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Fatigue

Very few of us would ever consider going to doctor just because we felt tired. After all, who isn’t tired nowadays! However, unexplained tiredness is a common symptoms of lung cancer. So, if you are feeling more tired than usual and there is no reason for it, you should contact your GP practice.

Fatigue is when you feel extremely tired or exhausted. Most of us will experience fatigue and there are lots of causes of it. This can include:

  • Physical activity or exertion, or lack of activity
  • Poor or reduced sleep
  • Poor diet, being overweight or obese
  • Stress or feeling anxious
  • Grief
  • Certain medications, including antidepressants
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Drinking too much caffeine
  • Boredom.

It may seem a trivial thing to see your doctor for, but fatigue can have a severe impact on your life and can also have a negative effect on your mental health.

Chances are, your fatigue won’t be caused by lung cancer. However, it is still important to contact your GP practice to understand why you are feeling so tired.

Pat Spotted the Difference

Pat noticed she was getting increasingly more tired and couldn’t understand why. She was working part time, her husband was working away and her children had flown the nest. There was no reason for her to be feeling as exhausted as she was. Pat was reluctant to go to the doctor because she didn’t feel unwell but, as things got worse, she made that crucial appointment.

Spot the difference in your health

Tiredness or fatigue is something we all experience and can be difficult to spot so we have created a symptoms tracker where you can keep a note of:

  • When you first started feeling more tired
  • How often you are feeling fatigued
  • Any other potential symptoms.

You can then take this along to your doctor’s appointment to give them the fuller picture of your symptoms.

Under the guidelines of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), your GP should offer you an urgent chest x-ray if you are:

  • over 40
  • two or more symptoms including breathlessness, or
  • one symptom and have ever smoked.

Symptoms for urgent chest x-ray include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss.

If you are not offered a chest x-ray and you mean this criteria, or if you are really worried about your symptoms, don’t be afraid to ask for an x-ray, or for a second opinion.