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Fatigue in Older Adults

We all get tired from time to time. It’s a natural part of being alive. And, for most of us, a good night of restful sleep is all we need to refresh our bodies, and wake up in the morning with our energy levels good as new. But, if despite getting adequate rest and not engaging in strenuous, exhausting activity, you feel tired for days, or even weeks on end, you may be suffering from fatigue. And the best thing you can do in that case is consult your doctor for help.

Fatigue can be caused by some illnesses. In fact, for many ailments, fatigue is one of the first indicators of a problem, as the fatigue is caused by your body devoting its energy to fighting off the malady. Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis usually tend to list fatigue as one of their top issues. Additionally, many treatments and medications can cause fatigue as well. Chemotherapy patients usually experience bouts of fatigue, as well as those taking psychological medications like antidepressants. Discussing your care related to your ongoing medical conditions might help pinpoint the source of your fatigue.

Fatigue can also be caused by emotional and environmental factors. Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders can affect sleep, as well as things like staying up too late, or ingesting too much caffeine in the evenings. Counterintuitively, not getting enough activity can make you more tired, as moderate exercise boosts energy levels. 

Discussing your feelings of fatigue with your doctor can help you to ascertain the treatment or lifestyle changes that need to be made to keep you operating at peak energy levels.