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Chronic Fatigue

Oscar - tired all the time

Chronic fatigue is defined as physical and/or mental exhaustion that can be caused by stress, overwork, medication or illness, disease or even depression. Everyone gets fatigued from time to time. The body is telling you it is time to rest and get some sleep. When fatigue is persistent, however, or your exhaustion goes beyond normal sleepiness, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic fatigue may include a pronounced lack of energy, desire to sleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability and mood swings, feelings of weakness in the muscles, slowed movements and central nervous system reactions. It can also include serious mental exhaustion. Long periods of fatigue may cause mental fuzziness, difficulty in concentrating and sometimes memory loss.

Causes

Fatigue may be caused by not getting enough rest, a poor diet, stress at home or at work, poor physical conditioning or be a symptom of a more serious medical condition like heart disease, diabetes or depression. Sometimes medications cause drowsiness that feels like fatigue.

Cautions

If fatigue persists for at least six months, is not a side effect of another disease and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms may indicate chronic fatigue syndrome. This debilitating disease causes overwhelming exhaustion and other problems. If you suffer from prolonged fatigue, see your doctor and express your concerns so you can get a thorough examination.

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