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If you’re feeling fatigued, you may be experiencing both physical and mental exhaustion. The cause can be the result of various factors, and fatigue symptoms can include weariness, lack of energy and a decrease in overall performance. Fatigue can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).

We all get tired and feel exhausted at times. Persistent or severe fatigue feels like you haven’t slept. You may not be productive at work or home, and the exhaustion prevents you from doing what you need to do day to day. Rest doesn’t help.

There are many conditions that can cause fatigue, and treating the underlying issue often will restore your energy.

Norton Now includes same-day care options so you can get the care you need, when you need it and where you need it. Norton Community Medical Associates primary care offices are located across the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Save your spot in line at a Norton Immediate Care Center or visit a Norton Prompt Care clinic for treatment of minor injuries or illnesses.

Use Norton eCare video visits or just answer a few questions online from anywhere in Kentucky or Indiana for care without coming into the office. Your provider can order drive-thru lab testing for you at Norton Healthcare Express Services if it’s needed.

What is causing your fatigue?

The cause of your fatigue can come from a variety of factors and often results from a combination of physical, mental and environmental influences. An underlying medical condition also can be the source of your fatigue. Common causes include:

  • Lack of sleep: Sleep is crucial for the body to rest, recover and restore energy levels. This is one of the most common causes of fatigue. If you’re unable to get a good night’s rest, it could be a variety of reasons, from breathing difficulty to involuntary muscle movements during sleep. The Norton Sleep Centers team can diagnose and treat sleep-related disorders.
  • Physical exertion: Athletes and those with physically demanding jobs know that intense physical activity and prolonged periods of exertion without adequate rest can lead to physical fatigue.
  • Emotional and mental stress: Mental and emotional stress, such as work-related pressures, relationship issues or financial stress can contribute to mental fatigue. Constant worry or anxiety drains your energy.
  • Medical conditions: A medical condition, including anemia, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and infections, can cause fatigue. A chronic illness or autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis, also can contribute to persistent fatigue.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Proper nutrition is vital for maintaining optimal energy levels. Lack of essential nutrients such as iron and vitamins D and B can lead to fatigue.
  • Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake can result in dehydration, leading to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause fatigue and may list this as a side effect. It’s important to discuss any concerns about fatigue with a health care provider, especially if it coincides with starting a new medication.
  • Poor lifestyle habits: Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, can contribute to fatigue.
  • Sleep disorder: A health condition like sleep apnea, insomnia or restless leg syndrome can disrupt normal sleep patterns and lead to fatigue.
  • Chronic diseases: Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers can be associated with persistent fatigue.
  • Cancer treatment: A common side effect of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is cancer fatigue . More than 80% of cancer patients experience it, according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancer fatigue can begin before, during, or after cancer treatment and can be an early symptom of cancer or brought on by the stress of a diagnosis. Some patients may feel fatigued for months or years after cancer treatment ends.

Chronic fatigue can be difficult to diagnose. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex and debilitating condition of persistent and unexplained fatigue that does not improve with rest. It can significantly impair daily activity and can last for six months or longer.

When to See a Health Care Professional for Fatigue

Start by addressing common causes of fatigue. Focus on the following steps:

  • Prioritize sleep and limit screen time before bed
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Manage stress

And if you’re still feeling constant or severe fatigue, you can make an appointment with one of our primary care physicians. While occasional fatigue is normal, persistent tiredness that interferes with your daily life and doesn’t improve with rest may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Your Norton Healthcare primary care provider will not only get to know you as a patient but also as a person. We will ask questions to unpeel the layers as to why you’re feeling fatigued and will work in tandem with our physiotherapists, psychologists and social workers to provide comprehensive care.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a long-term illness that affects much of the body and limits your ability to do your usual activities. Some people with chronic fatigue syndrome will stay in bed at times. Sometimes, those with the condition try to overdo it and their symptoms worsen, causing post-exertional malaise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include difficulty thinking and concentrating as well as pain and dizziness.

The CDC cites a study that estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, but most have not been diagnosed.

Diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome involves thorough evaluations to rule out other possible causes, such as infection, an autoimmune disorder and endocrine abnormality. Chronic fatigue treatment options focus on relieving symptoms, which can vary widely among individuals.

Norton Now: Care When You Need It

  • Get medical care when and where it works for you.
    • Norton Community Medical Associates primary care is your medical home. More than 35 locations across the Louisville area and Southern Indiana means there’s an office close to home, work or school. Your primary care physician knows you and your health and performs annual checkups to stay ahead of any emerging conditions. Our doctors and nurse practitioners connect you to the full Norton Healthcare system, giving you and your family easy access to the area’s leading specialty physicians.
    • More than 15 Norton Immediate Care Centers offer treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Reserve your spot in line and we’ll text you when it’s time to check in. All Norton Immediate Care Centers are equipped with X-ray machines.
    • Norton Prompt Care clinics have same-day appointments available when you need care for yourself or your family. All locations offer extended weekday and weekend hours. Many are located within Walgreens stores.
    • Norton eCare allows you to visit with a provider via secure video or by simply answering questions online about your symptoms.
    • Emergency care is available for a very serious illness or injury that puts your life in danger. Get treatment 24/7 at nine locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, including three locations for kids.
  • Medicaid, Medicare and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Get test results, renew prescriptions, communicate with your health care provider, get notified if an earlier appointment becomes available and more with your free Norton MyChart account.

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