Severe fatigue is a condition in which an individual exhibits a lack of energy, up to and including feeling weary and unrefreshed after sleeping soundly during the night. This form of extreme fatigue goes beyond the usual tiredness that many people feel after a day of activity. Some sufferers of this type of deep fatigue describe the condition as being so tired that even the bones of the skeletal structure seem fatigued. In some quarters of the medical community, severe fatigue that persists for a period of six months constitutes grounds for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS.
There are a number of health issues that can trigger a period of severe fatigue. One of the most common is depression. An individual suffering with this emotional disorder is likely to go through periods where there just about any type of physical action seems impossible. The arms and legs may feel almost leaden, discouraging the individual from engaging in any activity requiring more than minimal effort. When the depression is diagnosed and treatment ensues, the individual will begin to notice a slow but steady increase in energy as well as renewed interest in engaging in the activities that once came so easily.
Severe fatigue can also occur due to health issues like nutritional deficiencies. This is particularly true for people who suffer with anemia, or who have recently undergone severe stress. Often, increasing the intake of iron will reduce the anemia and allow the energy reserves to return to normal limits. Eliminating or minimizing stress can also help banish severe fatigue, since the excessive demand on the body’s supply of certain nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium is reduced. At that point, replacement of the water-soluble B vitamins and various essential minerals will aid in recovery from the fatigue.
Lifestyle can also increase the probability of experiencing severe fatigue. Excessive use of alcohol and tobacco products can interfere with the natural absorption of various nutrients, leaving the body with fewer resources for proper function. Obesity often is accompanied by higher risk of heart disease and unhealthy levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, and may be the underlying cause of the constant tiredness. Eating balanced meals, exercising for at least thirty minutes three to four times each week, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting tobacco will often make a significant difference in energy levels in a short period of time.