Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lethargic Definition

A lethargic definition is described as feelings of tiredness, fatigue or lack of energy that can be accompanied by depression, decreased motivation or apathy. The meaning of lethargic is the same as somnolence which is defined as a state of near sleep, a strong desire to sleep or sleeping for longer periods (hypersomnia). Feeling tired and lethargic can be a normal reaction to; not getting enough sleep, overexertion, overworking, stress, lack of exercise and boredom. If lethargy is caused by a normal reaction it is usually resolved with decreased stress, a good diet and getting enough sleep.

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If you are constantly feeling lethargic that does not resolve with good sleep habits and good nutrition, it may be an indication there is an underlying physical or psychological condition. Common causes of lethargicness include allergies, asthma, anemia, anxiety, dementia, cancer and its treatments, chronic pain, heart disease, infection, eating disorders, grief, sleeping disorders, thyroid problems, medication side effects, alcohol and/or drug abuse and depression.

If you are tired all day the reason could be from lack of sleep or lethargic depression. When dopamine levels fall too low, the person suffers from lethargic depression and is unable to focus on anything. Low levels of norepinephrine may result in the person feeling dull and unmotivated. Norepinephrine, along with dopamine, has come to be recognized as playing a large role in attention and focus.

Lethargic symptoms that develop later in the day and are associated with sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin and weight gain could be the cause of an underactive thyroid gland. Heart and lung problems can be the source of a combination of shortness of breath and feelings of lethargy. Heart and lung problems include; asthma, cardiomyopathy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and bronchitis, coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease and pneumonia.

Other diseases and disorders that cause people to become lethargic are; diabetes, infections, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and lupus.

Many define lethargic without a diagnosis as chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome starts with flu-like symptoms that cannot be resolved with adequate rest. See more information regarding chronic fatigue syndrome: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Lethargy for the most part can be relieved with the help of a chronic fatigue syndrome diet. This diet is designed to slow down muscular atrophy so there is no wasting of muscles. It relieves fatigue, tiredness and weight gain that is associated with inactivity. If you are experiencing muscle weakness exercising regularly is not recommended. First treatment is directed to help a person control their weight and improve muscle functioning. Consuming a lot of liquids can help overcome sluggishness. A simple home-made remedy is a tea made with basil leaves or a glass of equal parts of grapefruit and lemon juice.

What is a lethargic diet? Eating a healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains along with lots of protein to support and repair your muscles. Avoid white sugar, processed foods and foods high in fat and carbohydrates. Take a good multivitamin but take it close to bedtime and not in the morning as many multivitamins contain magnesium and calcium that are known to relax you.

Carbohydrates protect you from disease and also release substances that provide you with a sense of calm. Fruits, vegetable and grains contain carbohydrates so balancing these nutritious foods with proteins will not only provide you with energy they will bring good health and regulate your mood and behavior. Amino acids break down protein foods during digestion and enter into your bloodstream where they enter your brain network to manufacture neurotransmitters. High protein foods, including meats, poultry, fish and dairy products release energy-inducing amino acids called tyrosine. Remember dopamine and norepinephrine? Tyrosine increases the production of these mood-enhancing neurotransmitters that help you with mental energy and mental alertness.

Now carbohydrates send insulin into the bloodstream to block the action of most amino acids except the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan makes it way to the brain where it converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin, when day turns to night, makes melatonin which creates a calming effect and improves sleep. recommends consuming high carbohydrate foods as a nightly snack to create calmness and overcome stress so you can fall asleep easy.

When overcoming lethargically feelings pay attention to how you react to particular foods. Protein foods for breakfast will start your day with energy, combining carbohydrates with proteins for lunch will help maintain your energy and release a sense of calm for any stressors that may arise during the day and a high carbohydrate dinner when you need to relax and get ready for a restful refreshing night’s sleep.

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Remember alcohol can dehydrate you and cause an electrolyte imbalance which only aggravates lethargic symptoms. If you are using alcohol to mask symptoms of a disorder or using it to get a good night sleep, because you are stressed or depressed, you might fall asleep easy but your sleep is likely to be disrupted as the alcohol wears off. If you need to de-stress try some simple yoga stretches or take a warm bath with lavender bath oil.

If you feel you are persistently lethargic, meaning you are tired every day for over two weeks and getting adequate rest doesn’t resolve your problem, you may have to be diagnosed by your doctor. These tests may include blood and urine tests, imaging tests and in some cases, referred to a specialist. The treatment and prognosis depends on the underlying cause. If it accompanies serious symptoms it may require an immediate evaluation. Seek medical care if you have chest pain, blurred vision, high fever, decreased urine output, sudden swelling, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, altered consciousness, severe pain or think you might be in danger to yourself or others.

The content provided in Lethargic Definition is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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