Focus on chronic fatigue Focus on chronic fatigue

Lack of energy, when it becomes chronic, involves some particularities in terms of signs and ways to manage it. Learn to identify them.

Advisor: Andrés Felipe Posada

Fatigue and tiredness are both defined as the inability to start and maintain an activity. In the words of internist Andrés Felipe Posada López, the difference is rooted in that “tiredness improves with sleep and resting. The same is not true for fatigue, which can be more severe and longer-lasting.” The latter, in fact, manifests itself with a clear absence of energy and excessive tiredness in the whole body. Fatigue can have a negative effect on the person’s quality of life as well as their ability to function normally, and its cause is seemingly imprecise.

3 types of fatigue: acute, which lasts less than one month. Subacute: between one and six months. And chronic, more than six months.

Recognize fatigue

The specialist defines fatigue as “an alteration that affects many systems in the body and makes daily activities such as work, studying, and social and interpersonal relationships difficult. It does not improve with rest or sleep, physical activity worsens, and it can cause memory and gastrointestinal disorders.”

30 % of the world population, on average, has experienced fatigue at some point in their life. It is calculated to be more frequent during menopause and post-menopause.

Some causes

Acute fatigue may be the result of an infection, which is known as post-viral fatigue syndrome. On the other hand, when it comes to longer-lasting events, there are physical and mental disorders that can trigger subacute or chronic fatigue.

9 to 1 is the ratio between men and women who develop the chronic fatigue syndrome. The majority of the time this is due to female hormone influence, states the specialist.

The body feels it

Suffering from fatigue or chronic fatigue can have serious outcomes, as problems sleeping causing the body not to rest, affecting the biological clock, which then triggers metabolic problems. Potential consequences are obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, as well as an increased risk of suffering from some type of cardiovascular disease.

Related: When you are overtired