Generalized body aches & weakness

These are common complaints and have multiple reasons.

Causes:

Commonest causes are anxiety, depression, diabetes, problems with thyroid, nutritional deficiencies, obesity, other medical problems like heart, liver and kidney problem, anemia, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep and lack of exercise.

General instructions for the patients:

  • Stay happy. Anxiety and depression can cause and increase feelings of aches and pains, fatigue and lethargy.
  • Stay active. Do regular exercise/walk, appropriate for your age. This will keep your muscles and bones healthy. This will also help your mood.
  • Take proper sleep. You should have at least 6 to 8 hours of night time sleep. Avoid working night shifts. Proper sleep ensures that your body repairs the worn out tissues so that you stay healthy.
  • Take well balanced diet. Diet should consist of legumes, vegetables, fruits and meat in right proportions. Aches and pains and fatigue can be due to nutritional deficiencies that can be helped with well-balanced diet.
  • Old age and pregnancy needs special attention. Such patients may need vitamins and minerals supplements after discussion with treating physician.
  • Obesity is an important cause of lethargy, fatigue, aches and pains. Take proper dietary measures and do exercise to lose weight.
  • Patients suffering from sleep disorders like sleep apnea can have extreme fatigue. They should seek proper medical attention.
  • Patients suffering from anemia, diabetes, kidney or liver problems or other medical conditions; should discuss this with treating doctor.
  • Avoid smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • People who have psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression often complain of fatigue, aches and pains. They should see their psychiatrist.
  • Fatigue and lethargy can sometimes be drug induced. Many heart and blood pressure medicines can cause fatigue. You should not stop these drugs as it may be life threatening. Discuss it with your doctor.
  • Stimulant drugs and caffeine can also cause fatigue.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do I feel lethargic and tired all the time even when I am not suffering from any medical condition?

There are many causes. The most common cause, in otherwise healthy individuals include lack of proper nighttime sleep, lack of exercise, anxiety/depression and addiction. People who are nervous and depressed usually feel fatigued all the time.

Which diseases are associated with fatigue and lethargy?

Fatigue is a non-specific symptom. There are innumerable major and minor medical conditions that can present as fatigue. Discuss it with your doctor.

What kind of drugs can cause fatigue and lethargy?

There’s a variety of drugs that can cause fatigue and lethargy. Most common are drugs used for heart and blood pressure conditions, anti-allergic, anticancer and stimulant drugs.

Does exercise helps fatigue and aches and pains?

Yes exercise and walk can help you a lot.

Can deficiency of vitamins and minerals can cause fatigue?

Yes, nutritional deficiency is an important cause of fatigue. You should get your blood test done after consultation with your doctor. Common causes include deficiency of vitamin B, vitamin D and iron.

What kinds of treatment I need for fatigue and lethargy?

You need to see the doctor to get the proper diagnosis first. Medicines will depend upon the underlying condition. Avoid  self-medication.

Should I take painkillers for my aches and pains?

Taking too much pain killers can be very harmful for your body specially your stomach and kidneys. It is advisable to see your doctor first.

Do I need dietary supplements or energy drinks?

Please do not take any dietary supplement on your own. You need to see your doctor beforehand. Energy drinks that are hugely advertised, can cause fatigue themselves as they deplete body energy reserves quickly.

Disclaimer:
The information given here is intended for use of general public . It should not be taken as standard medical reference.

About the Author:

One of the most well known neurologists in Lahore, he is serving as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Lahore General Hospital. He is a graduate of King Edward Medical College and did residency in general medicine & neurology at Mayo Hospital Lahore. He did FCPS in neurology and moved to Lahore General Hospital, and has been working there since.

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