Distinguish Fatigue and Malnutrition – ClinicalPosters
Distinguish Fatigue and Malnutrition

Morning Nightmare

I awoke to a terrifying experience. With compromised equilibrium and extreme fatigue, it seemed there was no way to make it through the day. Relive the solution with me.

Distinguish Fatigue and Malnutrition

Sensing a nutritional problem, I stumble to the kitchen. Dehydra­tion can produce vertiginous symptoms. So I drink a full glass of water with magnesium (500 mg), B-complex, and sublingual B12 (1000 mg) vitamins. While waiting for that to kick in, a fresh cup of coffee is brewing. Though caffeine is a diuretic sedative, it can initially function as a stimu­lant. It is also an ingredient in some migraine-relief NSAIDs. All the vitamins and caffeine are off­set with more water.

The next logical nutritional defi­ciency is protein. Still weak from fatigue, I prepare an egg, meatless sausage, and toast to have with my coffee. After­wards, I lay down for a couple of hours to allow time for nutrients to get through my system. Still feeling fatigue, an afternoon appoint­ment cancellation is eminent. While consuming a Cliff bar with 20 grams of protein, my symptoms fade. During my appointment, others wonder why I have so much energy.

Clues To Nutritional Remedy

Most people equate malnutrition with emaciation and starvation. Actually, we can eat pretty frequently and still be malnourished. Malnutrition is often used to specifically refer to under­nutrition, where an individual is not getting enough calories, protein, or micronutrients.

On the surface, it might appear that Cliff bar is the sole solution to fatigue. No doubt it helped, but delve further. Assessing the situation reveals that the fatigue began in the afternoon prior to skipping nightly medication. Rather than succumbing to fatigue the next morning, it was attacked with nutrition. Several vitamin defi­ciencies can cause fatigue. Having symptoms begin the prior evening and not being satisfied with a full night’s rest was a clue.

Regular exercise is important. If you have enough energy, walking is sometimes a benefi­cial remedy for fatigue. In my situation, going for a walk was not an option because of disorientation.

What Blood Tests Reveal

This is not the only incident of extreme fatigue in recent months. A complete blood count (CBC) test reveals a couple of anomalies that can result in anemia, cold hands and feet, dizziness, and fatigue.

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