What Exactly Does it Mean to Feel Lethargic?
Lethargy is the state of feeling listless and unenergetic, drowsy and dull, or indifferent and indolent; apathetic or slothful inactivity. Lethargy causes you to feel heavy-eyed or fatigued and slow. This slowness may be mental or physical. Folks with these signs are termed to be lethargic. Lethargy can be linked to an underlying mental or physical condition. Some articles described lethargy as a feeling of extreme fatigue.
Fatigue is, therefore, a term used to explain an overall feeling of weakness or lack of energy. It is not the same as normal drowsy or sleepy feelings. When you are fatigued, you get no motivation and, of course, no energy. Feeling sleepy may be a sign of fatigue, but it is never the same as fatigue.
Fatigue is a usual symptom of various medical conditions ranging in severity from mild to grave. It’s also a natural result of many lifestyle choices, such as the absence of exercise or poor nutrition.
If your fatigue does not settle with proper rest and nutrition, or you feel it is caused by some physical or mental health conditions, see your health specialists. They can help you find the cause of your fatigue and work towards treating it.
Tiredness is not a sign that defines anyone definite disease. Rather, it can be a sign of many different conditions and diseases. Causes of tiredness vary from insomnia and over exercise to surgical treatments. Lethargy, together with tiredness, can cause difficulty with daily activities, leading to complications with concentration and attentiveness.
Fatigue is a medical term referring to the state of lowered capacity for duty or accomplishment following some periods of physical or mental activity. Most of the causes of weakness are also linked with fatigue.
A closely related term is lethargy. Lethargy, as said above, refers to a state of lacking energy. Folks who are facing fatigue or tiredness can be said to be lethargic as well because of the characterized low energy. The same medical issues that can foster tiredness or fatigue can also trigger lethargy.
Causes of Lethargy
After discussing the terms related to lethargy, it is now time to explain the factors that cause it. Going through the list below will open your horizon into understanding the various causes of lethargic feelings;
1. Not Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a huge cause of fatigue and can have some negative impacts on your general well-being and health.
Aim for eight hours of sleep nightly. Go to bed at a particular time nightly, and wake up at a particular time each morning to put yourself on a patterned schedule. Make sure your bed is comfortable, the room is dark and cool, and your television set is off. If sleeping after making changes to your sleep environment still becomes laborious, consult your doctor to treat a sleep disorder.
Yet another common medical reason for feeling run down is anemia (iron deficiency).
Ladies with heavy periods and pregnant mothers are prone to anemia. But it may also affect postmenopausal women and men, when the cause is likely to be stomach and intestines issues, such as the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or an ulcer.
You may feel you can’t be disturbed to do anything, your muscles become heavy, and you are tired very quickly.
It is very possible to have excess iron, which can also foster tiredness (hemochromatosis). This is a relatively uncommon inherited condition that affects folks between the ages of 30 and 60.
3. Not Enough Fuel
What you eat or avoid eating can affect how much sleep you get. Not eating properly or eating less-rich foods can cause fatigue. If you take foods that cause hikes in your blood sugar, as soon as those inflated sugar levels drop, you get fatigued.
Eat a well-balanced diet, complete with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein. Avoid junk foods high in fat or sugar.
4. Underactive Thyroid
A faulty thyroid gland means you have too low thyroxine (thyroid hormone) in your body. This makes you feel tired as well.
You’re also prone to add weight and have dry skin and aching muscles. It is most common in folks more often as you age.
Depression causes anxiety and sadness, but it can also show physical signs like fatigue, insomnia, pains, and aches.
If you are depressed, seek medical care. Depression may not stop without treatment, and there are varieties of treatments, including medications and therapy, that can help stop symptoms.
6. Coeliac disease
This is a long-lasting disease occurring when the immune system reacts to gluten. Gluten is found in bread, cakes, and cereals in the form of protein. Ten in 1000 people in the United Kingdom are affected, but research claims many of them do not know they live with this condition.
Other signs of coeliac disease, other than tiredness, are anemia, bloating, diarrhea, and weight loss.
The thyroid gland regulates metabolism, or how fast our body converts food products into energy for our body’s functions. A faulty thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes depression, fatigue, and weight gain.
A blood screening can confirm if an individual has hypothyroidism. The great news is that this condition is usually treated well with the replacement of thyroid hormones.
One of the major symptoms of diabetes is feeling very lethargic and tired. Other prominent symptoms are peeing a lot (particularly at night), feeling very thirsty, and weight loss. Speak to a specialist if you feel you have diabetes symptoms.
9. Caffeine Overload
Most folks take caffeine to aid them to perk up. In moderation, caffeine aids energy and alertness. However, too much of it can cause increased heart rate, jitteriness, or palpitations, anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Just as in sugars, after the caffeine wears off, one may ‘crash’ and get fatigued.
If you take a lot of tea, coffee, or cola that contains caffeine or take drugs with caffeine, you will need to slowly wean yourself off these supplements, beverages, or medications. You may get withdrawal symptoms if you swiftly eliminate caffeine, so begin slowly. Firstly, start taking more water and fewer caffeinated preparations daily.
10. Glandular Fever
Glandular fever is another common viral infection causing fatigue, fever, sore throat, and also swollen glands. Most reported cases happed in young adults and teenagers. Symptoms usually disappear within a month, but the fatigue can persist for several months.
11. Hidden UTI
Common signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are; burning during urination; or the feeling of urinating urgently or frequently. But this infectious condition can also cause weakness and fatigue.
If you suspect yourself to have a UTI, consult your doctor. The normal treatment for this infection is antibiotics, which should treat the condition rapidly, alleviate the fatigue and the other adjoining symptoms.
12. Restless Legs
This happens when you get an overwhelming feeling to move your legs, which can make you stay awake all night.
You might also feel an unpleasant crawling sensation or a deep pain in your legs. Your legs might even jerk impulsively all through the night.
Whatever the symptoms, your sleep will be disturbed and poor in quality, so you will feel very week all through the day.
At What Stage Should You See Your Doctor?
You should book an appointment with your doctor should you feel fatigued and you:
• Believe you are depressed.
• Can’t figure out anything that might cause your fatigue
• Have an abruptly high body temperature
• Have experienced weight loss
• Feel very sensitive to coldness
• Regularly have issues staying asleep.
If you have made efforts to solve the most common causes, such as poor eating habits, lack of rest, and stress, without any headway, and your fatigue has spanned for a longer period, book an appointment with your health specialist.
Sometimes your fatigue might be triggered by a chronic medical condition. Go straight to the hospital should you experience fatigue together with any of these symptoms below:
• Rectal bleeding
• Feelings of faintness
• Severe headache
• Pain in your chest area
• Irregular heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Vomiting blood
• Thoughts of harming another person
• Severe pain in your abdominal, back, or pelvic region
• Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
How Will Your Doctor Treat Fatigue?
Your doctor’s recommended method of treatment will depend on the cause of your fatigue. To make a precise diagnosis, they may likely ask you some questions about:
• The nature of fatigue (duration and severity)
• Other signs you experience
• Other medical complications that you have
• Sources of stress and your lifestyle
• Medications you take
If your doctor detects you have an underlying ailment that is causing your lethargic feeling, they may prescribe some medical tests such as blood or urine tests.
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