Fatigue is different from feeling tired. A tired person who has not slept well may struggle the next day and want to do less than they normally would.
In contrast, fatigue can have a significant impact on day-to-day life.
A person experiencing fatigue will feel that they do not have the energy to complete everyday tasks, and this feeling will continue over an extended period.
While a person can usually identify why they feel tired, fatigue is often a symptom of an underlying health condition that needs to be investigated. A doctor will need to make a diagnosis before the person can be treated.
GERD is one condition that can interfere with sleep patterns and cause fatigue. It occurs when stomach acid flows upward into the food pipe, which is called the esophagus, rather than staying in the stomach and aiding digestion.
There are different reasons why a person with GERD may experience fatigue.
When a person is walking or standing upright, gravity helps to keep stomach contents, including acid, where they belong.
However, when a person lies down, the position prevents stomach contents from moving through the body efficiently and allows stomach acid to rise into the food pipe.
When a person is lying down and trying to sleep, symptoms such as heartburn and coughing may worsen to become painful and disruptive. Heightened symptoms can prevent a person from sleeping properly and may eventually lead to fatigue.
Feeling permanently exhausted and lacking the energy to complete simple tasks is a sign that something is wrong.
Fatigue can be a symptom of various underlying conditions, and it is important to see a doctor, who can rule out unrelated issues.
Anyone experiencing fatigue should make a note of other symptoms.
This will help the doctor make a more quick and accurate diagnosis.
Other conditions that can cause fatigue include:
- a poor diet and a lack of exercise
- autoimmune disorders
- sleep apnea
- drug or alcohol misuse
- liver or kidney failure
- heart disease
- thyroid disease
- multiple sclerosis
- myalgic encephalitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome
If GERD symptoms, such as heartburn and coughing, are interrupting a person's sleep, they should seek advice from a medical professional. Treatments a can ease symptoms and help a person to get a better night's rest.