EXTREME FATIGUE: Could There Be More To It?

extreme fatigue information

Extreme fatigue and weakness are commonly used terms that most people think are the same thing.

But in fact extreme fatigue and weakness are two different sensations altogether.

It is important to recognize what is meant when you say “I feel really weak” or “I am fatigued”.

extreme fatigue

 

The reason why this is important is that it can go a long way in helping your doctor to determine the causes of your symptoms.

Let’s break the two down…

Weakness

This is generally referred to a lack of physical and muscle strength and that familiar feeling of needing extra effort to move your arms, legs and your other muscles.

If you feel that your muscles have been weakened as a result of discomfort, you will still be able to use them but any slightest movement will result in pain.

Extreme Fatigue

This is associated with a mixture of feeling of extreme tiredness and exhaustion due to a need of prolonged periods of rest due to a lack of energy and strength.

Extreme fatigue can creep in from over-work, poor or little sleep, worry or boredom or a lack of exercise.

Extreme fatigue can also be caused by an illness, a medicine that you may be taking or medical treatment that you might be undergoing such as chemotherapy.

In a lot of cases, anxiety and depression is caused by extreme fatigue.

It is important to understand that extreme fatigue and weakness are not diseases.

They are more to do with symptoms that are caused by other health problems.

The severity and causes of extreme fatigue and weakness can only be accurately assessed alongside other subsisting problems and their symptoms.

Weakness

weakness

More often than not, general symptoms of weakness usually occur when you have undertaken too much activity at one time.

This can involve your job or even exercise to a certain extent.

You might feel weak and tired leaving your muscles feeling sore.

These symptoms will usually dissipate within a few days.

In very rare cases, a general feeling of weakness in your muscles will be caused by other health problems such as:

  • Problems with the thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland helps your body regulate its energy use and distribution.
  • If thyroid levels are low this is known as hypothyroidism and this can cause extreme fatigue, weakness, feelings of being lethargic, unexpected weight gain, feelings of depression, memory loss, constipation, dry skin, increased intolerance to cold temperatures, thinning hair, a yellow tinted skin and brittle nails.
  • If thyroid levels are high this is known as hyperthyroidism.  This condition can lead to extreme fatigue, weight loss, and increased heart rate, a growing intolerance to warm temperatures, profuse sweating, feelings of anxiety, increase in muscle weakness and thyroid enlargement.
  • Guillian-Barr Syndrome.  This is a very rare disorder that involves the nerves.  Sufferers experience extreme weakness in the arms, legs as well as other muscles in the body.  In even rarer cases, a progression in Guillian- Barr Syndrome can lead to complete paralysis.
  • Myasthenia Gravis.  This is a chronic disorder that causes sufferers to experience weakness and quick muscle fatigue.
  • Low testosterone levels.
  • Other problems include low levels of potassium or sodium

IMPORTANT!: If you suffer from muscle weakness that is slowly getting worse, GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR!

If you experience a sudden weakness in the muscles or a loss of function in a certain area of the body, this is a probable indicator of a serious problem within the brain, spinal cord or a certain nerve in the body.

Extreme Fatigue

extreme fatigue

As stated earlier, feelings of tiredness (or exhaustion), or a lack of energy are good indicators of extreme fatigue.

This can be caused by working too hard, experiencing poor sleep, worry, general boredom, or exercising too little or not at all.

Everyday illnesses such as a common cold or a case of the flu, often cause extreme fatigue that should normally improve without visiting the doctor.

If you are experiencing a stressful situation, this may also cause extreme fatigue.

This particular type of extreme fatigue normally clears up once the source of stress clears up.

It is important to note that many prescription and non-prescriptions medicines can lead to weakness and extreme fatigue.

Other aggravating factors include alcohol abuse, too much caffeine or the use of illegal drugs.

We recommend that you visit your doctor if extreme fatigue occurs.

If the symptoms of extreme fatigue last longer than 2 weeks, please go and see your doctor because this type of extreme fatigue may possibly be linked to more serious health problems such as:

  • Low levels of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.  Hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying substance found in the red blood cells (aka anemia).
  • Heart problems such as coronary heart disease or even heart failure can drastically limit the oxygen-rich blood to the heart and rest of the body.
  • Metabolic disorders including diabetes.  Diabetes causes the glucose (sugar) to remain in the blood rather than the body’s cells.
  • Problems with the thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland helps your body regulate its energy uses and distribution.
    • If thyroid levels are low this is known as hypothyroidism and this can cause extreme fatigue, weakness, feelings of being lethargic, unexpected weight gain, feelings of depression, memory loss, constipation, dry skin, increased intolerance to cold temperatures, thinning hair, a yellow tinted skin and brittle nails.
    • If thyroid levels are high this is known as hyperthyroidism.  This condition can lead to extreme fatigue, weight loss, and increased heart rate, a growing intolerance to warm temperatures, profuse sweating, feelings of anxiety, increase in muscle weakness and thyroid enlargement.
    • Kidney or liver disease can cause extreme fatigue.  This occurs when the concentration of certain chemicals within the blood-stream build up to toxic levels.
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a rare cause of extreme fatigue.
    • Low testosterone levels.

If you feel that you suffer from extreme fatigue without the existence of an obvious cause, it is advisable to take stock of your mental health.

Extreme fatigue is commonly associated with mental health problems including depression and anxiety.

Depression and anxiety can become severe and some people have resorted to suicide to end the pain and suffering.

IMPORTANT!  If think that your extreme fatigue may be caused by a mental problem, please see your doctor straight away!

INTERESTING FACT!: A substantial number of men over the age of 30 suffer from low testosterone to varying degrees.

According to the medical profession, this is a major cause of fatigue and general tiredness.

A growing number of men are turning to natural testosterone supplements which can go a long way in naturally replenishing low testosterone levels and alleviating the associated symptoms (including fatigue).

To learn more, click here.

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