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Fatigue (cont.)

Fatigue Medical Treatment

Patient Comments

Medical treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause(s). Fortunately, many causes of fatigue may be treated with medications. For example:

  • iron supplements for anemia,
  • medications and machines to help sleep apnea,
  • medications to control blood sugar,
  • medications to regulate thyroid function,
  • antibiotics to treat infection,
  • vitamins, and/or
  • recommendations for dietary changes and a sensible exercise program.

Again, treatment of the underlying cause(s) is the key to treatment of the symptom of fatigue.

Fatigue Prevention

Fatigue prevention (both physical and mental) is possible in many people. Prevention of the underlying cause in almost every situation will prevent the symptom of fatigue.

  • Manage stress and practice relaxation techniques.
  • Get exercise, but begin slowly and check with your health care practitioner before beginning any exercise program. Find a good time to exercise and develop a habit of exercise.
  • Check your medications with a health care practitioner or pharmacists to see if some medications could be responsible for fatigue.
  • Improve your diet and eat a good breakfast (whole grain cereal, fruit, milk). Add more fruits and vegetables.
  • Stop any excessive caffeine consumption.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Have sex with your spouse or partner.
  • Get enough sleep and have a good and consistent sleep routine (sleep hygiene). Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, or caffeinated drinks after 6 pm.
  • Do not drink alcohol after dinner, and decrease the total amount of alcohol consumed. (Alcohol interferes with sleep patterns.)
  • People with underlying medical conditions (for example, diabetes, COPD, anxiety) can reduce symptoms of their disease, including fatigue, by working with their health care practitioners to optimize the treatment of the underlying problems.

Fatigue Prognosis

Generally, the prognosis for fatigue is good, because many of the causes are relatively easy to treat. However, the prognosis decreases if the person has difficulty in complying with treatments or has underlying conditions (for example, advanced diabetes or COPD) that are severe and slowly progress.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

REFERENCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
<http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/general/diagnosis/index.html

Davis, MP, Walsh, D. Mechanisms of fatigue. J. Support. Oncol., 8:164-174, 2010>

MedicineNet.com. Fatigue.
<https://www.medicinenet.com/fatigue/article.htm>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
Medical Editor:

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