What is Lethargy?

Lethargy can be described as feeling sleepy or fatigued and sluggish. This sluggishness may be in physical movements or in thinking; it may also be due to physical or mental conditions.

What are the symptoms of Lethargy?

Lethargy symptoms include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Decreased alertness / ability to think
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Sluggishness

Lethargy may make you feel as if you are in a daze, and make you move more slowly than usual.

What causes Lethargy?

Acute illnesses may cause Lethargy, such as a bad case of the flu or a stomach virus.

Other causes may be:

  • Dehydration
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hydrocephalus (also known as brain swelling)
  • Kidney failure
  • Meningitis
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fever

Some mental health-related conditions can also cause Lethargy. These include:

  • Depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • PMS or premenstrual syndrome
  • Certain medications such as narcotics

How is Lethargy treated?

The treatment of Lethargy can be antibiotics or antidepressants.

Other ways include practicing healthy habits at home such as:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Reducing stress levels

If your symptoms continue for an extended period of time you should consider seeing a doctor of internal medicine.

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