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Fatigue means lacking energy or strength and is a very common symptom. However, the term in common usage may mean many things, including drowsiness (sleepiness), a state of sluggishness, inactivity, and apathy, tiredness, a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness or discomfort, having or showing little or no interest in anything, or weakness (including muscular weakness). Sometimes it is hard to know exactly whether you are tired, weak, fatigued, or have other symptoms. Nevertheless, any type of fatigue can indicate problems.
Fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks usually requires a visit to a health professional. This type of fatigue may be caused by a more serious health problem, such as:
Problems with the heart, that limit the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle or the rest of the body.
Metabolic disorders, in which sugar remains in the blood rather than entering the body’s cells to be used for energy.
Problems with the thyroid gland, which regulates the way the body uses energy.
A low functioning thyroid can create fatigue, weakness, lethargy, weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin.
Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause weakness or fatigue. The use or abuse of alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs can cause fatigue.
A high thyroid level (hyperthyroidism) can cause fatigue, weight loss, increased heart rate, intolerance to heat, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, and thyroid enlargement. Kidney disease and liver disease, which cause fatigue when the concentration of certain chemicals in the blood builds up to toxic levels.
In my experience fatigue is often a symptom of needed lifestyle changes. At Better Body Clinical Nutrition we help with diet and lifestyle changes that work to increase the overall health of the body. I believe great changes can be experienced in functional health. Contact us today to book your appointment now!