Conventional medicine recommends the dietary and lifestyle changes outlined above as a first line of defense against fatigue. Individuals who experience occasional fatigue symptoms may benefit from short-term use of caffeine-containing central nervous stimulants, which make people more alert, less drowsy, and improve coordination. However, these should be prescribed with extreme caution, as overuse of the drug can lead to serious sleep disorders, like insomnia.
Another reason to avoid extended use of caffeine is its associated withdrawal symptoms. People who use large amounts of caffeine over long periods build up a tolerance to it. When that happens, they have to use more and more caffeine to get the same effects. Heavy caffeine use can also lead to dependence. If an individual stops using caffeine abruptly, withdrawal symptoms may occur, including headache, fatigue, drowsiness, yawning, irritability, restlessness, vomiting, or runny nose. These symptoms can go on for as long as a week.
Fatigue related to a chronic disease or condition may last indefinitely, but can be alleviated to a degree through some of the treatment options outlined here. Exhaustion that can be linked to environmental stressors is usually easily alleviated when those stressors are dealt with properly.
There is no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but steps can be taken to lessen symptoms and improve quality of life for these individuals while researchers continue to seek a cure.
Many of the treatments outlined above are also recommended to prevent the onset of fatigue. Getting adequate rest and maintaining a consistent bedtime schedule are the most effective ways to combat fatigue. A balanced diet and moderate exercise program are also important to maintaining a consistent energy level.
Paula Ford-Martin, Teresa G. Odle, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,