In this series, we will learn more about a common symptom when the patient comes to see a doctor, which is fatigue. A common description from a patient with fatigue symptoms may include lack of fatigue. a lack of energy to complete task, exhaustion, and tiredness Fatigue can be a manifestation of medical or mental illness. psychiatric disease).
Classification of fatigue symptoms
We can classify the symptoms of fatigue as follows
– Chronic fatigue: fatigue lasts for 6 months
– Chronic / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): is a state of fatigue, drowsiness that lasts for at least 6 months without decreasing at rest (is not alleviated by rest) and not related to other fatigue-causing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease …
Idiopathic fatigue (IF): Fatigue is not caused by physical or mental illness.
Persistent fatigue: fatigue lasted for more than 1 month
Today, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has developed tools to help diagnose CFS, but fatigue can be present in any real disease. Assessment and treatment are sometimes a challenge for physicians or psychiatrists, a history with psychosocial issues, the physical examination and several selected laboratory tests will help diagnose the exact cause.
What causes fatigue?
Psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety (psychiatric medical disorders like depression or anxiety) are the leading cause of fatigue, and more studies have shown that social or personal factors. Can be the main cause of fatigue.
When we start asking sick, let the sick person describe his or her fatigue. Notably, fatigue is often caused by excessive sleepiness (excessive somnolence or excessive daytime sleepiness). Pay attention to the duration of fatigue and its associated symptoms.Normally, the onset of fatigue is usually not obvious, but patients with symptoms of CFS often complain that fatigue begins after an episode of fatigue. viral infection (type illness).
We can start open-ended questions
-Tell me about your fatigue.What do you mean when you say you are fatigued? (Talk about your fatigue. What do you mean when you say you’re tired?) -> This will help us distinguish other symptoms like insomnia or difficulty breathing.
-Tell me about your energy level.Has the fatigue changed your lifestyle? (Talk about your energy levels. Will this fatigue change your lifestyle?)
We also need to be aware of warning signs such as significant weight loss, night sweats, or fever that will suggest systemic illness. might describe fatigue in relation to specific activities, on the contrary, the patient with a mental background will always say “tired all the time”. In most cases, anxiety and depression come from, sometimes we should not forget serious medical conditions such as infection, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatologic disorders. will be manifested by fever, shortness of breath, and joint pain, respectively.
Some other questions about the quality (Quality)
-Has your fatigue affected your ability to perform responsibilities at work or at home? (Does fatigue affect your ability to do the job responsibilities at work or at home?)
-Do you become more weak or tired with exertion? (Do you become weaker or tired from exertion?)
-Do you become short of breath with exercise? (Do you find it hard to breathe during exertion?)
-Can you remember exactly when your fatigue started? (Do you remember exactly when you started to get tired?) ”
-How long have you been experiencing fatigue? (How long have you been tired?)
-Do you feel tired all day? (Are you tired all day?)
-Have you ever had radiation therapy? (Have you ever undergone radiation therapy?)
Other fatigue related symptoms
-Does your fatigue only happen with exertion? (Does fatigue appear only with exertion?) -> would suggest conditions such as muscle weakness, cardiopulmonary disease.
In addition, we should not ignore mental illness, which can be asked by questions such as:
-How would you describe your mood? Have you been feeling sad, blue or down? (How are you feeling? Are you sad, bored or depressed?)
-Have you lost interest in or avoided social activities? (Did you lose interest or avoid social activities?)
-Has your appetite was affected? (Will your taste be affected?)
Above is some information when we exploit a patient with fatigue symptoms. Please practice by asking and re-reading the questions to get an accurate diagnosis.