Fatigue is a non-specific symptom characterized by lingering tiredness, even after periods of rest. Fatigue impairs cognitive abilities and those that are suffering from it find they are unable to complete daily tasks at normal performance. Fatigue is often a side-effect of depression or stress. Fatigue may also be the result of a hormonal imbalance due to an improperly working adrenal gland.
What is Stress?
Stress, loosely defined, is your body’s method of handling a challenge. When we feel threatened, for example, a chemical reaction occurs in our bodies in order to generate a response. Our blood pressure rises, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and the heart begins to race. This is what enables our “fight-or-flight” response, such as slamming on the breaks to avoid an accident. In this regard, stress is as good thing.
Stress most commonly occurs, however, as the result of an argument, a hectic situation at work, or through a challenging relationship. As human beings, we are designed to handle small doses of these occurrences. What we are not designed for are the consequences of frequent stress upon our bodies. Because stress is often such a normal occurrence in our lives, many of us do not even recognize that we are suffering from it.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress affects us emotionally, physically, cognitively, and behaviorally. Just as triggers of stress vary from person from person, so do the symptoms. What is not unique, unfortunately, is that the symptoms of stress often accompany one another and compound when left ignored. This is why it is so important to measure your hormone levels and correct any imbalances as early as possible. WebMD identifies the following as stress related symptoms:
Emotional Symptoms of stress include:
Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
Physical symptoms of stress include:
Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
Frequent colds and infections
Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
Forgetfulness and disorganization
Inability to focus
Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
Changes in appetite – either not eating or eating too much
Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
Consequences of Long-Term Stress
Long-term stress is detrimental in that it is both the cause of problems with health and exacerbates those that already exist, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorder. Long-term stress is commonly associated with skin problems such as acne and eczema. Long-term stress may also lead to cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms – even heart attacks and strokes. Other risk factors include:
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
Obesity and other eating disorders
Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
Treatment for Fatigue & Stress
At Vitality Medical & Wellness Center, we measure hormone levels (such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol) using saliva tests to check for imbalances. Saliva tests are a cost effective and simple way to establish if a deficiency in a particular hormone is at cause of your fatigue or stress, and allows us to successfully map out a treatment plan using supplements with dosages tailored in accordance with your needs. Finally, by identifying hormone imbalances through saliva tests, we are able to rule out the possibility of additional, potentially more serious medical conditions as the cause of your fatigue or stress.
For more information on treatment for Fatigue & Stress, please contact us at (702) 731-1200or fill out the form to the left of the page.