Fatigue while driving on the road, as we have all learned in recent years, can be just as deadly as drinking and driving. Personal injury attorneys in St. Petersburg have seen this all too often. As talk of increased punishment for fatigued drivers circulates, there is good reason to discuss how you might avoid exhaustion behind the wheel. In a previous post, I wrote about the changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce the tired feeling daily, but sometimes those methods are not enough. At times, fatigue is a chronic issue that should be looked at as a red flag.
Anemia A common disorder, anemia can be caused by several different factors. The most likely is a lack of iron in the body, which results in too few red blood cells. In addition to other symptoms, this can result in a constant state of fatigue. It is not difficult to test for anemia. A simple blood draw is all that is required for your physician to make the diagnosis and the treatment is even easier. Iron pills are sold over-the-counter. Anemia is most common in women, especially those who have recently given birth, who have heavy periods, or who are currently pregnant. Doctors will often suggest diets reach in dark, leafy greens, and red meats, which contain high levels of iron.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome As the name suggests, this condition, which is also known as CFS, is responsible for a constant (or regular) state of exhaustion. It can be a reason for fatigue while driving. It leaves sufferers feeling run down on a long-term basis. This is more difficult to diagnose than anemia, but doctors define this type of fatigue as one not improved by bed rest, but worsened by physical or mental activity. CFS can lead to a host of issues for patients, including pain or weakness in the muscles, difficulty with memory and focus, as well as insomnia. Chronic fatigue syndrome will often be diagnosed after a person has suffered for six months or more.
Fibromyalgia Commonly mistaken for CFS, ‘fibro’ leaves a person suffering with unexplained chronic pain and fatigue. Again, these symptoms are not made better with rest and can last for years, if not a lifetime. Women tend to be more prone to the condition and report overwhelming exhaustion and widespread pain. The resulting difficulties with memory and concentration are often referred to as “fibro fog” and can cause serious trouble in the day-to-day life of patients, which can include experiencing fatigue while driving. It is difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia as symptoms fall within a wide range and vary from patient to patient. Additionally, the symptoms of this condition overlap many others, which often lead to misdiagnoses.
In addition to these medical conditions, there are several medications – used to treat a wide array of complications – that list fatigue as a side effect. This is just another reason that tired drivers need to stay off the road and evaluate what might be cause of the regular exhaustion they are experiencing.
If you find that you are regularly exhausted when leaving your Saint Petersburg driveway each day, then consider the impact that a medical condition could be having on your body. When fatigue is a “new normal” for you, then it is very wise that you consult your physician to learn how medication, traditional therapies, or small lifestyle changes could restore your energy levels.