Asthenia is a form of severe weakness. Sometimes we all experience a sense of weakness after working out or exercise. However, asthenia is a condition in which an individual feels body fatigue or tiredness. Weakness may occur in one area of the body or the entire body. An individual may not be able to move a part of their body. You may also experience tremors, uncontrollable muscle movements, or twitches at the site of the body that is experiencing weakness. Full-body weakness usually occurs due to a bacterial or viral infection.
Here we will examine the possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options for asthenia. This article has undergone extensive research in order to try to provide accurate information. However, this does not mean it should take the place of your doctor’s professional opinion and advice. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Certain things can lead to or cause asthenia. If you experience sudden weakness without an explained reason, call 911. Let your doctor know if you have had any of these conditions:
- congestive heart failure
- heart attack
- infectious or chronic diseases
- muscle or nerve injuries
- sleep deprivation
- the flu
- thyroid disease
- vitamin deficiency (vitamin B12 or folate)
In addition to the conditions listed above, there are other possible causes of asthenia. Being inactive and living a sedentary lifestyle is an additional cause. In fact, a study conducted by the World Health Organization showed that 60 to 85% of people do not get the necessary amount of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The muscles can become weaker over time if they are not used properly or if they are inactive for long periods of time.
Also, aging can have a role or a hand in asthenia. Our muscles and tissues can weaken as we age, making us less active. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about other possible causes of asthenia.
Symptoms of asthenia can include, but is not limited to:
- changes in vision
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty speaking
- feeling lightheaded
If you experience any symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Also, asthenia can be determined depending on the specific symptoms you may be experiencing. More specifically, certain symptoms include weakness at one location of your body to the point where you cannot move it efficiently. Other symptoms associated with asthenia are delayed movements, slowness, shaking, tremors, twitching, cramps, or uncontrollable muscle movements.
Asthenia can also affect the entire body. Full-body weakness can make you feel sluggish and run down. It is similar to the feeling you get when you have the flu. Full-body weakness can occur without feeling tired. Weakness can be temporary, but it is also possible that it can continue or become chronic.
Asthenia and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is associated with fatigue and muscle weakness. It is also associated with depression, which can also make the patient feel week, tired, and unable to move. It is important to discuss this with your doctor.
Treatment options can vary depending on your condition. Because there are different kinds of asthenia, you will need to speak to your doctor about possible treatment options for your specific type of asthenia. If you have asthenia or weakness due to the cold or the flu, your doctor may not recommend any treatment. However, if you have other conditions, such as if you have blood loss, cancer, or vitamin deficiency, there may be ways to help with weakness. Below you will find a few suggestions:
- Vitamin Supplements: Patients deficient in vitamins can be given supplements to help treat their condition.
- Iron Supplements: You may need iron supplementation if you are iron deficient or have blood loss. If your condition is more severe and/or the iron supplements are not working, your doctor may recommend a blood transfusion.
- Antidepressant Medication: If you are depressed, your doctor can recommend using antidepressant medication to help with fatigue.
- Antibiotics: Prescribed antibiotics can help patients who have infections.
- Surgery: Your doctor may recommend surgery, depending on your condition. For example, if you have cancer, you can receive surgery to help relieve your weakness. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment are other options, but these can also cause weakness. The treatment option will depend on the stage, location, and body structure of the patient.
- Stay Hydrated: Increase your fluid intake and drink more water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to asthenia. However, severe symptoms of dehydration can require hospital treatment.
Additionally, there are other treatment options your doctor can suggest depending on your condition. Speak to your doctor about other possible treatment options. Your doctor may run some tests, such as blood or urine tests, to more accurately determine the cause of asthenia. In turn, this can help to also more accurately treat your condition.