, while sufficient exercise activates the cardiovascular system and strengthens the immune system, thereby reducing fatigue.

In case of heavy exhaustion care should generally be taken to ensure a regular daily routine. A restful night's sleep is just as relaxing as a stress-free everyday life and a fulfilling work and private life. A lot of peace and a stable environment contribute to the relief of fatigue and an increase in personal well-being. In addition, home remedies such as bitter clover or gentian tea, but also immediate measures such as a sauna or an extensive massage relief. A hot shower or warm compresses are just as effective, but in general the cause should be treated first in case of fatigue.

Supplements with magnesium, valerian or vitamin D and vitamin C help accordingly with fatigue as a result of malnutrition. Overweight people can alleviate the fatigue by means of a lot of exercise and, depending on the cause, also by dietary measures. If the fatigue persists despite the measures mentioned, the family doctor should be consulted to clarify the causes.

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