When to be concerned about chronic fatigue


When to be concerned about chronic fatigue

Busy work and family lives can be enough to make anyone tired.
However, if you are experiencing fatigue regularly, it’s possible an underlying medical condition could be to blame.
“Being tired is more of an acute feeling, something that goes away when you sleep,” says Thomas Plyler, a certified family nurse practitioner at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at The Market Common. “Chronic fatigue — more than seven days of symptoms — could be a sign of something more serious.”


Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid conditions, blood sugar imbalances, anemia and hypertension are possible causes of fatigue, Plyler says. Sometimes, fatigue can also be a side effect of medications or associated with anxiety or depression.

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Another possible cause is chronic fatigue syndrome, which is defined by monthslong bouts of fatigue that do not improve with rest. There’s no known cause or treatment but people may benefit from certain medications, increased exercise, dietary supplements or counseling.

Where to seek help

Plyler says it’s important to speak to your health care provider as soon as you notice recurring fatigue — particularly if it’s getting in the way of your normal activities.
When patients come to Plyler, he starts by getting a baseline idea of their daily routines.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, cutting back on caffeine intake or finding ways to de-stress can relieve symptoms. Other times, fatigue is caused by an issue that requires medical treatment.
“It’s important to look at a patient from a mental and a physical standpoint,” Plyler says. “It’s like putting puzzle pieces together — hopefully, by working together, we can solve the riddle and help people regain their energy levels.”

Thomas Plyler is a certified family nurse practitioner who provides care at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach. He is accepting new patients.

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