Fatigue

Fatigue

Find reliable independent health and treatment information about fatigue written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About fatigue

Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness and can be physical, mental or a combination of both.

Fatigue can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. Each year, around 1.5 million Australians see their doctor about fatigue.

Fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

In most cases, fatigue will get better over time on its own or with some simple and practical lifestyle changes.

Find out more

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For health professionals  

Fatigue is often not associated with underlying disease and may remain unexplained. It is often associated with lifestyle, psychosocial and physical causes, or a combination of these.

Australian Therapeutic Guidelines provide a diagnostic framework for fatigue in primary care, with a focus on accurate and comprehensive clinical history, targeted examination and judicious laboratory investigations, keeping in mind the clinical context.

Our CPD activities

Consolidate your knowledge on fatigue, brush-up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.

  • Educational visit (one-to-one or group meeting): Back to basics for fatigue: a diagnostic approach. Based on the principles in Fatigue: a diagnostic approach in primary care (Therapeutic Guidelines) this program looks at the benefits of patient-centred approaches, the importance of clinical history and examination, when testing is more appropriate and which tests to consider.
  • Interactive online case study: Fatigue: a diagnostic approach to deal with uncertainty: Meet Arya Saab, a 35-year-old woman who has been feeling tired for the last 2 months and asked for some tests to determine the cause of her fatigue. Eligible for CPD points for GPs, pharmacists and nurses.
  • Online learning module: Fatigue: a diagnostic approach to deal with uncertainty: This free interactive online learning module explores the diagnostic approach to fatigue in young to middle-aged adults. Eligible for CPD points for GPs, pharmacists and nurses.

Clinical information

The information below uses the latest guidelines and evidence to help health professionals further understand the issues around fatigue.

Other tools and resources


Related information - fatigue

Audience:
       

For health professionals
14 Mar 2016 Fatigue is often associated with lifestyle, psychosocial and physical causes, or a combination of these. Learn more about diagnosis of fatigue.
For health professionals
14 Mar 2016 The fatigue information prescription is designed to allow a health professional to select information to create a unique, personalised ‘fact sheet’ for every patient.
11 Mar 2016 Fatigue is a symptom that can have many causes, and there is no specific test, only tests may help to identify a physical cause for tiredness.
For health professionals
01 Mar 2016 Find out which tests, treatments or procedures healthcare providers and consumers should question, as recommended by Australian medical colleges.
01 Mar 2016
Recommendations from the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases on antibiotics, faecal pathogen tests, fatigue, bacteruria, leg ulcers & respiratory infections.
(Media release)
11 Feb 2015 Fatigue or feeling tired all the time is often associated with lifestyle factors. This tool facilitates discussion between health professionals and patients about fatigue.
(Topic)
04 Feb 2015 Find out about professional development activities to help you manage patients feeling fatigued.
For health professionals (Health professional publication)
10 Dec 2014 Tests are commonly ordered when diagnosing fatigue but do they really help? And do the risks outweigh the benefits? Explore this case of a 39-year-old man with ‘extreme fatigue’.
(Topic)
28 Oct 2014 Many of the causes of fatigue can be modified or treated. Read more about the simple and practical steps you can take to help you manage fatigue.
For health professionals (Tool / resource)
23 Oct 2014 A fatigue decision & management tool for health professionals