- Chronic fatigue is different from a temporary feeling of fatigue or just feeling a bit tired.
- Some signs of chronic fatigue include mood changes or feeling “new” or different types of headaches.
- Another sign of chronic fatigue is when you’ve begun to have trouble concentrating on normal tasks.
Although it may not seem like it, according to Medical News Today, being fatigued and tired are really quite similar. That being said, there’s a difference between regular and chronic fatigue – regular fatigue goes away with rest and time but chronic fatigue does not. That doesn’t mean, however, that chronic fatigue is not reversible or that it can’t be managed.
Chronic fatigue is described as occurring when symptoms of exhaustion or lack of energy last for over six months and it is usually a symptom of something much bigger, according to Very Well Health. It can sometimes be a sign of an underlying, undetected health condition.
Chronic fatigue syndrome shouldn’t be confused with regular chronic fatigue as it is a complicated disorder characterised by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition, The Mayo Clinic noted. The best way to receive a proper diagnosis is by visiting a doctor or healthcare provider, but knowing the signs and symptoms could be useful.
Here are six signs that you might be suffering from chronic fatigue.
You have trouble sleeping.
Although there are many different things that can stop you from getting good night’s sleep, wellness expert and chiropractic physician Dr. Kevin Kinney told INSIDER that chronic fatigue can cause sleeping-related troubles, too.
“Regular tiredness is relieved with rest and sleep,” he said. “Chronic fatigue, however, is characterised by non-restorative and often interrupted sleep. This type of sleep leaves you still feeling drained when you awaken.”
You may experience aches and pains.
Chronic fatigue can manifest itself in physical symptoms, too, including swollen and tender lymph nodes, sore throat and joint pain, Dr. Kinney told INSIDER.
“Research has shown a link between chronic fatigue and inflammatory chemicals produced by the immune system in response to psychological stress and chronic conditions such as arthritis, atherosclerosis etc,” he said.
More than your physical energy levels are being impacted.
Chronic fatigue can impact you emotionally, too.
“Chronic fatigue affects more than your physical energy levels,” Dr. Kinney told INSIDER. “When someone is suffering from chronic fatigue, they often have a noticeable change in their mood.”
You’re experiencing new types of headaches.
According to Dr. Kinney, those who are suffering from chronic fatigue will experience a series of “new” headaches. This concept may seem confusing at first, but the wellness expert said that you’ll understand it once you start comparing chronic fatigue-related headaches to the types of headaches you’ve had previously.
“People generally have a pattern associated with the headaches they experience throughout their lives,” he said. A new type of headache could simply be a headache pain that you have not yet experienced.
“It may be unusual due to its location, severity, duration, frequency or other characteristics. Increased sensitivity to stimuli such as light, sound and certain smells can often trigger these headaches while suffering from chronic fatigue, due to the bodies hyperirritable state,” he added. “These headaches are often described as migraines that the patient had not previously experienced before the chronic fatigue started.”
You find yourself feeling symptoms of depression.
Chronic fatigue’s impact on your sleep could also be causing you to experience symptoms of depression.
“Many people who are affected by chronic fatigue often suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea they do not get adequate hours of quality sleep,” said Dr. Kinney. “This lack of sleep can result in abnormal hormonal balance in the body leading to symptoms commonly associated with depression, such as increased irritability and agitation, as well as cognitive changes such as decreased concentration and mental sluggishness.”
He added that chronic fatigue’s impact on one’s performance in social and work settings could also trigger depression-like symptoms in those suffering.
You’ve begun to have trouble with concentrating on normal tasks and retaining your memory.
If you begin to have more trouble than usual with remembering basic details and staying on task and it’s lasting for more than just a moment, it could be caused by chronic fatigue.
“Stress can wreak havoc on the system and can be a risk factor for chronic fatigue,” celebrity physical therapist and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC and Mumbai Dr. Karena Wu, DPT, told INSIDER.
“Significant loss of concentration and short term memory is not a normal occurrence and should raise questions regarding how your system is functioning,” she added. “Your brain powers the whole body. It requires energy and appropriate functioning so when you or those around you realise how difficult simple tasks or memory can be, take the time to get your health checked.”
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