Tired Vs Chronic Fatigue: How To Tell The Difference.

Tired Vs Chronic Fatigue: How To Tell The Difference.

I personally can attest to how brutal fatigue is.

I know you guys are constantly working on improving their lives and aiming to be their happiest.

This often means that we work harder than most and don’t rest until it’s necessary.

It’s normal to feel tired after you exert a lot of energy or have a hard day.

but isn’t it supposed to stop when we rest?

Why are we waking up feeling.. drained?

Let’s first examine the differences between being tired and being fatigued.

What does Fatigue mean?

We know about muscular and brain fatigue after we exercise or process a lot of information.

While we use these words interchangeably from time to time it’s important to delineate “tiredness” from fatigue.

Fatigue is described as an extreme amount of tiredness and the lack of proper function due to having minimal energy.

It’s also a bit more all encompassing, as minimal energy can often lead to us forgoing things we actively enjoy.

Whether it’s playing sports, training, family time, or a hobby, missing out often can leave us with a lot of emotional exhaustion.

That’s often where we’ll see a cumulative effect of fatigue leading to things like isolation, apathy, and depression.

Meaning that overtime this compounded effect can likely lead to a nasty downward spiral.

Without remedy, typical routines that don’t address the causes can lead to prolonged or chronic fatigue.

Chronic Fatigue vs Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue is not to be confused with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

CFS is actually a “Neuroimmune disease” medically referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a disease that causes inflammation and impairment of your brain.

It also has a lot of other complex complications that surround this disease while also having symptoms of being chronically fatigued.

However; we’re here discussing the length of time we’ve been experiencing fatigue.

I’ll make a table here for you here to break this down a bit better.

Standard 0-1 Months
Prolonged1-6 Months
Chronic6 Months
Fatigue timeline and reference

You can see that if it persists long enough, it’s lumped into the latter category.

It’s highly worrisome for some to see this persist for over 6 months as this can often completely drain one’s quality of life.

What can you do to fight fatigue?

Woman with Chronic Fatigue working at home with children playing loudly in the background.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto:

There is a LOT of trial and error in terms of solutions.

This is because there is no DIRECT root cause of fatigue most of the time.

Our body is an insanely complex eco-system with trillions of cells that act like cogs in a machine!

Most often you’ll find these recommendations to be helpful

  • Try some dietary changes (Drink more water, eat less refined and inflammatory foods)
  • Practice good sleep hygiene (get consistent and good quality sleep)
  • Engaging in some level of activity or exercise.
  • Naturally lower stress through meditation or yoga.

Simple to follow and easy to incorporate.

At the very least, you will be a LOT healthier overall.

When The Lifestyle Modifications Don’t Help

If issues have persisted for over 6 months, usually your doctor steps in.

They often order a few blood tests to look for some of the common causes of chronic fatigue.

Blood tests can find underlying deficiencies causing these problems.

Deficiencies can be caused by diet, genetics, or undiagnosed ailments.

People don’t suddenly wake up after a busy day and spend the next year feeling run down for no reason.

Again, feeling tired is a natural response to expending energy and working.

Additionally, feeling fatigue is also not uncommon, we often experience HIGHLY demanding events from time to time.

However, when you recognize it feels like it’s PROLONGED that’s when you need to re-examine things.

Adequate rest and careful planning can make a lifetime of positive progress.

Until next time, Toodles!


Mayo Clinic

CFS – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia


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