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The purpose of this discussion is to analyze the definition and cause of fatigue as well as explain how thyroid function impacts this symptom. Fatigue can be acute or chronic; it is often described as weariness not relieved by rest, affecting energy, motivation and concentration (“Fatigue definition,” 2020). Other coinciding symptoms involve stress, anxiety, irritability and muscle weakness. There are many causes of fatigue since it is a general symptom; differentials to consider are excessive stress, sleep disorders (such as insomnia and sleep apnea), altered thyroid function and respiratory conditions (such as COPD) (“Fatigue,” 2020). More specifically, stress and sleep disorders go together. When a person faces excessive stress from life events, such as death or loss of a job, they can be irritable, depressed, and hopeless for a long period of time. This constant state of arousal can lead to sleeping trouble, ultimately causing a sleep disorder. The mix of these two conditions can cause fatigue (Browne, 2018). In addition, the thyroid impacts fatigue because this structure is responsible for metabolism. With too much thyroid hormone, the body goes into overdrive. When there is too little hormone, the body slows down. Organs involved in thyroid function include the brain, liver, kidneys, bones, and skin. Fatigue is mostly impacted by hypothyroidism because there is a slowing of body systems causing not only fatigue, but also constipation, dry skin, and brittle nails and skin (“The lowdown on thyroid slowdown,” 2018). Hence, fatigue is a general symptom caused by several different conditions.
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