Short-term fatigue

on 18.1.09 with 0 comments

Fatigue, asthaenia and lack of energy are very non-specific complaints. It should be investigated whether there are any associated symptoms, such as depression, dyspnoea, fever, pain, anorexia, muscle weakness, weight loss, etc. Fatigue occurring after minor exertion is more likely to be of organic origin than a feeling of fatigue that is already present in the early morning. A number of possibilities that may or may not be connected with travel are given below. A problem that occurs during or after a trip does not necessarily need to have a causal connection with that trip.

Fatigue after a trip to distant places is a frequent occurrence. Various factors are involved here:

  • Many trips are stressful in itself, rather than relaxing, something that is frequently overlooked.

  • Jet-lag on journeys in an east-west direction (not on north-south journeys). Daytime drowsiness and insomnia at night improve after a few days (depending on the number of time zones crossed).

  • Physical hardships (especially on long low-budget journeys).

  • Various self-limiting infectious and organic problems (from hyponatraemia to side effects of medication). These causes are usually obvious from the general context.

  • Cardiac and pulmonary problems on trips at high altitudes (Andes, Himalaya mountains). There is certainly a definite risk for individuals with a pre-existing limited cardio-respiratory reserve. The complaints usually quickly disappear after return to low-lying areas.

  • Psychological problems of readaptation to the Western lifestyle with its problems of stress and high work rhythm.

Category: Medicine Notes



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