Fatigue Health (cont.)

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Fatigue Symptoms

Fatigue, either mental or physical, is a symptom that usually has some underlying cause. Fatigue may be described by people in different ways, and may include some combination of the following (both mental and physical):

Other symptoms such as fainting or loss of consciousness (syncope), near-syncope, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), dizziness or vertigo may also be described as part of the fatigue experienced by the affected individual. The presence of these symptoms may actually help lead a health care practitioner to discover the underlying cause(s) of the fatigue.

When to Seek Medical Care

Generally, people need to seek medical care if they experience any of the following:

  • fatigue that comes on suddenly (not due to normal short-term physical or mental stress),

  • fatigue that is not relieved by adequate rest, adequate sleep, or removal of stressful factors,

  • fatigue that becomes chronic or extreme,

  • fatigue that is accompanied by unexplained symptoms, and/or

  • fatigue and weakness associated with fainting or nearly fainting.

If a person experiences any of the following with or without associated fatigue, they should go to a hospital's Emergency Department:

  • fainting,

  • chest pain,

  • shortness of breath,

  • bleeding (for example, rectal bleeding or vomiting blood),

  • severe abdominal, pelvic, or back pain,

  • severe headache,

  • irregular or fast heartbeat, and/or

  • other people or pets in same household have similar symptoms, including fatigue (possible carbon monoxide poisoning).

Some additional symptoms, often associated with fatigue, should prompt an urgent visit to their doctor:

  • unexplained weight loss,

  • new masses or lumps anywhere in the body,

  • fever, especially greater than 101 F (38.3 C),

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding, and/or

  • unexplained pain anywhere in the body.

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