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Fatigue Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Fatigue. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you felt fatigued?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the fatigue intermittent or constant?

    Why: Intermittent fatigue may suggest myasthenia gravis. Constant fatigue may be due to any of the other disorders, however if not associated with weight loss should consider a psychiatric disorder.

  3. Are there simple reasons to explain fatigue?

    Why: e.g. not getting enough sleep, sleep debt, shift work, jet lag and boredom.

  4. What is the quality of your sleep?

    Why: e.g. insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy. Sleep disturbance is a common cause of fatigue.

  5. What are your stressors at the moment?

    Why: questions specifically about relationship, family, children, social support, occupation, general physical health and financial stresses. Stress related to lifestyle is the commonest cause of fatigue.

  6. Have you had a recent viral infection?

    Why: a viral infection or post-viral infection are common causes of fatigue.

  7. Are you, or could you be pregnant?

    Why: Fatigue is a feature of pregnancy, especially in the early stages.

  8. Medications?

    Why: e.g. chronic aspirin ingestion may cause chronic fatigue; may other drugs have the capacity to cause tiredness and fatigue such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensives, anti-anxiety medications, steroids, digoxin and pain killers.

  9. Caffeine ingestion?

    Why: e.g. caffeine abuse may cause chronic fatigue.

  10. Drug or alcohol abuse?

    Why: e.g. alcoholism and cocaine abuse are associated with chronic fatigue; drug withdrawal (especially from illicit drugs such as amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine and heroin) may cause fatigue.

  11. Dietary history?

    Why: e.g. fad diets or skipped meals may cause fatigue.

  12. Sexual history?

    Why: may help determine risk of syphilis and HIV infection.

  13. Weight loss?

    Why: must consider cancer, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, gut malabsorption and chronic infectious disease (e.g. tuberculosis, subacute bacterial endocarditis).

  14. Fever?

    Why: should consider tuberculosis, subacute bacterial endocarditis, toxoplasmosis, infectious mononucleosis, brucellosis.

  15. Pallor of the skin?

    Why: most likely cause is a type of anemia such as associated with malabsorption syndrome, iron deficiency, pernicious anemia or anemia due to blood loss.

  16. Polyuria (excessive urination)?

    Why: may suggest hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism and chronic renal failure.

  17. Orthopnea (breathlessness lying down flat)?

    Why: suggests left ventricular heart failure.

  18. Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (inappropriate severe breathlessness causing waking from sleep)?

    Why: suggests left ventricular failure.

  19. Symptoms of depression?

    Why: e.g. sadness, crying spells, lack of interest in activities, poor energy, poor concentration and attention span, poor sleep, reduced libido, poor self esteem and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

  20. Symptoms of anxiety?

    Why: e.g. nervousness, shakiness, tremor, tiredness, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, heart palpitations, racing heart, sweating, dizziness, diarrhea, lump in throat and frequency of urination - anxiety and depression are very closely related and may co-exist, however anxiety may mask an underlying depression. Anxiety is a common cause of fatigue.

  21. Range of somatic (physical) symptoms?

    Why: e.g. tiredness, headache, constipation, indigestion, weight loss, dry mouth, unusual pains or sensations in the chest and abdomen - not uncommonly occur with depression and tend to mask a diagnosis of depression. Depression can be associated with many illnesses but it is important to realize that these somatic symptoms may be the presentation of depressive illness. Depression is a common cause of fatigue.

  22. Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

    Why: e.g. extreme exhaustion (with minimal physical effort), headache (or a vague "fuzzy" feeling in the head), aching in the muscles and legs, poor concentration and memory, excessive sleep, waking feeling tired, emotional lability, aching joints, sore throat, tender swollen lymph nodes and depressive-like illness.

  23. Symptoms of diabetes mellitus

    Why: e.g. frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue.

  24. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair.

  25. Symptoms of hemochromatosis?

    Why: e.g. fatigue, painful joints, impotence, bronze discoloration of skin.

  26. Symptoms of Conn's syndrome?

    Why: e.g. weakness, frequency of urine, excessive thirst.

  27. Symptoms of Addison's disease?

    Why: e.g. pigmentation, tiredness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea.

  28. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

    Why: e.g. loose bowel motions, intolerance to heat, sweating of hands, muscle weakness, increased appetite, weight loss, heart palpitations, emotional lability.

  29. Menopausal symptoms?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, hot flushes, night sweats - fatigue is a common symptom in menopausal women and is often associated with these other symptoms.

  30. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

    Why: e.g. loud snoring, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, unrefreshed sleep, restless sleep, morning headache, nocturnal choking, reduced libido.

  31. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

    Why: e.g. coarse hand tremor most marked at rest, rigidity of limbs, slowness in initiating and executing movements and speech, expressionless mask-like face and dementia.

  32. Symptoms of Myasthenia gravis?

    Why: e.g. easy muscle fatigability especially eyelids, neck, shoulders, lower legs and trunk, droopy eyelids, double vision, weak voice.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Fatigue:

The following list of conditions have 'Fatigue' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Fatigue or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Fatigue:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Fatigue' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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