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Fatigue: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness, exhaustion, or lack of energy. You may feel fatigue because of too much or not enough activity. It can also come from stress, lack of sleep, boredom, and poor diet. Many medical problems, such as viral infections, can cause fatigue. Emotional problems, especially depression, are often the cause of fatigue.

Fatigue is most often a symptom of another problem. Treatment for fatigue depends on the cause. For example, if you have fatigue because you have a certain health problem, treating this problem also treats your fatigue. If depression or anxiety is the cause, treatment may help.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Get regular exercise. But don't overdo it. Go back and forth between rest and exercise.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Reduce your use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Caffeine is most often found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
  • Limit medicines that can cause fatigue. This includes tranquilizers and cold and allergy medicines.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You have new symptoms such as fever or a rash.
  • Your fatigue gets worse.
  • You have been feeling down, depressed, or hopeless. Or you may have lost interest in things that you usually enjoy.
  • You are not getting better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.