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Fatigue is a common complaint. It can negatively affect your work performance, family life and social relationships. 21-33% of patients seeking care by their primary care provider consider their fatigue to be an important issue even if it is not the main reason they are seeking care. Fatigue results in about 7 million office visits per year in the US and is a complaint more common among women.

The experience of fatigue varies. It can be described as having difficulty or an inability to start activity, a sense of weakness, a decreased ability to maintain activity, being easily fatigable, or difficulty with concentration, memory, or simply mental fatigue

Acute fatigue is defined as lasting one month or less and is typically caused by an acute condition that is easily identifiable such as influenza, a recent life stressor. This typically passes without specific treatment for fatigue; however, more serious issues may cause acute fatigue that require treatment. Subacute fatigue lasts between one and six months, while chronic fatigue lasts greater than months.

The problem with trying to find a quick and easy reason or solution to your fatigue is that fatigue can be caused by many things and may not be a symptom of just one issue. There could be many issues causing your fatigue.

The causes of fatigue are many and include any of the following. This is by no means a comprehensive list.

Heart and Lung conditions: heart failure, sleep apnea, obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack

Endocrine/metabolic conditions: hypothyroidism, kidney disease, liver disease, adrenal fatigue or insufficiency, cortisol hormone imbalances, electrolyte imbalances, blood sugar spikes and imbalances, testosterone deficiency

Hematologic/Oncologic: Anemia, cancer

Infectious diseases: influenza, COVID, Long COVID, Mononucleosis, hepatitis, HIV, blood infections, tuberculosis

Rheumatologic Conditions: fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis

Psychological: depression, anxiety

Neurologic conditions: multiple sclerosis

Medications: benzodiazepines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, beta-blockers, opioids

Substance use: alcohol, marijuana, opioids, cocaine/other stimulants

● A lack of a nutritious diet that leads to chronic inflammation and nutrient insufficiencies or deficiencies

● Environmental toxin exposure

Gut issues: bloating, diarrhea, constipation

Anyone experiencing fatigue should have a thorough evaluation completed by a qualified healthcare provider, such as a nurse practitioner and not attempt to diagnose or treat themselves.
It is best to work with a nurse practitioner or other qualified healthcare provider, one that will take the time to listen to your concerns, thoughts, and symptoms and work with you to develop a treatment plan to meet your specific needs.

At Holistic Integrative Health, we can provide you with a personalized experience to thoroughly evaluate your symptoms. Using an integrative, functional medicine approach, we will complete a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan to help you start feeling better by identifying and treating the root cause of your fatigue.