Skip to content

    Weakness and Fatigue

    Font Size

    Home Treatment

    If you have generalized weakness and fatigue along with other symptoms, evaluate those symptoms. Home treatment for your other symptoms usually will improve your weakness and fatigue. Mild generalized weakness and fatigue that occur with a viral illness usually improve with the following home treatment measures.

    • Get extra rest while you are ill. Let your symptoms be your guide.
      • If you have a cold, you may be able to stick to your usual routine and just get some extra sleep.
      • If you have the flu, you may need to spend a few days in bed.
    • Return to your usual activities slowly to avoid prolonging the fatigue.
    • Be sure to drink extra fluids to avoid dehydration.

    If generalized weakness and fatigue are not related to another illness, follow the guidelines in the Prevention section and be patient. It may take a while for you to feel energetic again.

    • Listen to your body. Alternate rest with exercise. Gradually increasing your exercise may help decrease your fatigue.
    • Limit medicines that might contribute to fatigue. Tranquilizers and cold and allergy medicines often cause fatigue.
    • Improve your diet. Eating a balanced diet may increase your energy level. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
    • Reduce your use of alcohol or other drugs, such as caffeine or nicotine, which may contribute to fatigue.
    • Cut back on watching television. Spend that time with friends, try new activities, or travel to break the fatigue cycle.
    • Get a good night's sleep. This may be the first step toward controlling fatigue.
      • Eliminate all sound and light disturbances.
      • Do not eat just before you go to bed.
      • Use your bed only for sleeping. Do not read or watch TV in bed.
      • Get regular exercise but not within 3 to 4 hours of your bedtime.
      • For more information, see actionset.gif Insomnia: Improving Your Sleep.

    Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

    Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

    • New symptoms develop along with the weakness and fatigue.
    • Symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.
    • Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.