Feeling exhausted after a hard day at work, or experiencing sleepiness after traveling long distances is normal and expected. But your feelings of tiredness or weakness should not last longer than a few hours or a few days.
When your fatigue is persistent, or accompanied by nausea and digestive problems, you may be dealing with a more serious underlying condition that, over time, can become debilitating and interfere with your life and health.
Fortunately, many of the causes of nausea, tiredness, and weakness can be efficiently treated – and that’s where the Neurofunctional Pain Management program pioneered by Neuragenex can help.
This whole-person approach can help you target any psychological, physical, and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your feelings of nausea and weakness, while also helping you rebuild the foundations of long-term health. Let’s discover how in the guide below.
Impact Of Nausea, Tiredness And Weakness
Fatigue and weakness refer to a status of being constantly sleepy and experiencing low energy levels. Nausea, which is often an associated symptom of this condition, refers to “feeling sick”, uneasy, or queasy. Although you may not actually vomit, nausea can be a complication in some cases.
Fatigue is estimated to affect between 30 and 50 percent of adults at some point during their lifetime, and can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting over six months). While acute fatigue usually disappears after taking a period of rest, chronic fatigue and weakness can be a long-term condition that prevents patients from carrying out their daily activities.
Chronic tiredness, weakness, and nausea can stem from many causes and, if left unaddressed, can cause a downward spiral of poor health. In fact, feeling chronically fatigued can impact your mental health, lower your productivity levels, encourage a sedentary lifestyle, and prevent you from living your life independently. In turn, depressive feelings, reduced physical activity, and work-related or financial stress can worsen your symptoms.
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis of the medical conditions or lifestyle factors that are contributing to your feelings of fatigue can help you find an adequate treatment program.
Conditions That May Cause Nausea And Weakness
As reported by a 2013 study, adequate diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue remains challenging. This is because, being non-specific and having many possible causes, this condition is often overlooked by healthcare providers.
Nonetheless, if you are experiencing ongoing tiredness, weakness, or nausea, it is important not to underestimate your symptoms. Doing so may let a serious underlying condition go untreated, which can lead to the worsening of symptoms and even expose you to severe health complications.
Below, we’ll look at some of the medical events and diseases that may be the source of your symptoms.
Chronic weakness and nausea may be associated with metabolic dysfunction. Metabolism is an overarching term that refers to all of those processes and chemical reactions that allow the body to break down the nutrients needed to produce energy.
Metabolic processes involve transforming the protein, carbohydrates, and fats contained in the food you eat into acids and sugars, which are the body’s main sources of fuel. The energy produced during the metabolic process is either immediately used to supply bodily functions (e.g. heating the body and allowing the muscles to contract and relax) or stored for later use.
The processes involved with the metabolism may be disrupted by abnormal chemical reactions or diseased organs that prevent the breakdown or transformation of nutrients into energy. When this happens, you are likely to experience a range of health conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- High blood glucose
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood
- Accumulation of fat around the waistline
In turn, these conditions increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and heart failure. What’s more, given that the body is unable to process essential nutrients, you may experience chronic fatigue, digestive issues, and low energy levels. Since metabolic dysfunction was first categorized in the 1980s, the prevalence of metabolic disorders has increased by 35%, alongside the growing rates of diabetes and obesity.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue – officially known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) – is a severe, life-limiting condition that causes profound tiredness, increased sensitivity to pain, dizziness, headache, muscle weakness, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
When battling this condition, the symptoms don’t improve with bed rest, and they can worsen after periods of excessive mental or physical activity. This complication is known as post-exertional malaise (PEM).
In most cases, CFS is a long-lasting condition that lasts months or years, and it can be so severe as to confine a person to bed. Although it has been seen that women and middle-aged people are at higher risk of developing CFS, the causes of this condition remain unknown. According to the CDC, it is estimated that between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS, and 90% of those with this condition have not been properly diagnosed.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, that part of the digestive system that includes the stomach and intestines. In particular, IBS is a form of functional gastrointestinal disorder – a condition that stems from problems in the relationship between the gut and the brain.
IBS causes symptoms like cramps, bloating, changes in appearance and frequency of bowel movements, and digestive issues (e.g. constipation and diarrhea).
In severe cases, this condition can also cause weight loss, rectal bleeding, nausea, unexplained vomiting, pain, and nutritional deficiencies (such as iron deficiency). Because IBS interferes with the normal processing and absorption of nutrients by the digestive system, people with IBS are likely to experience ongoing tiredness and weakness.
Although the symptoms of IBS change over time, they can last between a few days and a few months at a time. Most people only experience mild symptoms, which can be relieved through changes in lifestyle, diet, and stress levels. However, in some cases, healthcare providers recommend medications and counseling. What’s more, when left unaddressed, IBS can become a recurring condition that needs to be managed in the long term.
Although migraines are often categorized as headaches, they are more than a condition that simply causes pain to the face and head. Indeed, migraines are neurological disorders that involve changes in the chemicals and pathways in the brain.
These changes cause some excitable cells in the brain to react abnormally to certain stimuli and misfire. This abnormal wave of activity changes the normal flow of blood to the brain, which affects the nerves in the central nervous system and triggers pain.
Because they are more than simple headaches, the symptoms caused by migraines are serious and debilitating. Commonly, patients experience severe pain localized to one side of the face alongside extreme fatigue, and excessive sensitivity to light, odors, and noises. Cognitive abilities may also temporarily decline.
Symptoms like nausea and vomiting don’t affect everyone with migraine, but they occur in almost 30% of migraine attacks. The reason why migraine causes nausea and vomiting isn’t clear, but it is believed that these symptoms are a consequence of the activation of the brain structures involved with emesis (vomiting reflex).
Commonly referred to as “stomach flu”, gastroenteritis is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the digestive system and causes disruptions in the normal digestive system. This leads to symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and cramping. You may also experience headaches, fever, and tiredness.
Because gastroenteritis causes vomiting and diarrhea, it may also lead to severe dehydration, which causes dry skin and mouth and extreme thirst. Although this condition is more common among children, there are nearly 180 million cases of gastroenteritis a year worldwide. The most common cause of gastroenteritis is exposure to viruses such as rotavirus and norovirus.
Hormones are chemicals responsible for carrying messages to the body’s tissues (e.g. organs and muscles) to coordinate essential functions and processes, such as:
- Sexual function
- Circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle)
When the activity of these messenger chemicals is disrupted, you may experience symptoms such as metabolic problems, digestive issues, impacted development, infertility, sexual dysfunction, and changes in your mood and sleep patterns.
In particular, you may develop chronic fatigue, weakness, and nausea, if the hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism are not working as they should. This can get in the way of your body’s ability to digest food, break down nutrients, and produce energy.
Some hormonal imbalances that translate into chronic tiredness include:
- Thyroid hormones
In severe cases, hormonal imbalances can cause slow or rapid heartbeat, unexplained changes in weight, numbness in your hands or feet, high cholesterol levels, and mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
Besides the conditions we’ve explored above, fatigue, weakness, and nausea can stem from a range of other causes. Some – such as depression, epilepsy, and brain tumors – are medical in nature. Others relate to your lifestyle and habits.
Below, we’ll look at the factors that may increase your risk of suffering from chronic tiredness.
- Poor Eating Habits: Your diet has a profound impact on your metabolism and energy levels. Poor eating habits can interfere with metabolic processes, lead to nutritional deficiencies, and increase your risk of suffering from a range of diseases, including diabetes and metabolic disorders. What’s more, foods with a high glycemic index increase your blood sugar levels, which have been seen to be associated with fatigue, depressive symptoms, and mood swings.
- Excessive Caffeine Consumption: By blocking sleep-promoting receptors in the brain, caffeine, even when taken 6 hours before bedtime, can cause sleep disturbances and reduce sleep by more than 1 hour. This can impact the sleep cycle, prevent you from enjoying a restful night’s sleep, and increase your sense of fatigue during the daytime.
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Being a relaxant, alcohol can make you feel sleepy at first. However, as the effects of alcohol wear off, it disrupts the normal sleep architecture, reduces the time you spend in the deep sleep phase, and increases the time spent in light sleep phases. This increases the risk of waking up during the night and may prevent you from falling asleep again, which increases daytime fatigue and inability to concentrate.
- Stimulant Use: Prescription stimulants containing methylphenidate, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine (such as Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Adderall) are sometimes used to counteract fatigue, elevate mood, and induce alertness in the short term. However, in the long term, addiction to these stimulants can cause you to become unable to function without medication, leading to chronic fatigue and tiredness.
- Lack Of Sleep: Sleep disturbances and disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea can prevent you from getting the rest you need at nighttime, which translates into tiredness during the daytime and disrupted sleep-wake cycles. Studies have shown that nearly a third of the population suffers from sleep disorders to some extent.
- Stress: Changes in the immune system and in how it responds to stress have been seen to be associated with an increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). What’s more, levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that are too high or too low can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and weight loss.
- Grief: Although grief is often regarded as an emotional state, this feeling can lead to physical symptoms too, and, in particular, grief exhaustion. This condition causes tiredness and sleepiness, as well as sleep disturbances that further aggravate your ability to feel energized during the daytime.
- Anxiety: If you suffer from anxiety disorders, you’ll experience acute fatigue after an attack. This is due to the hormonal rush that occurs when you experience feelings of dread or fear. After a bout of anxiety, you are likely to feel exhausted. What’s more, if you suffer from anxiety, you are also at risk of other fatigue-inducing disorders like chronic stress, depression, and panic disorders.
- Depression: Depression can cause feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and sadness, as well as a loss of interest in activities. These symptoms can trigger what’s known as “depression fatigue”. This is a condition characterized by long-lasting fatigue, tiredness, and low energy levels.
When Are Nausea, Weakness, And Fatigue Too Serious?
For most people, feeling tired or weak for a few days is something normal and easily preventable, especially if these symptoms stem from a period of vigorous physical or mental activity. However, in some cases, feeling weak or tired is a telltale sign of an underlying, more serious condition.
Below, we’ll look at the symptoms associated with fatigue and nausea that may warrant medical attention.
- Difficulty Breathing: Shortness of breath associated with fatigue and weakness may indicate a problem with your lungs or heart, or with other conditions such as allergic reactions, asthma, infection, or cancer.
- Chest Pain: Pain localized in the chest or extending to the arms, neck, jaw, or back may be a sign of diseases such as angina (reduced blood supply to the heart muscle). Pain in the chest can also be a symptom of a heart attack or of infections of the sac that lines the heart (pericarditis).
- Headache: See a doctor if you experience a severe headache, especially if it develops suddenly, is accompanied by sensitivity to light, or muscle pain, or starts after a blow to the head. This may indicate a serious condition, such as traumatic brain injury, inflammation, stroke, brain tumors, and infections like meningitis.
- Fever: Fever, especially if accompanied by head and body headaches, may be due to a viral or bacterial infection. Night sweats and swollen lymph nodes around the body may also require medical care.
- Thoughts Of Self-Harm: If you have been experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or depressive episodes, you should seek immediate medical attention. In this case, fatigue may be a sign of depression or other mental health disorders.
- Jaundice/Yellowing Of Skin Or Eyes: Jaundice, especially if it occurs alongside fatigue, fever, and abdominal pain, may be caused by severe disorders such as hepatitis B and C, liver disease or infection, tumors, sickle cell anemia, and genetic conditions like hemochromatosis.
- Slurred Speech: Slurred speech may be a symptom of disorders of the nervous system (e.g. multiple sclerosis), and it is sometimes associated with facial paralysis. Infections such as mononucleosis and certain medications may also cause fatigue and speech problems.
- Extended Confusion: Extended confusion, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems can sometimes be caused by high levels of stress. However, sometimes they may be symptoms of concussion, severe dehydration, infection, stroke, and seizures.
- Abnormal Eye Movement: Most often, abnormal eye movement is caused by extreme visual fatigue and tiredness. However, sometimes this symptom indicates a more serious underlying disorder of the neuromuscular system, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
You should also seek immediate medical attention if you have received a blow to the head or have swallowed something poisonous. Other severe symptoms that may indicate a medical emergency include:
- Vomiting for more than two days and being unable to keep fluids down
- Having diarrhea for more than a week, or having bloody diarrhea
- Vomiting blood
- Having a swollen stomach or stomach pain (especially if pregnant)
- Experiencing unexpected weight loss
- Your symptoms won’t go away, or they have started to interfere with your daily life
Different Treatment Approaches
As seen above, treating nausea, weakness, and fatigue remains challenging, in part due to the whole host of causes and associated symptoms of this condition. Because of this, healthcare providers tend to recommend one of two lines of treatment, based on the intensity of your symptoms: home remedies or medications.
Let’s look at these treatment approaches in more detail below.
Home remedies tend to be the first port of call for people experiencing long-term fatigue, nausea, and weakness. The most common approaches include:
- Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential to combat fatigue. Firstly, drinking clear liquids can help you relieve nausea and counteract the dehydrating effects of diarrhea or vomiting. Drinking plenty of water also improves the digestive process and supports the absorption of nutrients essential for energy and health. What’s more, cells need high levels of hydration to be able to produce energy from food.
- Moderate Exercise: Moderate exercise (not exhausting physical activity) may help fight tiredness. This is because it supports the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body, thus making you feel immediately more energized. Physical activity also stimulates the production of feel-good, pain-killing hormones such as endorphins and reduces the levels of stress hormones. In the long term, better conditioning, improved endurance, and stronger muscles can help you keep up with more demanding daily activities without feeling overwhelmed.
- Avoiding/Reducing Bad Habits: Limiting the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and stimulants, moving your body daily, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress levels can support overall health and boost your energy levels.
- Getting Enough Sleep: Getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, maintaining a structured bedtime routine, and creating an environment that is conducive to rest and sleep can help you feel more energized and alert during the daytime.
If your symptoms are a manifestation of a more serious underlying condition, your doctor may recommend a relevant pharmaceutical therapy. Some medications that may be prescribed include:
- Pain medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Anti-seizure medications
- Insulin shots to control blood sugar levels and diabetes
- Medicines to lower blood pressure, blood triglyceride, or “bad” cholesterol
- Sleep medications such as Lunesta and Sonata
- Muscle relaxant
- Hormone therapies (for hormonal imbalances)
How We Manage Pain Induced By Nausea, Weakness, And Fatigue
If you are struggling with chronic tiredness, weakness, and nausea, you may be battling limitations in all aspects of your everyday life – from reduced productivity at work to pain, discomfort, and low energy levels. And the situation may be made worse by the prospect of not being able to find a line of treatment that works.
Fortunately, enduring the side effects of pain medications, antidepressants, or stimulants, or just surrendering yourself to feeling constantly tired are no longer the only options available. Thanks to the treatment program pioneered by Neuragenex, you can scratch beneath the surface of chronic fatigue and address any underlying conditions that are stopping you from being your true self.
With a whole-person Neurofunctional Pain Management program designed around your unique symptoms and health goals, you can start rebuilding your energy levels, re-establish correct metabolic processes, and ultimately lay the foundations of long-term health.
Below are the key pillars of Neurofunctional Pain Management.
Electroanalgesia is a pain management technique that uses high-pulse electrical current to ease pain, boost blood circulation, improve mobility, and induce...
IV nutritional therapy, or intravenous therapy, involves administering vital nutrients directly to the bloodstream through an IV. This type of treatment bypasses the digestive system, allowing for maximum absorption and utilization of nutrients by the...
Lifestyle counseling is an approach to managing chronic pain that involves identifying, assessing, and modifying lifestyle factors contributing to an individual's pain. For example, lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep quality...
Conditions We Treat
Based on non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and non-chiropractic therapies, Neurofunctional Pain Management is a more efficient alternative to treat fatigue, nausea, and weakness associated with those chronic conditions.
Discover how Neuragenex can help you restore your energy levels and health below.
Metabolic Dysfunction Pain Treatment
When your body’s metabolism doesn’t work as it should, you may struggle with a larger waistline, battle gastrointestinal issues, and be at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. And, often, metabolic disorders occur...
Chronic Migraines And Headache Pain Treatment
Chronic migraines and headaches can cause severe pain, blurred vision, and fatigue. Experiencing these symptoms on a regular basis can be debilitating and can affect your quality of life. Our pain management approach at Neuragenex can help you reduce the...
Consequences Of Leaving The Symptoms Untreated
Long-lasting nausea, weakness, and fatigue should not be considered a normal part of life. Overlooking these symptoms and letting them go untreated can expose you to severe, life-limiting complications.
Here’s why you should seek an accurate diagnosis and an efficient treatment plan when battling chronic tiredness.
Loss Of Nutrients
If your symptoms are caused by metabolic imbalances and inadequate dietary choices, you run the risk of suffering from a severe loss of nutrients, which occurs when your body is unable to properly break down foods or when your diet does not contain the nutrients the body needs.
In turn, nutritional deficiencies can lead to severe – and sometimes irreversible – health consequences, including inhibited wound healing, infection susceptibility, delayed growth, psychological effects such as depression, osteoporosis, and impaired cognitive function (in the case of B12 deficiency).
As we’ve explored above, adequate hydration is essential to support those cell processes involved with breaking down nutrients and transforming protein, fats, and carbohydrates into sugar and acids.
When these processes are impaired, you may begin to suffer from digestive issues, severe muscle weakness and damage, and inhibited kidney function.
Interference With Daily Activities
If you constantly feel tired, weak, and unable to concentrate, you may notice a drastic reduction in productivity levels at work, which can impact your employability and finances. Chronic fatigue can also lead to withdrawal from activities such as sports and hobbies, thus contributing to the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Eventually, muscle weakness and metabolic dysfunction can also prevent you from enjoying social situations, cause you to struggle with pain and discomfort, and make keeping up with daily activities daunting.
Lack Of Energy
Chronic fatigue and extreme tiredness can have an overpowering effect on your mental and physical health. In the long term, dealing with constantly low levels of energy can expose you to health risks such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, heart disease, sleep disorders, diabetes, obesity, and social isolation.
Stop Enduring The Persistent Onset Of Your Symptoms
Although you may feel tired from time to time, there is no reason why persistent tiredness, nausea, and weakness should be part of your daily life. With an ad hoc Neurofunctional Pain Management program, you can efficiently address any condition undermining your health, restore your energy levels, and magnify your quality of life.
Nausea, weakness, and fatigue may be symptomatic of a more serious condition. Learn more about how Neuragenex treats metabolic dysfunction today.