“You better get up soon,” Dan called to his wife, Liang. “The grandchildren will be here in an hour for lunch.”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” Liang said. “I feel so tired. I’m not even sure I can get out of bed. I just don’t seem to have any energy—not even for my family.”
Everyone feels tired now and then. But, after a good night’s sleep , most people feel refreshed and ready to face a new day. If, like Liang, you continue to feel tired for weeks, it’s time to see your doctor . He or she may be able to help you find out what’s causing your fatigue. In fact, your doctor may even suggest you become more active , as exercise may reduce fatigue and improve quality of life.
Feeling fatigued can be like an alarm going off in your body. It may be the first sign that something is wrong. But, fatigue itself is not a disease. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis , a painful condition that affects the joints, often complain of other symptoms, including fatigue. People with cancer  may feel fatigued from the disease, treatments, or both.
Many medical problems and treatments can add to fatigue. These include:
Are you fearful about the future? Do you worry about your health and who will take care of you? Are you afraid you are no longer needed? Emotional worries like these can take a toll on your energy. Fatigue can be linked to many emotions, including:
Regular physical activity  or exercise may help reduce feelings of depression and stress while improving your mood and overall well-being.
Some lifestyle habits can make you feel tired. Here are some things that may be draining your energy:
Some changes to your lifestyle can make you feel less tired. Here are some suggestions:
If you’ve been tired for several weeks with no relief, it may be time to call your healthcare provider. He or she will ask questions about your sleep, daily activities, appetite, and exercise, and will likely give you a physical exam and order lab tests.
Your treatment will be based on your history and the results of your exam and lab tests. Your doctor may prescribe medications to target underlying health problems, such as anemia or irregular thyroid activity. He or she may suggest that you eat a well-balanced diet  and begin an exercise program .
Liang went to see her doctor because she was feeling so tired. Dr. Castillon suggested she join a regular exercise program to help strengthen her muscles and balance. She told her that when it comes to muscles, the old saying “use it or lose it” is true. Liang signed up for a twice-weekly class at her local senior center. She and Dan also began taking long walks in their neighborhood. Now, they both look forward to visits from their grandchildren.
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