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Fatigue


Fatigue as a concept is extremely hard to define, since everybody has their own idea of what being tired means. Everybody is tired once in a while - the most common reason is, of course, lack of sleep.


Fatigue can also be caused by a wide range of illnesses and diseases. In such cases, a person usually finds they suddenly (or even gradually) need more rest and sleep. This may affect their performance at work.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes long-term tiredness (fatigue) that affects everyday life. It does not go away with sleep or rest.


Fatigue is also common when you are feeling down. Fatigue can be a normal and important response to physical exertion, emotional stress, boredom, or lack of sleep. However, it can also be a nonspecific sign of a more serious psychological or physical disorder. When fatigue is not relieved by enough sleep, good nutrition, or a low-stress environment, it should be evaluated by your doctor. Fatigue is a common symptom, and is usually not due to a serious disease.


There are many possible physical and psychological causes of fatigue. Some of the more common are:

  • Anemia (including iron deficiency anemia);
  • Depression or grief;
  • Persistent pain ;
  • Sleep disorders such as ongoing insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, or narcolepsy;
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid gland;
  • Use of alcohol or drugs such as cocaine or narcotics, especially with regular use.


Fatigue can also accompany the following illnesses:

  • Addison's disease;
  • Anorexia or other eating disorders;
  • Arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Cancer;
  • Congestive heart failure;
  • Diabetes;
  • Infection, especially one that takes a long time to recover from or treat such as bacterial endocarditis (infection of the heart muscle or valves), parasitic infections, AIDS, tuberculosis, and mononucleosis;
  • Kidney disease;
  • Liver disease;
  • Malnutrition.


Certain medications may also cause drowsiness or fatigue, including antihistamines for allergies, blood pressure medicines, sleeping pills, steroids, and diuretics.


Low levels of Testosterone (in men and women) can be an underlying cause, especially if the fatigue worsens during physical activity. For women, progesterone and especially oestrogen might also be low. There are several other hormones and essential nutrients that when deficient can contribute to fatigue. The Hormonal and Nutritional Health Programme can evaluate levels of hormones through simple saliva tests. The results from these tests can allow us to formulate a Bio identical hormonal supplementation and nutritional programme to alleviate a number of symptoms.



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