By Dr Annice Mukherjee, Consultant Endocrinologist Fatigue is a disabling and frustrating symptom that can have many varied and unforeseen causes, from medical conditions such as coeliac disease, vitamin deficiencies, heart problems, thyroid disease and other hormone related problems to rarer conditions such as some cancers and neurological and muscular disorders. It’s no surprise that many lifestyle and behavioural issues including stress, sleep dysfunction, alcohol excess, poor diet, physical deconditioning, chronic pain, depression and some prescription medications can contribute to, worsen or directly cause symptoms of fatigue.
The cause of chronic fatigue is therefore frequently complex and multi-factorial and addressing one single issue may not restore health and well-being because other contributory factors may not have been identified and rectified. Investigation and treatment of fatigue requires careful consideration of medical, behavioural and lifestyle factors. There is good evidence to show that treating the underlying cause of fatigue can restore health and well-being whether symptoms are due to hormone dysfunction, coeliac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome or any of the other many potential causes. The type of treatment offered needs to be tailored to individual needs and may require a number of different approaches including targeted medical treatment, lifestyle focus and sometimes cognitive and behavioural approaches.
Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Annice Mukherjee is an expert in fatigue diagnostics and treatment and provides consultations at Spire Manchester clinic in Hale.