Author: Luke Sholl
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With over a decade of experience writing about CBD and cannabinoids, Luke is an established journalist working as the lead writer for Cibdol and other cannabinoid publications. Committed to presenting factual, evidence-based content, his fascination with CBD also extends to fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention.
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Fatigue: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Fatigue is among the most common complaints in adults, with the condition causing a lasting impact on quality of life. Keep reading to find out what fatigue is, what causes it, and what you can do to overcome persistent tiredness.

What fatigue means

While it’s not unusual to feel tired or lethargic after a long week at work, it is abnormal for that sensation to persist. Unfortunately, fatigue, or feeling tired for no apparent reason, is a widespread complaint in adults, specifically older adults.[1]

There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the underlying mechanics of fatigue and—most importantly—what you can do to overcome the sensation. Unfortunately, fatigue’s close links to several underlying health conditions make treatment all the more challenging.

For example, it’s common to experience fatigue as a result of illness (particularly multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, COVID-19, and depression). Moreover, fatigue can manifest mentally and physically, with the former affecting concentration and the latter impacting movement and strength. All things considered, fatigue is a highly impactful condition that significantly disrupts quality of life.

Are fatigue and tiredness the same?

It’s important to make the distinction between fatigue and tiredness; although they’re very similar sensations, there’s one crucial difference—fatigue isn’t relieved by sleep or rest, while tiredness fades when addressing issues such as sleep, poor diet, or a hectic work schedule. If you constantly struggle for energy, despite living a balanced lifestyle, then it’s likely you’re experiencing fatigue.

Symptoms of fatigue

With different causes and manifestations of fatigue (mental, physical, illness-related) come varying outcomes on the mind and body. We’ll list common symptoms below, but be aware that these can be acute or chronic.

General symptoms of fatigue include:

• Persistent drowsiness
• Trouble concentrating
• Aching muscles
• Diminished motivation
• Delayed reactions
• Irritability

You may not experience all of these symptoms, all of the time, and some may get worse or flare up after certain activities. However, if symptoms start to impact everyday activities at home or work, then it’s essential to discuss your concerns with a doctor or physician.

Causes of fatigue

Although fatigue is prevalent, it isn’t always straightforward to pinpoint an exact cause. The complexity of fatigue and its symptoms means there could be dozens of reasons you feel the way you do. However, there are a few causes that are more common than others, including:

• Lifestyle causes: In the short term, an unhealthy lifestyle will undoubtedly leave you feeling tired. However, with prolonged lack of sleep, poor diet, and little physical exercise, that tiredness can quickly develop into fatigue. All of these factors put additional strain on your body and make it harder to perform everyday activities.

• Psychological causes: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health conditions such as stress, grief, anxiety, and even boredom. It can either be a direct result of a condition or a knock-on effect. For example, insomnia is a common symptom of depression and stress, leading to fatigue.

• Health causes: Unfortunately, fatigue is closely linked to several heart, lung, and endocrine conditions. As the body struggles to manage the mental and physical symptoms of disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, and kidney disease, fatigue quickly sets in. Resolution, or at least management, of these conditions can decrease the severity of fatigue.

How to treat fatigue

The all-important question; how do you treat a condition that can affect your entire body? Well, treatment largely depends on the underlying cause. And as you can see from the section above, the list of possible causes is long.

Encouragingly, some simple lifestyle adjustments can help to combat the severity of fatigue in some cases. It may not solve the issue entirely, but each adjustment can go a long way to improve quality of life.

Recommended lifestyle adjustments include:

• Exercise: It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you already feel drained, but with minor adjustments to your training regime, being active can work wonders for the mind and body. The key is to keep exercise light (think low-intensity activities like walking) and for short periods (10–15 minutes).

• Diet: What we eat and drink directly affects our energy levels, but that doesn’t mean you should binge on high-sugar or high-caffeine substances to combat fatigue. Instead, the focus should be on fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods. These are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that can help to tackle fatigue.

Another approach that many people don’t think about is eating smaller meals more often, rather than one or two big meals a day. A large influx of calories can actually make feelings of fatigue worse.

• Sleep: The most obvious, but often overlooked, aspect of fatigue is sleep, or more specifically, sleep quality. It’s easy enough to sleep, but it’s far more challenging to achieve restful sleep. Consider going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding caffeine after midday, unwinding at least an hour before going to sleep (without your phone or other electronic devices), and ensuring the room is dark and quiet.

• Supplements: Supplementing vitamins and minerals is an excellent way to boost energy levels and improve overall well-being. While the ideal supplement varies according to lifestyle, the good news is that there are dozens of options to choose from. To help combat fatigue, consider supplementing iron, magnesium, vitamin D, or vitamin B12.

But what about CBD oil? Given its prevalence in the supplement market, where does it fall when it comes to fatigue? Although much of the research surrounding CBD focuses on sleep conditions such as insomnia, rather than fatigue specifically,[2] CBD’s potential links to sleep quality make it an intriguing option. When you also factor in CBD’s synergy with the minerals and vitamins listed above, and its lack of toxicity, there are certainly several possible benefits for those living with fatigue.

Fatigue may be a prevalent condition in adults, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a balanced, wholesome life. Case-specific advice from a doctor, combined with simple lifestyle changes, can go a long way to reduce the impact of fatigue and improve quality of life.

To explore a complete range of CBD oils, capsules, and supplements that could help you get the rest you deserve, visit the Cibdol store. If you still have questions about fatigue or the importance of sleep, diet, and exercise, take a look at our CBD Encyclopedia for everything you need to know.


[1] Harrington ME. Neurobiological studies of fatigue. Progress in neurobiology. Published November 2012. Accessed November 17, 2021. [Source]

[2] D; BKASJM. Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: A review of the literature. Current psychiatry reports. Published 2017. Accessed December 23, 2021. [Source]

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