Tired all the time

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Tired all the time or TATT is a phase that patients use that may have a number of different meanings:

Feeling constantly tired is often not the result of a medical problem or illness, or may caused by only a brief and mild illness, such as a cold.[1][2]

Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]

Tiredness is considered a normal part of life for most people, and as a result is often not taken seriously. There is no medical test to assess tiredness, but there are many different tests that can identify many of the possible medical causes of fatigue.

"Tired all the time" is a frequent experience of healthy people, for example the tiredness caused by a newborn baby making someone short of sleep, excessive working hours, lack of exercise (or too much exercise), being underweight or obesity; these are fundamentally different to having persistent and disabling chronic fatigue that does not improve with rest or self-care, may be unexplained, and could be a symptom of an illness.[3][1]

Comparison with myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome[edit | edit source]

DR E.G. DOWSETT: One of the most striking features of ME is that the patient is not tired all the time! Extreme and sudden variability of energy levels both within and between episodes of illness differentiate this syndrome from other diseases associated with fatigue.[4]

Although many different diagnostic criteria exist for chronic fatigue syndrome, all involve:

  • a group of different symptoms, not simply chronic fatigue or tiredness
  • long-lasting duration of symptoms
  • the hallmark symptom is now understood to be post-exertional malaise, rather than chronic fatigue
  • symptoms significantly interfere with everyday life, to the degree that the person is forced to reduce some activities[5][6]

Possible causes[edit | edit source]

Potential treatments[edit | edit source]

Treatment for persistent tiredness generally depends on the cause of the tiredness, for example

Chronic fatigue[edit | edit source]

Chronic fatigue is a medical symptom defined by

  • problematic fatigue
  • persisting for at least three months, which is the medical meaning of chronic
  • may be mild, moderate or severe
  • can have many different causes but is sometimes unexplained.[10]

Chronic fatigue is often harder to address than tiredeness.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Causes of Extreme Fatigue and Exhaustion". WebMD. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Arroll, Megan A. (September 18, 2014). Invisible Illness: Coping with misunderstood conditions. SPCK. ISBN 978-1-84709-306-6.
  3. {{Cite web | title = Why am I tired all the time? | title=Sleep and tiredness|website =[[National Health Service | date = Mar 2, 2021|url=https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-am-i-tired-all-the-time/}}
  4. Dowsett, E.G. (1992). "Conversation piece. Interview by PD Welsby". Postgraduate medical journal. 68 (795): 63. PMC 2399326.
  5. "Symptoms | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 27, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. NICE Guideline Development Group (October 29, 2021). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:diagnosis and management. NICE guideline". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wedmd
  8. Reiff Ellis, Rachel. "Why Am I Always So Tired?". WebMD. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  9. D'Arrigo, Terri. "Medications That Make You Tired". WebMD. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6