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:
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

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:
current sore throat
possible enlarged liver
multiple swollen axillary nodes
occasionally feeling unusually cold
severely impaired ability to walk
having a slight fever
painful axillary nodes
postauricular node problems
reduced sense of taste
unusual current rash
numb/burning/tingling extremities
current atypical headaches
... 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 95% Confirm
Infectious Mononucleosis 66% 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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