Everyone goes through periods of feeling worn out, lacking in energy and generally run down at some point in life. The feeling may be caused by overwork or general stress, in which case it usually wears off when the contributory cause it tackled. If it becomes a chronic condition, and the victim wakes up every morning feeling drained and tired, unable to concentrate or to take an interest in events, it is sometimes diagnosed as TATT. More patients consult a doctor complaining of these symptoms than for anything else, and the contributory factors can be varied, from an underlying physical illness to depression.
Reading the pulse and examining the tongue will help Chinese Medicine practitioner decide whether the condition is emotional or physical, and she will take a full case history to see whether there are psychological or environmental factors which need to be looked at. Chronic tiredness can be a symptom of premenstrual tension or the menopause, or it may involve some other hormonal imbalance, perhaps an underactive thyroid, or Addison’s Disease, in which the body has too little adrenalin. Constant tiredness is also a factor in ME, but there are other symptoms, such as a recent viral infection, which helps diagnosis in that particular case. Depression too, can be marked by extreme tiredness.
If the patient is just tired, Chinese Medicine diagnoses a qi deficiency, if tired and feeling cold, yang deficiency, tired and hot is a yin deficiency. It is vital to make the right diagnosis, as treatment varies accordingly. Ginseng can be effective for some types of tiredness, but it must be administered carefully. Other herbs are usually needed as well.
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