Fatigue can be described as the lack of energy and motivation (both physical and mental). This is different than drowsiness, a term that describes the need to sleep. Often, the symptom of fatigue creeps up gradually and you may not be aware of how much energy you have lost, until you try to compare your present ability to complete tasks to your past ability. You may assume that your fatigue is due to aging, and ignore the symptom. This may lead to a delay in seeking care.
If you have fatigue, you may notice the following three primary complaints, which may vary from person to person:
- You may lack motivation or ability to begin an activity
- You may tire easily once the activity has begun
- You may notice mental fatigue or difficulty with concentration and memory needed to start or complete an activity.2
If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue, it is always best to see your GP. She may run a series of tests to determine if there is an underlying physical reason for your fatigue.