Handling Chronic Fatigue


Fatigue is a common physical complaint and accounts for roughly 55 percent of all visits to primary care physicians. When fatigue lasts more than a few days or when affects daily activities, an underlying disorder may be present and a thorough evaluation is necessary.

Some common causes of fatigue are stress, over-activity, poor physical conditioning, or inadequate sleep. According to Dr. Roger Hirchak, vice president of Medical Services at Shell Point, the most common cause of chronic fatigue is depression. Depression-related fatigue is often accompanied by mood changes, change in appetite, and sleep disruption.

Drugs may also cause fatigue by altering one’s normal sleep patterns or metabolism. Drugs most commonly associated with this symptom include sedatives and tranquilizers, some antihistamines, analgesics, and a number of high blood pressures medications, specifically those known as beta-blockers. The resultant abnormal sleep pattern is a common cause of fatigue, even though the number of hours slept may be normal.

Shell Point residents benefit from an onsite medical center, staffed by full-time physicians and ARNPs. Visit your primary care physician for an assessment if you experience fatigue that lasts for an extended period of time.