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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Chronic/Pain Conditions  >>    Weakness and Fatigue

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses Chronic Fatigue and how it relates to your overall health.

When your fatigue is too much to deal with anymore, Dr. Huntoon has a formula you will choose to use.

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Address Weakness and Fatigue Click Here

Weakness and Fatigue

Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing, but in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel weak" or "I am fatigued" because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms.
 
Symptoms

Weakness is a lack of physical or muscle strength and the feeling that extra effort is required to move your arms, legs, or other muscles. If muscle weakness is the result of pain, the person may be able to make muscles work, but it will hurt.

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, exhaustion, or a need to rest because of lack of energy or strength. Fatigue may result from overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, or lack of exercise. It is a symptom that may be caused by illness, medicine, or medical treatment such as chemotherapy. Anxiety or depression can also cause fatigue.

Both weakness and fatigue are symptoms, not diseases. Because these symptoms can be caused by many other health problems, the importance of weakness and fatigue can only be determined when other symptoms are evaluated.

 

Causes

WEAKNESS
General weakness often occurs after you have done too much activity at one time, such as by taking an extra-long hike. You may feel weak and tired, or your muscles may be sore. These sensations usually go away within a few days.

In rare cases, generalized muscle weakness may be caused by another health problem, such as:

- Problems with the thyroid gland, which regulates the way the body uses energy.
- A low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) can cause fatigue, weakness, lethargy, weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin.
- A high thyroid level (hyperthyroidism) can cause fatigue, weight loss, increased heart rate, intolerance to heat, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, and thyroid enlargement.
- Guillain-Barr syndrome, a rare nerve disorder that causes weakness in the legs, arms, and other muscles and that can progress to complete paralysis.
- Myasthenia gravis, a rare, chronic disorder that causes weakness and rapid muscle fatigue.
- A problem with the minerals (electrolytes) found naturally in the body, such as low levels of potassium or sodium.

Muscle weakness that is slowly getting worse requires a visit to a doctor.

Sudden muscle weakness and loss of function in one area of the body can indicate a serious problem within the brain (such as a stroke or transient ischemic attack) or spinal cord or with a specific nerve in the body.

FATIGUE
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, exhaustion, or lack of energy. You may feel mildly fatigued because of overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, or lack of exercise. Any illness, such as a cold or the flu, may cause fatigue, which usually goes away as the illness clears up. Most of the time, mild fatigue occurs with a health problem that will improve with home treatment and does not require a visit to a doctor.

A stressful emotional situation may also cause fatigue. This type of fatigue usually clears up when the stress is relieved.

Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause weakness or fatigue. The use or abuse of alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs can cause fatigue.

A visit to a doctor usually is needed when fatigue occurs along with more serious symptoms, such as increased breathing problems, signs of a serious illness, abnormal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss or gain.

Fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks usually requires a visit to a doctor. This type of fatigue may be caused by a more serious health problem, such as:

- A decrease in the amount of oxygen-carrying substance (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells (anemia).
- Problems with the heart, such as coronary artery disease or heart failure, that limit the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle or the rest of the body.
- Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, in which sugar (glucose) remains in the blood rather than entering the body’s cells to be used for energy.
Problems with the thyroid gland, which regulates the way the body uses energy.

A low thyroid level (hypothyroidism) can cause fatigue, weakness, lethargy, weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin.

A high thyroid level (hyperthyroidism) can cause fatigue, weight loss, increased heart rate, intolerance to heat, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, and thyroid enlargement.

Traditional Medical Treatment Options and Diagnosis

The Medical Perspective
Most of what medicine will offer is anecdotal. Taking a quick inventory of the things that might be responsible for your fatigue is the first step toward relief. In general, most cases of fatigue may be attributed to three areas: lifestyle factors, medical conditions or psychological problems. You can be sure that, in an effort to rule out other serious causes associated with fatigue or weakness, your medical provider will run lots of tests to rule out other causes or contributors. This will be very time consuming and require lots of tests over several different office visits. In the end, it may lead them and you on a wild goose chase. And the final outcome may be that they cannot find anything wrong. That in itself would be good news. And then you will still need to find out what the reason is. This is certainly an option.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Since their are a varied number of causes of weakness and fatigue it is vital that we properly determine the exact cause of your symptoms. By working with a Holistic Chiropractor, we can work with you to develop a well rounded, multi-faceted approach to addressing the underlying cause of your fatigue or weakness. Once we identify the underlying causes we can begin to treat your lack of energy and get you back to feeling normal. Evaluating your body, all of its systems and determining all the reasons your body is not functioning properly is the first step toward a long term solution. While each person is different and should be individually diagnosed, many people have found success using acupuncture, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

What to discuss with your doctor

If fatigue occurs without an obvious cause, it is important to evaluate your mental health. Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Fatigue and depression may become so severe that you may consider suicide as a way to end your pain. If you think your fatigue may be caused by a mental health problem, see your doctor. Possible causes can include kidney disease, liver disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Kidney and liver disease cause fatigue when the concentration of certain chemicals in the blood builds up to toxic levels. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is an uncommon cause of severe, persistent fatigue. While uncommon your Doctor can recommend tests as well as treatment options.

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

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