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How do I know if my fatigue warrants a trip to the doctor?

Health & Fitness

Hello, I'm an 18 year old female who has been experiencing fatigue throughout the day for about 3 weeks now. I get an average sleep of 7-8 hours each night, but still feel exhausted throughout the day, even with naps in between. It is near the exam period and I've been experiencing dizziness quite oftenly as well (about 4x a week). How do I know if my fatigue is caused by stress or something more serious such as anaemia, and when should it warrant a trip to the doctor?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)
Dr Paul Ang
Dr Paul Ang
"Family Physician with special interest in Mental Health"
(1 Reviews)

Thank you for sharing your tiring experience for the benefit of others.

Fatigue is really a condition that can be difficult to get to the bottom of, but it is one of the common conditions seen by the GP.

From experience, most of the patients with fatigue who see me actually do not have a physical issue. 

Most of them have dysregulation of their lifestyle: namely: poor eating habits, no exercise, poor sleeping habits, and too much caffeine. Talking to the GP or the nurse counsellor or psychologist could be helpful for these. Or sometimes even getting a personal trainer.

The next commonest reason is mild mental health issues: such as depression, family problems, anxiety problems and relationship problems. Again, one would need to talk to the GP or the nurse counsellor or psychologist. Mindfulness and relaxation exercises work very well for these types.

Then the next commonest reason is fatigue after a huge viral infection. There are viruses such as influenza and adenovirus that can cause a huge fever and cough and the works, then after you recover, your body is left at a state that the muscles are broken down and the spirit broken. In such cases, exercise and sunlight is paramount.

Then of course the rest are the mixed bag of disorders: hormone problems: like thyroid, low blood counts: anemia, low blood pressure problems, underlying diseases, and sleep problems. 

The only people who are specialists in such a wide range of disorders are your trusted GP. That is probably where you should start.

Take care and hopefully you would get out soon.

554 views 31 Aug 2018
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