Have you ever worked throughout the day and noticed that you are lacking in energy and not motivated to do any activity? If you say yes, would you say you are tired, fatigued or exhausted? Or do you believe that those three words are the same? Keep calm with your cup of black coffee or unsweetened tea (these are wonderful energy boosters!) in hand as we take a ride through the world of fatigue.
Tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion are words with different meanings. A person is tired when you are in a state of needing sleep or rest. There would be some energy in you but the muscles are weak, and you are forgetful and impatient and a good night rest will get rid of the tiredness.
Different from the symptoms of tiredness, exhaustion is the physical depletion after exercise. People who are exhausted exhibit emotional numbness, social withdrawal, sudden loss of energy, dizziness, and are very sleepy.
Fatigue, on the other hand, is a lack of energy and motivation and people who suffer from fatigue display a decrease in stamina, anxiety and have sleeping difficulties, heightened sensitivity to light, as well as difficulty concentrating.
Fatigue has various causes. Diseases are some of the causes of fatigue. In Anemia, a condition in which you do not have enough red blood cells, fatigue is one of its symptoms. Vitamin C used with iron supplements helps to improve the symptom. Ulcer, cancer, depression, and loss of sleep could also result in fatigue.
The other causes are heart and lung-related diseases, sleeping problems, drug abuse, grief, alcohol abuse, anxiety, antidepressant drugs, malaria, influenza, tuberculosis, HIV infection, obesity, chemotherapy, and diabetes.
In situations of chronic fatigue, it is severe and chronic fatigue lasting up to six months or more is accompanied by most of these symptoms – sore throat, tender lymph nodes, lack of concentration and no energy after sleep, severe headaches, and short term memory.
The cause of chronic fatigue is unknown. However, some researchers say it is caused by a viral infection suspected to be the Epstein-Barr viruses, mouse leukemia, or human herpesvirus 6. Others believe it is psychological stress. Chronic fatigue can occur at any age, and more in women than men. It does not improve with rest and its solution involves finding out the cause.
Treatment of fatigue varies. Doctors would run a series of tests to know the underlying factor causing fatigue or check the history of the person affected. Are they always fatigued after long hours of work? Is lack of sleep the reason for the fatigue? When the cause of the fatigue is realized, this would determine the mode of treatment.
Generally, non-chronic fatigue is easy to treat. There are foods that are good for treatment. Fatigue has to do with the body and the body performs based on what it is being fed on.
Foods without preservatives (freezing, pasteurizing, refrigerating), artificial ingredients (food color, sweeteners, flavors), processed foods (canned foods), fresh fruits, vegetables, non caffeinated beverages (black coffee), lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey), cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, salt-free foods, and lots of water (not sugary drinks) are good for fatigue.
By now, you should be able to tell whether what you feel is tiredness, exhaustion or fatigue after a long day at work. Tiredness, exhaustion, and fatigue are better distinguished by symptoms associated with each term. There are different ways of restoring health from fatigue which largely depends on the cause. Feeding your body with good foods is, however, one of the fastest ways to cure fatigue.