Tiredness Fatigue

Authored by Dr Mary Harding, 03 May 2017

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Helen Huins, 03 May 2017

Tiredness, or fatigue, means having less energy than usual. You feel exhausted, either mentally, physically, or both. Tiredness is a normal part of life, but if it persists, it may suggest a medical problem.

We have all experienced tiredness (fatigue) at some point. Usually there's a good reason for it ... A new baby keeping you up at night, having a bit of a cold, a late night out on the town, or (less enjoyably) long hours at work. Tiredness that drags on for no apparent reason, however, can be a real problem, and it's incredibly common. About 6 in every 100 people going to see their GP are there because they feel tired. It's so common that GPs have an acronym for it ... TATT, which means "tired all the time".

If you can figure out the reason for feeling tired yourself, and do something about it, then no. If the tiredness is getting in the way of your life, or making you feel unhappy, or you feel unwell, then yes, you should visit your doctor.

You should definitely see a doctor if you feel tired and have lost weight without trying to. Also see a doctor if you have other symptoms as well as being tired, such as coughing up blood, a change in the way your guts are working, heavy periods or a lump somewhere it shouldn't be.

Further reading and references

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