What are fatigue and nausea?
Fatigue is a condition that is a combined feeling of being sleepy and drained of energy. It can range from acute to chronic. For some people, fatigue can be a long-term occurrence that affects their ability to carry out daily activities.
Nausea occurs when your stomach feels uneasy or queasy. You may not actually vomit, but you may feel as though you could. Like fatigue, nausea can stem from many causes.
What causes fatigue and nausea?
Nausea and fatigue can result from many factors, ranging from physiological causes to lifestyle habits. Examples of lifestyle habits that can bring on fatigue and nausea include:
- excessive alcohol use
- excessive caffeine use
- poor eating habits
- taking medications, such as amphetamines, to stay awake
- too much physical activity or a lack of physical activity
- jet lag
- lack of sleep
Psychological factors can also contribute to nausea and fatigue. These include:
Causes involving infections and inflammation include:
- West Nile virus infection (West Nile fever)
- colon cancer
- H. pylori infection
- acute infective cystitis
- E. coli infection
- Ebola virus and disease
- chronic pancreatitis
- fifth disease
- infectious mononucleosis
- hookworm infection
- Colorado tick fever
- dengue fever
Causes involving endocrine and metabolic factors include:
- Addisonian crisis (acute adrenal crisis)
- low blood sodium (hyponatremia)
- Addison’s disease
Causes involving neurological factors include:
Some other conditions that can lead to nausea and fatigue include:
- liver failure
- marine animal bites or stings
- kidney disease
- medullary cystic disease
- ischemic cardiomyopathy
- food allergies and seasonal allergies
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)
- Burkitt’s lymphoma
- HELLP syndrome
- food poisoning
- chronic pain
- chronic kidney disease
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
- bleeding esophageal varices
- pancreatic cancer
- peptic ulcer
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF)
- sleep apnea
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- gestational diabetes
When to seek medical help
Seek immediate medical help if your fatigue and nausea are accompanied by:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- thoughts of harming yourself
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
- slurred speech
- repeated vomiting
- lasting confusion
- abnormal eye movement
Lifestyle changes can frequently help reduce fatigue and nausea. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you don’t feel rested even after a full night’s sleep.
If you have cancer, ask your doctor about interventions that could enhance your energy levels.
This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if you’re concerned you may be experiencing a medical emergency.
How are fatigue and nausea treated?
Healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly can help you find relief from fatigue and nausea. Avoiding bad habits such as smoking, drinking excess alcohol, or abusing drugs can also help reduce fatigue and nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat an underlying condition.
Staying hydrated by drinking clear liquids can help relieve fatigue and nausea. Maintaining a healthy activity level that doesn’t involve exercising excessively can also help prevent or reduce these symptoms.
How can I prevent fatigue and nausea?
Fatigue can impact your overall well-being. Take the following steps to prevent the onset of fatigue and nausea:
- Get enough sleep each night (typically between 7 and 8 hours).
- Manage your schedule so that your work does not become too demanding.
- Refrain from drinking excessively.
- Refrain from smoking and abusing drugs.
- Eat small meals and drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.