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Fatigue Support

Fatigue is characterised by a gradual onset of tiredness It is sometimes referreed to as lethargy or exhaustion but it is different from 'weakness'. Fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest whereas weakness cannot
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Fatigue Info

“Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.”

Mark Twain

Fatigue is characterised by a gradual onset of tiredness It is sometimes referreed to as lethargy or exhaustion but it is different from 'weakness'. Fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest whereas weakness cannot.

Fatigue can have both mental and physical causes.

Physical fatigue is the inability of a muscle to maintain optimal physical performance. Mental fatigue is a decrease in optimum cognitive (brain) performance that usually results from prolonged periods of cognitive activity. 

Fatigue has many possible causes. It is considered a symptom, rather than a sign because it is a ‘subjective’ feeling reported by the patient, rather than an ‘objective’ one that can be observed/diagnosed by someone other than yourself.

Fatigue and 'feelings of fatigue' are often confused by sufferers.

Physical fatigue, or muscle fatigue, is the temporary physical inability of a muscle to perform at an optimal level. Muscle fatigue has a gradual onset during physical activity, and depends upon levels of fitness, and sleep deprivation and overall well-being. As mentioned previously, fatigue can be reversed by rest.

Physical fatigue can be caused by a lack of energy in the respective muscle tissue, by a decrease of the efficiency of the neuromuscular junction or by a reduction of the drive originating from the central nervous system. From a neurological perspective, fatigue can be triggered by an increase in serotonin levels in the central nervous system. Serotonin is released in synapses during muscle activity exciting motor-neurons that promote muscle contraction.

During high level of motor activity, the amount of serotonin released increases and a threshold is reached. Serotonin binds to extra-synaptic receptors located on the axon initial segment of motor-neurons resulting in nerves inhibiting proper muscle contraction.

The onset of mental fatigue during any cognitive activity is gradual, and depends upon an individual's cognitive ability, and also upon other factors, such as sleep deprivation and overall health. Mental fatigue has also been shown to decrease physical performance. Fatigue is a normal result of working, mental stress, overstimulation and understimulation, jet lag or active recreation, depression, and also boredom, disease and lack of sleep. It may also have chemical causes, such as poisoning or mineral or vitamin deficiencies. Massive blood loss frequently results in fatigue. Fatigue is different from drowsiness, where a person feels that sleep is required. 

Fatigue is a normal response to physical exertion or stress, but can also be a sign of a physical disorder.

Temporary fatigue is likely to be a minor illness like the common cold as one part of the sickness behaviour response that happens when the immune system fights an infection.

Prolonged fatigue is a self-reported, persistent (constant) fatigue lasting at least one month. Chronic fatigue is a self-reported fatigue lasting at least six consecutive months. Chronic fatigue may be either persistent or relapsing. Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many diseases and conditions.

Depression and other psychological conditions can produce fatigue, so people who report fatigue are routinely screened for these conditions, along with drug abuse, poor diet, and lack of physical exercise, which paradoxically increases fatigue.

Basic medical tests may be performed to rule out common causes of fatigue. These include blood tests to check for infection or anaemia, a urinalysis to look for signs of liver disease or diabetes mellitus, and other tests to check for kidney and liver function, such as a comprehensive metabolic panel.

Fatigue is often the first indication of a food allergy or intolerance.  These are usually masked, meaning the reactive symptoms don’t show immediately but manifest over a period of 24-72 hours after ingesting the allergen or reaching the threshold of tolerance.  However fatigue onset usually occurs earlier than other symptoms.  This is part of the classic picture of wheat and/or gluten allergy, and can occur with other allergens as well.  

There are natural health remedies that may help alleviate symptoms of fatigue.


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