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What exactly is fatigue?
Jan 2, 2007

Hello Dr. Frascino. I pretty much have an idea of what fatigue is. My question to you is, what are the symptoms? Is it just the feeling of being tired all the time or is it more than that? And what the heck is Malaise? Is it the same thing basically? I'm confused! Thank you in advance!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Fatigue is a general term used to describe feelings of exhaustion and sleepiness and lack of energy. It's a very common problem for those of us who are "virally enhanced!" While the concept of fatigue may seem obvious in everyday usage, there are actually several medical definitions of the term. Specialists in this field understand that fatigue is multidimensional and may include:

1. Physical fatigue, which refers to unusual tiredness after physical exertion.

2. Mental fatigue, which is difficulty focusing on activities that require concentration.

3. Motivational fatigue, which is defined as a lack of will or desire to engage in emotional or physical activities.

In more subjective terms, fatigue may encompass low energy, weakness and/or sleepiness that may affect daily activities. Malaise is defined as a vague feeling of bodily discomfort or as a general sense of depression or unease. Perhaps my favorite definition, explaining the differences between "tired" and "exhausted" came from a fortune cookie. It read: "Man who run behind car get exhausted, but man who run in front of car get tired."

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Bob

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