Deep-seated fatigue makes it hard to get through the workday and enjoy time with your friends and family. Fatigue also increases your risk of having a car accident or another type of accidental injury. Toni Harrison, MD, ABAARM, FAARM, at Incredible Health has extensive experience working with fatigued patients, accurately diagnosing the underlying cause and developing customized treatment that restores their energy. If you feel fatigued, you can get help by calling the office in Paradise Valley, Arizona, or scheduling an appointment online. We are happy to serve our patients in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, AZ.

Fatigue Q&A

What makes fatigue different from feeling tired?

Everyone has the occasional day when they’re tired. Maybe you were up during the night caring for a sick child, or you’re worried about something and your thoughts keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. This type of tiredness is temporary. It goes away with adequate rest.

On the other hand, fatigue represents a deep, paralyzing mental and physical exhaustion. Fatigue causes long-term weariness that drains your energy and leaves you feeling unmotivated. You continue to feel fatigued whether you sleep well or not because it seldom improves with rest.

Fatigue also causes other ongoing symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Needing frequent naps
  • Napping at inappropriate times
  • Feeling irritable or anxious

Many patients with fatigue also experience changes in their mood and appetite.

What causes fatigue?

You may develop fatigue due to lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise or too much exercise in which you don’t give your body time to recuperate. Medications, unhealthy eating habits, and nutritional deficiencies can all lead to chronic fatigue.

A long list of medical conditions cause fatigue, including fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, and chronic kidney disease.

Fatigue also develops if you have an underactive thyroid gland. When your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, your metabolism slows down and you become fatigued.

Iron-deficiency anemia is another common cause of fatigue. You’re at risk for anemia if you don’t consume enough iron, your body can’t absorb the iron you consume, or you have excessive blood loss. Heavy menstrual periods and undiagnosed bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract often lead to anemia.

What is the association between fatigue and sleep issues?

It’s only natural for a sleep disorder to make you feel tired during the day. However, you may not anticipate the depth of fatigue that occurs when sleep disorders interfere with your sleep cycles.

The only way to obtain restorative sleep is to sleep through all the stages of sleep without interruption. The third stage of sleep, called the non-REM stage, is the time of deep, restorative sleep when your body repairs tissues and builds up energy for the next day. When you wake during the third stage due to a sleep disorder, you develop fatigue.

How is fatigue treated?

Your treatment for fatigue may include a variety of possible therapies, depending on the underlying cause. Dr. Harrison performs a thorough examination, reviews your medical and lifestyle history, and conducts blood tests as needed to get to the root of the problem and prescribe treatment that effectively restores your energy.

You don’t need to keep dragging through each day with fatigue. Call Incredible Health or schedule an appointment online to get started on the path to wellness.