Understanding Some Of The Causes Of Fatigue

2011-08-04 | |
Last updated: 2011-08-04

By its very definition, living with illness means having symptoms that can range from the unnoticed to the severe. While medications and treatments are often available to treat illness symptoms, less frequently do they actually treat the disease. In some cases however, even treating the symptoms can be difficult because there is little understanding of the underlying cause. One common symptom that is not well understood and not well treated is fatigue.

How Is Being Fatigued Different Than Being Tired?

For individuals who have never suffered from fatigue, the difference between being tired and being fatigued can be hard to differentiate. Researchers from the University of Alberta explain the difference as being tied to the ability to get rest. By this definition, people who are tired can be impatient, forgetful and have a feeling of muscle heaviness and weakness. However, these feelings go away following sufficient rest.

In contrast, for people suffering from fatigue, stamina decreases over time, quality of sleep is poor and concentration difficulties are typical. As well, fatigue sufferers will often face generally impaired mental and physical functioning. Lastly, those living with fatigue experience often anxiety and have a tendency to avoid social activities in which they would normally participate. They are often unable to feel well rested.

In addition to these differences, research from the Dutch VU University Medical Centre found that in patients with fatigue, 58% of the patients were still experiencing the symptom one year after their initial assessment. This means that unlike being tired, fatigue can be chronic condition.

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Category: General Health, Medical Research, Symptom Information

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