Fatigue That Started Recently

What Causes Exhaustion?

Exhaustion can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose exhaustion, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "exhaustion" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Infectious Mononucleosis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
having a moderate fever
swollen inguinal nodes
numb/burning/tingling extremities
extreme sensitivity to touch
painful axillary nodes
loss of sense of touch
much reduced sense of taste
unusual current rash
current very sore throat
multiple swollen axillary nodes
multiple painful inguinal nodes
severe muscle weakness
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of exhaustion:
Cause Probability Status
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 91% Confirm
Infectious Mononucleosis 52% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate being fatigued, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Are you currently experiencing fatigue or exhaustion that started suddenly less than 3 months ago? Do not include fatigue that is due to an obvious cause, such as pregnancy.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No / not sudden onset / started over 3 months ago
→ Yes, it started about 1-3 months ago
→ Yes, it started about 1-4 weeks ago
→ Yes, it started within the past week
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either no recent onset fatigue or recent onset fatigue, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The rapid onset of (ascending) weakness, frequently accompanied by abnormal sensations that affect both sides of the body similarly, is a common presenting picture.

Infectious Mononucleosis - Mono

Intermittent and moderate fatigue is one of the early and main symptoms of mononucleosis.  It almost always disappears within 2-4 weeks and lasts for months in only 1-2% of cases.  Prospective studies among University populations have established that 20% of patients returned to work or school within 1 week and 50% within 2 weeks.

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