28 May 2014

What is fatigue or tiredness

Fatigue or tiredness is a common complaint in the general population. Approximately 15% of people present with fatigue in primary care center. Subjective symptom of malaise and decreased interest in activities and objectively impaired performance can been seen. It has physical and mental components. Patients consider it as important because tiredness is disabling, but usually doctors fails to give adequate care since it is nonspecific. Fatigue is twice more common in women than men. Association with age and occupation is not as strong as gender difference.

Fatigue is associated with 
  • Decreased energy level
  • Loss of motivation
  • Sleepiness
  • Physical and mental exhaustion
Feeling of tiredness is different from sleepiness and psychological feeling of lack of motivation but both of this may accompany fatigue.We should take pain to differentiate lack of energy from loss of motivation or sleepiness because it may point towards certain diagnosis.

Effects of fatigue
  • It can decrease the performance of work
  • Affect the quality of life
  • Worsen the interpersonal relationship

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