When should I call my doctor about fatigue?

It’s normal to feel tired now and then. Everyone experiences occasional, brief fatigue due to illness, sleep disturbances, travel or changes in diet or medication. But you should talk to your healthcare provider if you’re tired all the time. Call your provider if:

  • Your fatigue lasts longer than a few days
  • You’re having a hard time going to work or performing daily activities.
  • There isn’t a clear reason (such as a recent illness) for your fatigue.
  • It comes on suddenly.
  • You’re older (over age 65).
  • You’ve also been losing weight.

Fatigue can be a sign of a serious health condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have fatigue along with other symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath or pain in your chest, arm or upper back.
  • Fast, pounding, fluttering or irregular heartbeat.
  • Headache or vision problems (especially if you’ve hit your head recently).
  • Nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others.

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