Exhaustion, also referred to as fatigue or lethargy, is a state of awareness characterized by a range of adversities ranging from general state of tiredness to work-induced adversities on various muscles of the body. In simple words, it can be described as feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Exhaustion can be broadly divided into two categories.
- Physical exhaustion characterized by the inability to continue physical activity.
- Mental exhaustion characterized by a strong desire to sleep, or sleeping continuously for long periods.
The most common symptom of exhaustion is feeling tired all the time. An exhausted person tends to feel tired without any reason, at anytime of the day. This tiredness need not be work related, as sometimes the person may experience tiredness early in the morning as soon as he wakes up. At other times, tiredness can be attributed to the day's work. Other symptoms include low fever, mild headache, excessive sweating, etc.
What Causes Exhaustion?
The causes of exhaustion exist in plenty, and range from overtiring work to a mental or physical health condition. Generally, mild exhaustion is experienced when the person indulges in a lot of physical activity, or due to lack of exercise. Even improper sleep, boredom, or worry are known to leave people exhausted. Stress and depression are major causes of exhaustion in the busy lifestyle we follow today. Several ailments, ranging from flu to migraine (as well as medication for these ailments) are other known culprits. Medication may include both, over-the-counter and prescribed drugs. Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or even caffeine abuse can lead to severe exhaustion which may last for a day or two.
If exhaustion continues for 2 weeks or more, the person should consult a doctor, as it can be a symptom of some severe health problem. It is usually associated with health conditions like anemia, heart problems, diabetes, etc. Any disease which is known to hamper oxygen circulation in the blood can trigger severe exhaustion. Anemia, which leads to decrease of hemoglobin in red blood cells (RBCs), is a major health problem which leads to exhaustion.
Coronary artery diseases also hamper the supply of oxygen-rich food within the body, which, in turn, causes severe tiredness. Kidney diseases alter certain chemicals in the blood, which eventually results in an increase in toxic levels, thus making a person feel exhausted. Other prominent causes of the condition include metabolic disorders such as diabetes, thyroid gland problems, etc. One of the rare causes of the same is chronic fatigue syndrome, which is characterized by severe, recurring tiredness.
The treatment process can be initiated after identifying the underlying cause of this condition. If it is caused due to some underlying ailment, treatment of said ailment will ease the problem. If a person gets exhausted by severe stress, physical exertion, etc, resorting to relaxation techniques will be of great help. If exhaustion is caused by substance abuse, withdrawing from the same will be beneficial.
Although the treatment of exhaustion is possible, it's always wise to prevent it in the first place, and that can be done by practicing a healthy lifestyle. Eating nutritious food and avoiding junk food, exercising daily in order to build your stamina, and staying away from alcohol consumption, smoking, and other such ill practices can easily help you keep exhaustion at bay.