Lets look at the signs, symptoms, and causes of fatigue
- Aimee Sics
It's common to go through periods of feeling tired and having low energy. But at what stage should we become concerned with our constant feelings of weariness and exhaustion?
Derived from the Latin - fatigare - to tire, fatigue is 'that state … characterised by a lessened capacity or motivation for work ... usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness, sleepiness, irritability or loss of ambition’.
Fatigue can have a negative impact on your quality of life, so it's important to be aware of the signs, triggers, and how to manage it before it takes its toll too seriously.
What to look out for
Symptoms associated with fatigue can include anything from chronic tiredness, low mood and motivation, sore or weak muscles, headaches, poor concentration, appetite loss, reduced hand to eye coordination, and an overall inability to adequately function throughout the day.
What are the causes?
It's easy to blame feeling fatigued on sleep, however it is different to just "being tired"- as this can usually be resolved with a few good nights' sleep. Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, including lifestyle habits (such as use of drugs and alcohol), medical conditions (underlying illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, etc), work situations, or emotional stress and worries (such as grief, depression and mental health issues).
 It can also be a combination of a few of these factors.
Addressing the situation
If you're following a good diet, having adequate exercise, sleeping OK, and presenting these symptoms for extended periods of time, it's time to make an appointment with your GP as it the fatigue could be a symptom of something more sinister.
It's possible that you may know what is causing your fatigue, and in any case with a few changes, it's easy to get that spring back into your step. It might seem like the last thing you want to do, but in fact regular exercise is one of the best remedies for beating fatigue, as is drinking plenty of water and regular, healthy eating to maintain energy levels. And it might seem counter-intuitive, but the Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends reducing or cutting out caffeine completely. Also, consider looking at how to manage any stress you may have in your life – whether it be from taking up a new hobby, practicing yoga, or talking to a professional about your worries — it's important to find time to unwind and relax to avoid burnout.
All in all, fatigue is not fun at all! With an increasing number of pressures in our busy daily lives, it's important to seek help when warning signs present.