Fatigue Is More Than Just Tiredness

Thursday 9 August 2012

When we are tired or drowsy because we don't have enough sleep, it is remedied once we get some rest. But fatigue is different. It causes us to feel a lack of physical energy and mental alertness. Many of us confuse fatigue with drowsiness. So we force ourselves to stay awake and try to sleep earlier that night. But how come we still continue to feel fatigue?

Causes of Fatigue

There is a wide range of health conditions and syndromes that can cause prolonged fatigue (more than 24 to 48 hours). Some common causes of fatigue are:

1. Metabolic and endocrine disorders
Anaemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, electrolyte abnormalities, kidney disease, liver disease, Cushing's disease

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive. The gland is responsible for controlling your body's metabolism (the speed your body converts food into energy). When the thyroid gland under-performs, you will feel sluggish as your cells do not have enough energy.

In diabetics, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of being converted into energy. Hence, diabetes reduces the energy absorbed by your body's cells and make you feel fatigue.

Low hemoglobin count means there are fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and organs. This is known as anaemia and is the leading cause of fatigue in women.

2. Infectious diseases
Infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus, HIV infection, influenza, malaria

Fatigue occurs in most infectious diseases, as your body's immune system is trying to fight the infection.

3. Cardiac (Heart) diseases
Congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, valve disease and arrhythmia

Your heart pumps blood that transports oxygen to all cells in your body. Congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, valve disease and arrhythmia disrupt the functions of the heart. If you suddenly feel exhausted while doing simple everyday activities that you used to do easily eg. cleaning the house, something may be wrong with your heart.

4. Pulmonary (Lung) diseases
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pneumonia

Your lungs are responsible for making oxygen available. Long-time smokers often complain of fatigue from simple activities like climbing stairs because their lung function is reduced.

5. Medications
Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, sedative medications, antihistamines, steroids, some blood pressure medications

6. Psychiatric (mental health) disorders
Depression, anxiety, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia)

7. Sleep problems
Sleep apnea, reflux esophagitis, insomnia, narcolepsy, pregnancy

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may not even be aware that your breathing stops briefly several times throughout the night. You will wake up feeling like you didn't sleep at all, even though you don't recall waking up.

8. Others
Cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), obesity, chemotherapy, radiotherapy

CFS causes severe, continued tiredness over many months. There is no known cure for CFS.

(Source: More than just tiredness by Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, StarFit4Life, 22 July 2012)

How to increase your energy level

Lingzhi / Ganoderma is a natural food that has been known to the Chinese for thousands of years for its ability to increase your body's healing ability and help maintain a healthy body. Many research results indicate that lingzhi is able to regulate your thyroid and blood pressure level, prevent diabetes, protect your heart, prevent cancer and detoxify your body system.

As such, regular consumption of lingzhi can give you more vitality and energy. Please email me at laifuiping@gmail.com if you want to buy Lingzhi as your solution.
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