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Fatigue description: Fatigue – Better Health Channel


Fatigue – Better Health Channel

Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness and can be physical, mental or a combination of both. It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life.

Each year, around 1.5 million Australians see their doctor about fatigue. Fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising.

If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform everyday activities, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing fatigue that needs further investigation.

Symptoms of fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of other physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness or sleepiness
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • sore or aching muscles
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • appetite loss
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • hallucinations
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand
  • low motivation.

Causes of fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes – unrelenting exhaustion may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes – alcohol or drugs or lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes – workplace stress can lead to feelings of fatigue
  • Emotional concerns and stress – fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical causes of fatigue

There are a number of diseases and disorders which trigger fatigue. If you experience prolonged bouts of fatigue, consult your doctor.

Lifestyle-related causes of fatigue

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep – typically adults need about eight hours of sleep each night. Some people try to get by on fewer hours of sleep.
  • Too much sleep – adults sleeping more than 11 hours per night can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Alcohol and drugs – alcohol is a depressant drug that slows the nervous system and disturbs normal sleep patterns. Other drugs, such as cigarettes and caffeine, stimulate the nervous system and can cause insomnia.
  • Sleep disturbances – disturbed sleep may occur for a number of reasons, for example, noisy neighbours, young children who wake in the night, a snoring partner, or an uncomfortable sleeping environment such as a stuffy bedroom.
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour – physical activity is known to improve fitness, health and wellbeing, reduce stress, and boost energy levels. It also helps you sleep.
  • Poor diet – low kilojoule diets, low carbohydrate diets or high energy foods that are nutritionally poor don’t provide the body with enough fuel or nutrients to function at its best. Quick fix foods, such as chocolate bars or caffeinated drinks, only offer a temporary energy boost that quickly wears off and worsens fatigue.
  • Individual factors – personal illness or injury, illnesses or injuries in the family, too many commitments (for example, working two jobs) or financial problems can cause fatigue.

Workplace-related causes of fatigue

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work – the human body is designed to sleep during the night. This pattern is set by a small part of the brain known as the circadian clock. A shift worker confuses their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices – can add to a person’s level of fatigue. These may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment (such as excessive noise or temperature extremes), boredom, working alone with little or no interaction with others, or fixed concentration on a repetitive task.
  • Workplace stress – can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, constant change, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout – can be described as striving too hard in one area of life while neglecting everything else. ‘Workaholics’, for example, put all their energies into their career, which puts their family life, social life and personal interests out of balance.
  • Unemployment – financial pressures, feelings of failure or guilt, and the emotional exhaustion of prolonged job hunting can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Psychological causes of fatigue

Studies suggest that psychological factors are present in at least 50 per cent of fatigue cases. These may include:

  • Depression – this illness is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress – a person who is chronically anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief – losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

Diagnosing fatigue

As fatigue can present a vast range of symptoms and be caused by many different factors working in combination, diagnosis can be difficult. Your doctor may diagnose fatigue using a number of tests including:

  • Medical history – recent events such as childbirth, medication, surgery or bereavement may contribute to fatigue.
  • Physical examination – to check for signs of illness or disease. Your doctor may also ask detailed questions about diet, lifestyle and life events.
  • Tests – such as blood tests, urine tests, x-rays and other investigations. The idea is to rule out any physical causes, for example anaemia, infection or hormonal problems.

Treating fatigue

Fatigue is a symptom –something you can feel and describe – not a condition or disease. To reduce your fatigue you first need to understand what the underlying reasons for your fatigue are.

If fatigue is having a negative effect on your quality of life, or causing you distress, then consider speaking with a health professional. By asking questions, they will help you work out why you are experiencing fatigue, and offer some suggestions on how to find relief.

If necessary, your doctor might suggest certain medical tests if there is a reasonable chance the cause of your fatigue may be an undiagnosed medical issue (for example, anaemia or thyroid dysfunction).

Fortunately, for most people fatigue will get better over time on its own or with some simple and practical lifestyle changes.

Where to get help

Describing fatigue to others | MS Trust

What is it like to have fatigue (it is really awful) and how can we explain fatigue to others who have never experienced it? (almost impossible)

Fatigue is a common symptom in MS but seems to be invisible to most other people. This can seem incredible to the person who is experiencing fatigue as they may be leaning against the wall or holding onto their shopping trolley or the arms of their chair as if their life depended on it.

Would it be useful to be able to explain fatigue to other people so that they understood more about the difficulties and how much fatigue can vary from day to day or from morning to afternoon? Well, yes it would, but is this possible if they’ve never experienced fatigue themselves?

Perhaps the best place to start is to tell people what it isn’t. Fatigue is not sleepy tiredness. It won’t be sorted out by having a good night’s sleep or a kip in the afternoon. Of course, somebody can be sleepy tired as well as fatigued. For example, if they’ve had trouble sleeping due to pain or spasms, then a good sleep will help that side of things but not really their fatigue.

Fatigue is worse for some people than others. It can vary from one day to the next so predicting what you can do is really hard. Bad fatigue for one person might be really struggling at work. For someone else, it could be barely being able to cross the road for a pint of milk (despite being at home resting all day). For another person, it might be getting from the bed to the toilet only by clinging on to furniture and door frames. Fatigue is a big deal.

But this just says what it is hard to do when you have fatigue. What does it actually feel like?

Not everyone experiences fatigue the same way.

In our book Living with Fatigue, people with MS describe their own experiences. Here are a few:

“As a physical sensation it reminds me of falling into quicksand/a swamp – it’s a viscous, heavy, pulling feeling, but if I try to fight it, it hurts like hell and robs me of breath. As a sound, it’s like a muted background noise of violins, scratching away, that seem to be ever increasing in speed and out of sync – while the outside world seems dampened and fading”

“Fatigue feels like being weighed down, as if you are trying to walk up to your neck in a deep, muddy river in heavy, wet clothes carrying shopping bags full of rocks”

“Fatigue feels as if I am an inflatable, and someone has pulled the airstopper out! My brain goes fuzzy and I can’t think clearly, my speech slurs, my eyesight goes and my eyes start to close – I think the room is full of smoke! Swallowing becomes more difficult, my balance gets worse, my legs feel heavy and clumsy”

These are great descriptions and should help someone who has never had fatigue have a better understanding of what it’s like.

A hangover, jet lag and the flu

Another way of explaining is to try and relate the feelings of fatigue to experiences that most people have had before. That way they should access their own memories and, hopefully, feel again the heaviness or disorientation or other unwelcome sensations so that they feel it rather than imagine it in a rather theoretical sort of way.

You could try this:

Firstly, ask them to remember the worst hangover they’ve ever had. Get them to think about what the circumstances were, exactly how they felt when they tried to get out of bed, how they staggered downstairs and how rough they felt for the rest of the day. Ask them to relive the memory strongly for a moment and then file it for later.

Then ask them to think about the worst jet lag they’ve ever had. How exhausted and disorientated were they? Did they feel almost sick? Did they feel really tired but couldn’t sleep at the right time of day? Ask them to bring this experience strongly to mind and then store that memory for a moment.

Now ask them to recall the worst flu they’ve ever had. How awful they felt all over their body, how getting out of bed was a struggle or almost impossible, how every little thing made them feel worse.

The next step is to get them to imagine what it might be like to have all three (a hangover, jet lag and flu) at the same time, to recall both the physical and the mental feelings. Horrendous! How bad would that be?

Now ramp it up and ask them to imagine that everything is ten times worse than they just imagined. It could be almost like going unconscious – a bit like fainting but without the woozy- sick sort of feeling. This is becoming unimaginable for anyone who has not been there but hopefully it makes the point about how bad fatigue can be. The frequently heard comment that “everyone gets tired sometimes” is way off the mark.

Although fatigue is very common in MS, it is possible to decrease fatigue and free up some energy. Fatigue management involves pacing yourself and using what energy you have for the most important things. It may involve asking others to help out or just accepting that not everything will get done. You can read more about managing fatigue in the A to Z of MS or about the invisible symptoms of MS in our blog.

Jane, Information Officer

Fatigue: An Overview – American Family Physician

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definition of fatigue by Medical dictionary




Fatigue is physical and/or mental exhaustion that can be triggered by stress, medication, overwork, or mental and physical illness or disease.


Everyone experiences fatigue occasionally. It is the body’s way of signaling its need for rest and sleep. But when fatigue becomes a persistent feeling of tiredness or exhaustion that goes beyond normal sleepiness, it is usually a sign that something more serious is amiss.

Physically, fatigue is characterized by a profound lack of energy, feelings of muscle weakness, and slowed movements or central nervous system reactions. Fatigue can also trigger serious mental exhaustion. Persistent fatigue can cause a lack of mental clarity (or feeling of mental “fuzziness”), difficulty concentrating, and in some cases, memory loss.

Causes and symptoms

Fatigue may be the result of one or more environmental causes such as inadequate rest, improper diet, work and home stressors, or poor physical conditioning, or one symptom of a chronic medical condition or disease process in the body. Heart disease, low blood pressure, diabetes, end-stage renal disease, iron-deficiency anemia, narcolepsy, and cancer can cause long-term, ongoing fatigue symptoms. Acute illnesses such as viral and bacterial infections can also trigger temporary feelings of exhaustion. In addition, mental disorders such as depression can also cause fatigue.

A number of medications, including antihistamines, antibiotics, and blood pressure medications, may cause drowsiness as a side-effect. Individuals already suffering from fatigue who are prescribed one of these medications may wish to check with their healthcare provider about alternative treatments.

Extreme fatigue which persists, unabated, for at least six months, is not the result of a diagnosed disease or illness, and is characterized by flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and muscle weakness and/or pain may indicate a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome (sometimes called chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome), is a debilitating illness that causes overwhelming exhaustion and a constellation of neurological and immunological symptoms. Between 1.5 and 2 million Americans are estimated to suffer from the disorder.


Because fatigue is a symptom of a number of different disorders, diseases, and lifestyle choices, diagnosis may be difficult. A thorough examination and patient history by a qualified healthcare provider is the first step in determining the cause of the fatigue. A physician can rule out physical conditions and diseases that feature fatigue as a symptom, and can also determine if prescription drugs, poor dietary habits, work environment, or other external stressors could be triggering the exhaustion. Several diagnostic tests may also be required to rule out common physical causes of exhaustion, such as blood tests to check for iron-deficiency anemia.

Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is significantly more difficult. Because there is no specific biological marker or conclusive blood test to check for the disorder, healthcare providers must rely on the patient’s presentation and severity of symptoms to make a diagnosis. In many cases, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome go through a battery of invasive diagnostic tests and several years of consultation with medical professionals before receiving a correct diagnosis.


Conventional medicine recommends the dietary and lifestyle changes outlined above as a first line of defense against fatigue. Individuals who experience occasional fatigue symptoms may benefit from short term use of caffeine-containing central nervous stimulants, which make people more alert, less drowsy, and improve coordination. However, these should be prescribed with extreme caution, as overuse of the drug can lead to serious sleep disorders, like insomnia.Another reason to avoid extended use of caffeine is its associated withdrawal symptoms. People who use large amounts of caffeine over long periods build up a tolerance to it. When that happens, they have to use more and more caffeine to get the same effects. Heavy caffeine use can also lead to dependence. If an individual stops using caffeine abruptly, withdrawal symptoms may occur, including headache, fatigue, drowsiness, yawning, irritability, restlessness, vomiting, or runny nose. These symptoms can go on for as long as a week.

Alternative treatment

The treatment of fatigue depends on its direct cause, but there are several commonly prescribed treatments for non-specific fatigue, including dietary and lifestyle changes, the use of essential oils and herbal therapies, deep breathing exercises, traditional Chinese medicine, and color therapy.

Dietary changes

Inadequate or inappropriate nutritional intake can cause fatigue symptoms. To maintain an adequate energy supply and promote overall physical well-being, individuals should eat a balanced diet and observe the following nutritional guidelines:

  • Drinking plenty of water. Individuals should try to drink 9 to 12 glasses of water a day. Dehydration can reduce blood volume, which leads to feelings of fatigue.
  • Eating iron-rich foods (i.e., liver, raisins, spinach, apricots). Iron enables the blood to transport oxygen throughout the tissues, organs, and muscles, and diminished oxygenation of the blood can result in fatigue.
  • Avoiding high-fat meals and snacks. High fat foods take longer to digest, reducing blood flow to the brain, heart, and rest of the body while blood flow is increased to the stomach.
  • Eating unrefined carbohydrates and proteins together for sustained energy.
  • Balancing proteins. Limiting protein to 15-20 grams per meal and two snacks of 15 grams is recommended, but not getting enough protein adds to fatigue. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should get more protein.
  • Getting the recommended daily allowance of B complex vitamins (specifically, pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamine, and vitamin B12). Deficiencies in these vitamins can trigger fatigue.
  • Getting the recommended daily allowance of selenium, riboflavin, and niacin. These are all essential nutritional elements in metabolizing food energy.
  • Controlling portions. Individuals should only eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full. An overstuffed stomach can cause short-term fatigue, and individuals who are overweight are much more likely to regularly experience fatigue symptoms.
Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle factors such as a high-stress job, erratic work hours, lack of social or family support, or erratic sleep patterns can all cause prolonged fatigue. If stress is an issue, a number of relaxation therapies and techniques are available to help alleviate tension, including massage, yoga, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, progressive relaxation exercises, meditation, and guided imagery. Some individuals may also benefit from individual or family counseling or psychotherapy sessions to work through stress-related fatigue that is a result of family or social issues.

Maintaining healthy sleep patterns is critical to proper rest. Having a set “bedtime” helps to keep sleep on schedule. A calm and restful sleeping environment is also important to healthy sleep. Above all, the bedroom should be quiet and comfortable, away from loud noises and with adequate window treatments to keep sunlight and streetlights out. Removing distractions from the bedroom such as televisions and telephones can also be helpful.

Essential oils

Aromatherapists, hydrotherapists, and other holistic healthcare providers may recommend the use of essential oils of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), eucalyptus blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), peppermint, (Mentha x piperata), or scots pine oil (Pinus sylvestris) to stimulate the nervous system and reduce fatigue. These oils can be added to bathwater or massage oil as a topical application. Citrus oils such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime have a similar effect, and can be added to a steam bath or vaporizer for inhalation.

Herbal remedies

Herbal remedies that act as circulatory stimulants can offset the symptoms of fatigue in some individuals. An herbalist may recommend an infusion of ginger (Zingiber officinale) root or treatment with cayenne (Capsicum annuum), balmony (Chelone glabra), damiana (Turnera diffusa), ginseng (Panax ginseng), or rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) to treat ongoing fatigue.

An infusion is prepared by mixing the herb with boiling water, steeping it for several minutes, and then removing the herb from the infusion before drinking. A strainer, tea ball, or infuser can be used to immerse loose herb in the boiling water before steeping and separating it. A second method of infusion is to mix the loose herbal preparation with cold water first, bringing the mixture to a boil in a pan or teapot, and then separating the tea from the infusion with a strainer before drinking.

Caffeine-containing central nervous system stimulants such as tea (Camellia senensis) and cola (Cola nitida) can provide temporary, short-term relief of fatigue symptoms. However, long-term use of caffeine can cause restlessness, irritability, and other unwanted side effects, and in some cases may actually work to increase fatigue after the stimulating effects of the caffeine wear off. To avoid these problems, caffeine intake should be limited to 300 mg or less a day (the equivalent of 4-8 cups of brewed, hot tea).

Traditional chinese medicine

Chinese medicine regards fatigue as a blockage or misalignment of qi, or energy flow, inside the human body. The practitioner of Chinese medicine chooses acupuncture and/or herbal therapy to rebalance the entire system. The Chinese formula Minot Bupleurum soup (or Xiao Chia Hu Tang) has been used for nearly 2,000 years for the type of chronic fatigue that comes after the flu. In this condition, the person has low-grade fever, nausea, and fatigue. There are other formulas that are helpful in other cases. Acupuncture involves the placement of a series of thin needles into the skin at targeted locations on the body known as acupoints in order to harmonize the energy flow within the human body.

Deep breathing exercises

Individuals under stress often experience fast, shallow breathing. This type of breathing, known as chest breathing, can lead to shortness of breath, increased muscle tension, inadequate oxygenation of blood, and fatigue. Breathing exercises can both improve respiratory function and relieve stress and fatigue.Deep breathing exercises are best performed while laying flat on the back on a hard surface, usually the floor. The knees are bent, and the body (particularly the mouth, nose, and face) is relaxed. One hand should be placed on the chest and one on the abdomen to monitor breathing technique. With proper breathing techniques, the abdomen will rise further than the chest. The individual takes a series of long, deep breaths through the nose, attempting to raise the abdomen instead of the chest. Air is exhaled through the relaxed mouth. Deep breathing can be continued for up to 20 minutes. After the exercise is complete, the individual checks again for body tension and relaxation. Once deep breathing techniques have been mastered, an individual can use deep breathing at any time or place as a quick method of relieving tension and preventing fatigue.

Color therapy

Color therapy, also known as chromatherapy, is based on the premise that certain colors are infused with healing energies. The therapy uses the seven colors of the rainbow to promote balance and healing in the mind and body. Red promotes energy, empowerment, and stimulation. Physically, it is thought to improve circulation and stimulate red blood cell production. Red is associated with the seventh chakra, located at the root; or base of spine. In yoga, the chakras are specific spiritual energy centers of the body.

Therapeutic color can be administered in a number of ways. Practitioners of Ayurvedic, or traditional Indian medicine, wrap their patients in colored cloth chosen for its therapeutic hue. Individuals suffering from fatigue would be wrapped in reds and oranges chosen for their uplifting and energizing properties. Patients may also be bathed in light from a color filtered light source to enhance the healing effects of the treatment.

Individuals may also be treated with color-infused water. This is achieved by placing translucent red colored paper or colored plastic wrap over and around a glass of water and placing the glass in direct sunlight so the water can soak up the healing properties and vibrations of the color. Environmental color sources may also be used to promote feelings of stimulation and energy. Red wall and window treatments, furniture, clothing, and even food may be recommended for their energizing healing properties.

Color therapy can be used in conjunction with both hydrotherapy and aromatherapy to heighten the therapeutic effect. Spas and holistic healthcare providers may recommend red color baths or soaks, which combine the benefits of a warm or hot water soak with energizing essential oils and the fatigue-fighting effects of bright red hues used in color therapy.


Fatigue related to a chronic disease or condition may last indefinitely, but can be alleviated to a degree through some of the treatment options outlined here. Exhaustion that can be linked to environmental stressors is usually easily alleviated when those stressors are dealt with properly.

There is no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but steps can be taken to lessen symptoms and improve quality of life for these individuals while researchers continue to seek a cure.


Many of the treatments outlined above are also recommended to prevent the onset of fatigue. Getting adequate rest and maintaining a consistent bedtime schedule are the most effective ways to combat fatigue. A balanced diet and moderate exercise program are also important to maintaining a consistent energy level.



Davis, Martha, et al. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook. 4th ed. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. , 1995.

Hoffman, David. The Complete Illustrated Herbal. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1999.

Key terms

Aromatherapy — The therapeutic use of plantderived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being.Guided imagery — The use of relaxation and mental visualization to improve mood and/or physical well-being.Hydrotherapy — Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is use of water (hot, cold, steam, or ice) to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being.

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fatigue | National Multiple Sclerosis Society


Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in about 80 percent of people. It can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and work, and is one of the primary causes of early departure from the workforce. Fatigue may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations.

The cause of MS fatigue is currently unknown. Ongoing studies seek an objective test that can be used as a marker for fatigue, and for precise ways to measure it. Some people with MS say that family members, friends, co-workers or employers sometimes misinterpret their fatigue and think they are depressed or just not trying hard enough.

Fatigue & lassitude

People with MS can experience fatigue that is unrelated to having MS. Other medical conditions and vitamin deficiencies, for example, can cause fatigue. It is important to ensure that your fatigue is a result of your MS and not something else that has a different treatment.

Several different kinds of fatigue occur in people with MS. For example, people who have bladder dysfunction (producing night-time awakenings) or nocturnal muscle spasms, may be sleep deprived and experience fatigue as a result. People who are depressed may also have fatigue. Anyone who needs to expend considerable effort just to accomplish daily tasks (e. g., dressing, brushing teeth, bathing, preparing meals) may also experience additional fatigue as a result.

In addition to these sources of fatigue, there is another kind of fatigue — referred to as lassitude — that is unique to people with MS. Lassitude or “MS fatigue” is different from other types of fatigue in that it:

  • Generally occurs on a daily basis
  • May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep
  • Tends to worsen as the day progresses
  • Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
  • Comes on easily and suddenly
  • Is generally more severe than normal fatigue
  • Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities

MS-related fatigue does not appear to be directly correlated with either depression or the degree of physical impairment.

Managing fatigue

Fatigue can also be caused by treatable medical, side effects of medications or from inactivity. Persons with MS should consult their healthcare provider if fatigue becomes a problem. Early identification of the cause of fatigue can lead to an effective treatment plan. Your healthcare provider can complete a comprehensive evaluation to identify the factors contributing to your fatigue and work with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. Some strategies to manage fatigue include:

  • Occupational therapy to simplify tasks at work and home and conserve energy use.
  • Physical therapy to learn energy-saving ways of walking (with or without assistive devices) and performing other daily tasks.
  • Physical therapy to develop a regular exercise program to prevent deconditioning.
  • Sleep regulation, which might involve treating other MS symptoms that interfere with sleep (e.g., spasticity, urinary problems).
  • Psychological interventions, such as stress management, relaxation training, membership in a support group, or psychotherapy.
  • Heat management strategies to avoid overheating and to cool down.
  • Medications can be used although none are currently approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for the treatment of MS-related fatigue. Clinical trials of these medications have shown mixed results but they are commonly used off-label for fatigue from MS.

What Is Fatigue or Weakness?

Fatigue and weakness are often used to describe the same thing. But they actually are different.


Weakness is when strength is decreased and extra effort is needed to move a certain part of the body or the entire body. Weakness is due to loss of muscle strength. Weakness can be a big part of why cancer patients feel fatigue.


Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep. It can have many causes, including working too much, having disturbed sleep, stress and worry, not having enough physical activity, and going through an illness and its treatment.

The fatigue that often comes with cancer is called cancer-related fatigue. It’s very common. Between 80% and 100% of people with cancer report having fatigue. The fatigue felt by people with cancer is different from the fatigue of daily life and different from the tired feeling people might remember having before they had cancer.

People with cancer might describe it as feeling very weak, listless, drained, or “washed out” that may decrease for a while but then comes back. Some may feel too tired to eat, walk to the bathroom, or even use the TV remote. It can be hard to think or move. Rest might help for a short time but does not make it go away, and just a little activity can be exhausting. For some people with cancer, this kind of fatigue causes more distress than pain, nausea, vomiting, or depression.

What causes fatigue and weakness

In people with cancer, weakness might be caused by having and recovering from surgery, low blood counts or low electrolyte (blood chemistry) levels, infection, or changes in hormone levels.

However, the causes of cancer-related fatigue are often harder to determine because there are often many factors involved. It might be from the cancer itself and/or a side effect of the cancer treatment. How cancer and treatment might cause fatigue is not well understood, but some possible reasons are:

  • Cancer and cancer treatment can change normal protein and hormone levels that are linked to inflammatory processes which can cause or worsen fatigue.
  • Treatments kill normal cells and cancer cells, which leads to a build-up of cell waste. Your body uses extra energy to clean up and repair damaged tissue.
  • Cancer forms toxic substances in the body that change the way normal cells work.

Besides direct effects of cancer and its treatment, people with cancer often also experience other things that can add together to increase fatigue. These are things like surgery, stress and worry, changes in activity level, and changes in blood counts, electrolytes, and hormone levels.

How long does fatigue or weakness last?

Fatigue that is due to cancer and its treatment can last for weeks, months, or years. It often continues after treatment ends.

  • For people who have surgery for cancer with no other treatment, fatigue often decreases or goes away over time as they recover from surgery.
  • For people getting chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy in cycles, fatigue often gets worse at first and may get better until the next treatment, when the pattern starts again.
  • For those getting radiation therapy, fatigue usually gets worse as the treatment goes on and often lessens within a few months after treatment is complete.

Fatigue can:

  • Differ from one day to the next in how bad it is and how much it bothers you
  • Be overwhelming and make it hard for you to feel well
  • Make it hard for you to be with your friends and family
  • Make it hard for you to do things you normally do, including going to work
  • Make it harder for you to follow your cancer treatment plan.

What to look for

  • You feel tired and it doesn’t get better with rest or sleep, it keeps coming back, or it becomes severe.
  • You’re more tired than usual during or after an activity.
  • You’re feeling tired and it’s not related to an activity.
  • You’re too tired to do the things you normally do.
  • Your arms and legs feel heavy and hard to move.
  • You have no energy.
  • You feel very weak.
  • You spend more time in bed and/or sleep more. Or, you may have trouble sleeping.
  • You stay in bed for more than 24 hours.
  • You become confused or can’t concentrate or focus your thoughts.
  • Your tiredness disrupts your work, social life, or daily routine.

It may be hard for you to talk about it, but tell your cancer care team about your fatigue. Tell them how it’s affecting your life. Someone on your team should be able to help you if they know you’re having this problem. Managing fatigue is part of good cancer care. Work with your cancer care team to find and treat the causes of your fatigue.


“COVID fatigue” is hitting hard. Fighting it is hard, too, says UC Davis Health psychologist

One description trending now is, “COVID fatigue.” It’s real and it’s strong.

Both the intensity and the length of time of COVID-19 stress takes a toll on everyone.

We’re tired of being cooped up, tired of being careful, tired of being scared. Our collective fatigue is making some people careless – one reason COVID-19 is rising sharply again in California and throughout the U. S.

However, facing this fatigue is important for our personal health and for beating the coronavirus that has shaken American life so completely. Many people understand this, which adds to their exhaustion and stress.

“This is a real challenge,” said Kaye Hermanson, UC Davis Health psychologist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “There are no easy solutions.”

Abnormal is the new normal

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have paths to help ourselves and others. It starts with understanding why so many people feel frazzled. Knowing why we feel that everything is abnormal can help us feel normal.

“We know there are two kinds of stress that have long-term effects on our mental well-being and physical health – intense stress and prolonged stress,” Hermanson said. “We have both.”

Add to that the uncertainly about, well, almost everything.

“We have unknowns in every part of our lives,” she said. “At the same time, a lot of the things we generally do to cope, the things we enjoy and that give life meaning, have changed or been put off limits.

The stages of disaster stress

There is research that defines the stages of stress on communities from disasters. If it makes anyone feel better, as a society, we are right on target.

Early during or right after a disaster, communities tend to pull together. People support each other and create a sense of community bonding, Hermanson said. Think back to the first weeks of the stay-at-home orders when everyone in neighborhoods waved to everyone else.

“Eventually, that heroic spirit wears thin as the difficulties and stress build up. That’s when we hit the disillusionment phase,” Hermanson said. “We lose our optimism and start to have negative or angry reactions. We ask, ‘What are they doing to fix this? How long will this last?’”

That’s about where we stand now as a society. “Many people are exhausted by it all,” she said. “Some are saying they don’t care if they get COVID-19. They’d rather risk getting sick than stay home or be careful. Others have simply stopped listening to health leaders and science.

This phase could last a while, in part because the disaster – the COVID-19 pandemic – is still going on.

“Research shows that disillusionment can last up to a year from the start of the disaster,” she said. “And this pandemic is like nothing we’ve experienced before, and it’s not over yet.”

How to cope

“We can help ourselves,” Hermanson said. “We’ve heard this before, but it’s true: It’s time to develop coping skills.” Those include:

  • Exercise: “It’s the No. 1 best thing we can do for coping,” she said. “Any exercise – even a simple walk – helps. It releases endorphins, gets some of the adrenaline out when the frustration builds up. Just getting out and moving can be really helpful for people.”
  • Talking: “This really helps, too. Just saying it out loud is important,” Hermanson said. “Find the right places and times, but do it. Ignoring feelings doesn’t make them go away. It’s like trying to hold a beachball underwater – eventually you lose control and it pops out. You can’t control where it goes or who it hits.”
  • Constructive thinking: “We may think it is the situation that causes our feelings, but actually, our feelings come from our thoughts about the situation,” she said. “We can’t change the situation, but we can adjust our thinking. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Remind yourself, ‘I’m doing the best I can.’”
  • Mindfulness and gratitude: “The more you do this, the easier it gets,” she said. “Try being in the moment. You’re right here, in this chair, breathing and looking around. We put ourselves through a lot of unnecessary misery projecting into the future or ruminating about the past. For now, just take life day by day.”

She said coping can start by just being aware, and by being easy on yourself.

“We have a tendency to get down on ourselves,” Hermanson said. “But be aware, if you’re someone who never cries and suddenly you’re in tears, or if small things make you super angry – those are signs you need to reach out and talk to somebody.

How do we take in COVID-19 information without being overwhelmed by it?

“This isn’t easy,” she said. “Warnings and numbers have been swamping us for months, but it’s important to hear them. It helps to focus on controlling what you can control: What am I hearing from the experts that I can make use of? How do I clean, wash my hands, behave at work so I can protect myself and my family?”

Another move for stress reduction: Limit or avoid the things that trigger fearful or angry responses.

“Social media plays a role in this. Don’t get caught up trading posts with people you disagree with. It will just make you more angry or scared.”

“If listening to the news is hard, just do it a little and limit it to trusted, responsible sources,” Hermanson said. “Social media plays a role in this. Don’t get caught up trading posts with people you disagree with. It will just make you more angry or scared.”

How to reach people with COVID fatigue

One of the complications of the pandemic is that fatigue has made some people careless about masks and social distancing, which is one of the reasons COVID-19 cases have risen. With others, it’s not just carelessness, it’s angry resistance.

Are there ways to reach any of those people?

“That’s a huge challenge,” Hermanson said. “There are developmental stages to feeling our own mortality and the younger we are, the more distant it seems. For young folks, we can ask them to think about their families. With some, that may work.”

And it might help to remind people that they have the ability to help get back to all those things we’re missing by helping reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

“If you want to go out, visit family, get back to work, eat out or travel again, there is only one thing you can do,” she said. “Follow the health guidelines: Wear a mask, social distance, keep your social interactions outside, wash your hands and do everything else to stay safe. That’s how you take control.”

Another route combines role modeling with acts of kindness, she said.

“It helps some people just to see others wearing masks,” Hermanson said. “And when you see people wearing masks, tell them thank you in a genuine way. Positive reinforcement can be powerful.”

And what to do about people who are angrily resistant?

“I remind myself to control the things I can, and that I can’t control other people,” she said. “I say to myself, ‘For every person not masking, look at all the people who are.’”

Prevention of eye fatigue syndrome | Site for KFU students

Asthenopia – rapidly onset eye fatigue during visual work, especially at a short distance from the eye to the object (eye fatigue syndrome).

Usually, asthenopia occurs in people who have to work on a computer for a long time, or read a lot – books, brochures or documents. The second prerequisite for the occurrence of asthenopia is various abnormalities in vision: hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism or age-related changes, due to which the eye loses the ability to focus on nearby objects.As a rule, such changes begin to appear after 40 years. Asthenopia is manifested by the so-called “visual” and “eye” symptoms:

  • veil before eyes,
  • ghosting and blurring,
  • distortion of the shape and size of the observed objects.
  • eye inflammation,
  • lacrimation,
  • a feeling of eye fatigue, an increase in their temperature,
  • sensation of discomfort, pain, cramps or burning in the eyes.

In addition to these symptoms , with asthenopia complaints of excessive irritability and persistent headache occur.The patient’s performance of the motor apparatus of the eyes decreases when he tries to shift his gaze from one object to another. If asthenopia is neglected, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) or conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye) may develop. The consequence of asthenopia, supported by weak accommodation, is progressive myopia.

It is customary to distinguish several types of asthenopia, depending on the cause that caused it: accommodative, muscular, asthenic, symptomatic, nervous.

Asthenopia can develop already at school age, but it will pass over time due to the continued growth of the eyeball and an increase in the efficiency of the ciliary muscle (the intraocular muscle, contraction and relaxation of which changes the shape of the lens of the eye and thereby allows a person to see well at different distances).

In adults, the onset of asthenopia with good vision most often occurs after 40 years with the development of age-related weakening of near vision (presbyopia), and in this case, the symptoms of asthenopia will increase with its progression.A common sign of eye fatigue is a change in the color of the white of the eye.

The diagnosis is established by an ophthalmologist on the basis of characteristic complaints and a special ophthalmological examination. In most cases, farsightedness, myopia, astigmatism, or weakness of the ciliary muscle are simultaneously detected.

For the prevention and treatment of asthenopia , restorative therapy, timely correct correction of farsightedness and myopia, observance of vision hygiene standards, correct alternation of work and rest for the eyes are necessary.After every hour of visual work, rest your eyes for 10-15 minutes, look out the window at far-away objects, sit with your eyes closed.

While working at the computer, it is necessary to take regular breaks for rest. Prolonged TV viewing should be avoided. The illumination of the workplace must be sufficient, the height of the desktop and chair must correspond, the workplace must be as comfortable as possible. A balanced diet containing natural products rich in vitamins, microelements, taking multivitamin preparations has a beneficial effect on the health of the eyes and the body as a whole.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 anti-wrinkle and anti-fatigue eye contour treatment


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    I purchased this cream for the skin around the eyes, and it rolls off very strongly. How do I use it? It is not possible to distribute it in a thin layer, since the cream itself is quite dense. Condition of the skin around the eyes: dry, pronounced mimic wrinkles.


    I recommend applying the product in a thin layer to the cleansed area around the eyes, avoiding contact with the moving eyelid.Have a good day!

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    Hello Maria! It is recommended to store the funds in a dry place, at room temperature, without direct sunlight.
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    Anastasia, hello!

    La Roche-Posay products are registered in the category of cosmetics, which means they have no contraindications, side effects and systemic effects. The states of pregnancy and lactation are also not contraindications for use, but you should pay attention to the physiological changes in the condition of the skin and consult a dermatologist.Have a good day!

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  • Driver fatigue control system Dunobil Insomnia, descriptions, specifications, customer reviews

    Active car safety system from Dunobil company is an excellent assistant and safety on any road!

    According to accident statistics, one of the most common causes of accidents is the physical condition of drivers.This is especially true for accidents with a large number of victims.
    Recently, the number of road accidents has become more frequent.

    Part of the reason for this lies in the physical condition of the drivers. It can be bad due to severe fatigue, lack of sleep, poor health, due to a certain disease, from a drug that affects attention and concentration …

    It is not in vain for professional drivers that there are strict time intervals for work, which are monitored and must be respected.

    There are active monitoring systems to ensure safety on the road and monitor the driver’s condition. Such a system will not interfere with both a business car and a personal family car, especially on a long journey!

    Fatigue control systems – what are they?

    Dunobil proposed its solution with the Dunobil Insomnia system.

    During its creation, the existing experience was taken into account, it was applied and adapted for the simplest and fastest possible installation.Unlike competitors’ solutions, the main body of the Dunobil device can simply be fixed to the windshield and power is applied.

    In shape, Dunobil Insomnia resembles a regular DVR, the only differences are in the orientation of the lens – the main working side is directed towards the driver. The driver’s behavior, blinking frequency, head position are constantly monitored. This entire set of data is analyzed and a notification is displayed when sleep or fatigue is detected, restoring the driver’s attention.

    Mass distribution of such active safety systems will significantly reduce the accident rate! Ensure your safety – you can start right now with yourself and your loved ones!

    The Dunobil – Insomnia active car safety system can be an excellent assistant for any motorist. The optimal price made the new monitoring device available to everyone!

    The following advantages will convince you to buy a new product:

    • When developing the active driver monitoring system, the experience of similar devices was taken into account, thanks to which the creators of Dunobil Insomnia were able to offer the car enthusiast a miniature device adapted for modern cars.
    • Installation will not take much time – for installation, you just need to fix the main unit on the windshield (the view is practically not obstructed!).
    • Externally, the active security system of a car is very similar to an ordinary DVR with one difference – the camera “looks” not at the road, but at the face of the person sitting behind the wheel.
    • The device is oriented in such a way as to continuously monitor the condition and behavior of the driver.Even the frequency of blinking and the position of the head are taken into account.
    • After analyzing the information received, in case of fatigue, falling asleep, a notification is made in the “real time” mode, aimed at renewing the attention of the car driver.
    • The increased reliability of the design is provided by the simplification of the system as a whole and the high-quality professional assembly of detectors in a single housing. The device can withstand both high temperatures (up to + 60 ° C) and rather severe frost (up to -20 ° C), which means that this one more assistant on the road will cope with its task 100%!
    • Correct operation is guaranteed regardless of the time of day or the presence of glasses on the bridge of the “ward’s” nose.

    An active car safety system is needed not only for you – it is a great gift that any driver will definitely appreciate!


    • Technology: face recognition and blink rate
    • Functionality: Real Time Fatigue Alert
    • Reaction time 1 ~ 2 seconds after closing the eyes or lowering the pupils
    • Viewing angle 60 °
    • Installation parameters 45-65 cm (± 5cm) from face
    • USB
    • Input voltage DC 12V / 24V
    • Output voltage 5V, 1.5A
    • Minimum allowable voltage 4.75V, 240mA
    • Maximum allowable voltage 5.25V, 500mA
    • Temperature range -20 ° C ~ 60 ° C

    Warranty 1 year

    Produced in China

    Chronic fatigue syndrome – symptoms, causes, treatment and diagnosis

    Chronic fatigue syndrome – such a diagnosis is made when a person has been suffering from physical and mental weakness for a long time.Until 1988, this condition was not isolated as a separate disease, and was considered a consequence of some infectious diseases.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Most people often experience severe fatigue. It occurs due to physical or mental fatigue, but after a good rest it goes away. Work at a summer cottage, exams, emergency work – all these reasons often lead to severe fatigue, both moral and physical.But a person in this situation knows perfectly well what exactly he is tired of. But chronic fatigue syndrome differs from ordinary fatigue in that the patient is simply not able to determine the time of onset, and even more so its cause.

    The real causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still not fully understood by medicine. Sometimes people in this state have various diseases that are infectious and viral in nature: the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, coxsackie viruses, etc.Here we are talking about the continuous stimulation of cells responsible for immunity, infectious antigens. and as a result – high fever, muscle pain, chills, general malaise and weakness.

    Studies by American scientists in this area have shown that chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with malfunctions in the limbic region of the central nervous system. It is she who is responsible for the emotional state, performance, memory and autonomic regulation of the body, i.e. for those functions that fail in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms

    Chronic fatigue syndrome can develop as a result of any of the diseases that are infectious and viral in nature. After some time from the onset of the disease, the patient begins to feel weak, he quickly gets tired, he suffers from episodic headaches, and a depressed mood appears. And in the case when it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome, these symptoms bother the patient for a long time.And then a person begins to visit doctors in order to find out the cause of his condition. With disturbed sleep, he turns to a neurologist for help, with eczema – to a dermatologist, in case of malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract – to a gastroenterologist. But visiting these doctors usually does not give a positive effect, because the real causes of these symptoms are overlooked.

    The main and defining symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is a persistent feeling of fatigue.Even a long sleep and a long rest does not help to remove it. Some patients begin to suffer from insomnia or, conversely, drowsiness. From chronic fatigue syndrome, a person becomes absent-minded, inattentive, his working capacity decreases, and his memory deteriorates. A change in the patient’s psychoemotional state is often observed: depression, apathy, and hypochondria develop. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms can also include temperature jumps that continue for a long time, sudden weight loss, photophobia, tachycardia, headaches, dizziness, soreness of the lymph nodes, pharyngitis.

    Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome

    Criteria for the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome:

    Large criteria

    The feeling of fatigue lasts for 6 months or more. This condition worsens periodically and does not improve even after prolonged rest or sleep. Decrease in daily activity by half.

    There are no somatic reasons for such fatigue (disorders in the endocrine system, infectious and chronic diseases, intoxication of the body), as well as mental disorders.

    Small criteria

    There is a moderately elevated temperature, not exceeding 38.5 ° C, pharyngitis. The lymph nodes enlarge slightly, within two centimeters, and become painful. There are severe headaches, joint and muscle pains, muscle weakness, arthralgia. Physical activity is poorly tolerated, sleep and psychoemotional state are disturbed: depressed mood, apathy appear, memory and attention deteriorate. The disease begins suddenly and progresses rapidly.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed when a person has two large criteria and six small ones. In the absence of the first three small criteria or the presence of only one, the diagnosis is established if two large and eight small criteria are marked.

    In the diagnostic process, it is important to exclude chronic fatigue as a symptom of the onset of any disease, for example, oncology, infection or mental disorders. For this, a thorough examination is carried out by various specialists – a therapist, neurologist, infectious disease specialist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist.A blood sample is taken to be tested for various infections and for HIV. Check the work of all systems and internal organs.

    Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome

    Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome begins with a decrease in mental and emotional stress. The patient needs to avoid those situations and responsibilities that require the highest mental stress. To cope with this task, some people may need sessions with a psychotherapist using relaxing techniques and auto-training.They are aimed at teaching the patient methods of objective and real assessment of their strengths and capabilities. In the future, psychotherapeutic sessions teach a person effective rest, relieve nervous tension and deal with stress.

    A well-formed daily routine, normal rest and work, wakefulness and sleep patterns play a significant role in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors also recommend performing some procedures for recovery, namely, daily walks, fresh air, moderate physical activity, and a contrast shower.Moreover, physical exercise is an indispensable component of treatment for chronic fatigue. The complex of classes is selected for each patient individually, and may include gymnastics, swimming, walking, breathing exercises.

    If we talk about drugs used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, then they are all mainly herbal. Licorice root, echinacea, curly sorrel, tenacious bedstraw – these medicinal plants strengthen human immunity and increase their ability to resist stress.

    It is also necessary to organize the correct diet – the diet of a patient suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome should consist of foods with a high content of trace elements and vitamins. But alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be excluded from your menu. A large number of sugary foods are also banned – they can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which, in turn, leads to a feeling of fatigue.

    Prognosis for chronic fatigue syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is not a life-threatening condition.Patients with the right treatment usually recover. But relapses can occur if the person experiences stress or gets sick again. There are cases where this condition has caused serious damage to the immune system.

    Prevention of chronic fatigue syndrome

    The onset of chronic fatigue syndrome can be prevented if you organize your lifestyle correctly: nutrition should be healthy and balanced, psychological and physical activity should be adequate, and the daily routine should be proportional.

    In any workflow, you need to take short breaks, i.e. worked for an hour, then another, and broke off for a short rest. This is especially necessary for those who are busy with monotonous work.