Fatigue is a very common complaint in the primary care office. It may be the primary cause for patient seeks care or a secondary complaint. We are all bothered by fatigue at some point . However, for maximmum of patients each year, it becomes bothersome enough to seek medical attention.€€ €€True fatigue needs to be distinguished from weakness and from excessive somnolence secondary to sleep disturbances€€. €€Fatigue lasting less than a month is considered acute. If symptoms last more than a month, €€fatigue is considered prolonged.
€€=fatigue Definitions €€==
Chronic fatigue is diagnosed when symptoms last &€€gt;€€6 months. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has defined chronic fatigue syndrome €€€€ as profound fatigue of 6 months duration that presents with four of the following eight symptoms: Impairment in short-term mmory or concentration€€€€ Sore throat Tender lymphadenopathy€€ Myalgias Multijoint pain Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity Unrefreshing €€sleep Idiopathic chronic fatigue is diagnosed if a patient has been fatigued for ox>6 months, but does not meet the other criteria for CFS.
€€==fatigue Testing Pathophysiology
. Etiology€€== Some of the common causes of CFS€€ . Fatigue may be due to medical disorders, or any psychiatric disease, or any lifestyle factors. In some cases, a cause is never determined. Fatigue that persists for several months or years is more likely to have a psychiatric etiology€€, whereas a shorter duration of fatigue is more likely to have a medical explanation If a medical cause of fatigue is present, it is usually identifiable on the initial history, physical and laboratory testing , €€Epidemiology€€The true incidence of profound fatigue is unknown. It has been estimated that over 7 million office visits per year are for complaints of fatigue €€The true gender predilection is also unknown, however, women present to the physician’s office twice as often as men. €€Patients younger than 45 years of age are more likely to present for fatigue than patients older than 45 years of age €€ €€Evaluation€€. History€€==A vast history and review of systems should be €€performed. The onset, duration, and degree of fatigue should be explored, along with any possible precipitating events. Specific attention should be given to sleep patterns, daytime somnolence, or €€sleep apnea symptoms. The patient’s exercise habits, caffeine intake€€, and drug or alcohol use should be explored, and medications should be reviewed. A psychiatric history to evaluate symptoms of depression or anxiety should be obtained. Lifestyle issues such as stress at home or in the work place, childcare responsibilities, shift work, or changing work schedules should be addressed. €€
Chronic fatigue Physical examination€€
A thorough physical examination should be performed. Vital signs should be carefully noted. Attention should be given to the presence of pallor, muscle weakness, goiter€€, lymphadenopathy, and body habitus. A psychiatric evaluation for signs of depression, anxiety€€, or other mental illness should be performed. In older adults, a mental status exam to evaluate cognitive function may be appropriate.
€€. fatigue Testing
Initial laboratory testing should be limited to: Complete blood count €€Comprehensive €€metabolic profile €€€€Thyroid-stimulating hormone €€Erythrocyte sedimentation rate