Are you fatigued or just tired? Know the difference from expert

Published on May 29, 2022 05:45 PM IST
  • Being fatigued is different from being tired. Here's how to know the difference.
While tiredness is something which we feel after a long or hectic day, when you are fatigued even a good night's sleep is not enough to refresh you for the day ahead(Pexels)
While tiredness is something which we feel after a long or hectic day, when you are fatigued even a good night's sleep is not enough to refresh you for the day ahead(Pexels)

We often use the terms fatigue and tired interchangeably but medically they do not mean the same thing. While tiredness is something which we feel after a long or hectic day, when you are fatigued even a good night's sleep is not enough to refresh you for the day ahead. Tiredness usually happens to everyone and that's body's signal to rest and wrap up the day. Fatigue on the other hand is unusual and the person suffering from it would experience daily lack of energy. (Also read: 10 foods to avoid when you are feeling tired)

Fatigue can happen due to certain illnesses, lack of or too much sleep, being overweight, lack of exercise, being depressed among other things. Fatigue is also one of the common symptoms Covid survivors complain of. One may also be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis if fatigue is experienced for a very long time.

"Myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS, is a long-term condition wherein one will notice a variety of symptoms," says Dr Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist and infection disease specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital Chembur.

"The most common one is being extremely tired. Other red flags are finding it difficult to do the daily chores with ease, feeling tired even after sleeping, taking a long time to recover after physical activity, waking up often from sleep during the night, and cognitive problems such as lack of concentration, inability to think or memorize things, headaches, muscle pain, irregular heartbeats and feeling dizzy," adds Dr Shah elaborating on the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

How are fatigue and tiredness different

- Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness and this can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. One will have less energy than he or she has usually.

- Tiredness is a normal occurrence, but if it persists, then there can be an underlying medical problem.

- Being tired is not the same as being fatigued or exhausted. Being fatigued is a marker that the body is not able to keep up.

- People who are tired tend to have some amount of energy but are impatient and experience muscle weakness which is tackled by rest.

- People who are fatigued have low stamina, difficulty sleeping and are sensitive to light.

In case you are suffering from chronic fatigue, you must get a proper diagnosis done and find out the underlying cause of it.

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