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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: When do I see a doctor about fatigue?


 allegory - Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:00 am

22 yr old female, currently on minocycline and birth control pills for acne, no other past medical problems: currently experiencing fatigue that is not debilitating but is preventing me from doing some of the more difficult things I would normally do. I am not sleepy, but am lethargic, weaker with low energy and stamina, slow, mentally foggy/forgetful/spacy/sluggish; it sometimes feels difficult to move, like my limbs are dead weight, and I am often stiff and sore-feeling, even though my exercise level/type hasn't changed much in 6 months. My diet is good; I sleep well and for 8 hours; no other drugs (including alcohol) besides the above medications and sometimes ibuprofen; currently have minimal stress. I walk 35-40 hrs per week, sometimes up and down hills, as part of my job; I have had this job 6 months. I also get 1-2 hrs of light exercise and 1-2 hrs strenuous exercise per week. This is the only lifestyle-related reason I can think of for the fatigue but I don't know what's normal. I am also very sensitive to cold (have been for a while but it's getting worse) and had some mild depression a year ago (it's gone now and I was under a lot of stress at the time); but no other symptoms of hypothyroidism. Should I see a doctor?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:46 pm

User avatar Hi there -

Even though you don't find the fatigue and lassitude debilitating, it does seem to be bothering you enough that it would be worth a checkup. Some blood work, an office exam, rule out viral infections and a cursory neurological survey should expose anything out of the ordinary. If this gets more severe then definitely you should be seen. Sometimes a simple virus can play out as little more than fatigue and lethargy, but after six months it should have more than run its course. There is also the possibility of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is pretty much a default diagnosis when everything else has been ruled out. It doesn't sound as though it is likely anything serious, but even a simple virus or mild anemia can make you feel less inclined to do the usual things.

There's also that history of depression. While you may not feel depressed (sad, dislocated) now, you still could be having some sort of sequal, and depression (especially dysthymia) often presents as mild fatigue with some vague aches and pains, so it's really a differential diagnosis you're looking for.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you, and please follow up here as needed.

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