If you have been feeling run down and fatigued for weeks or even months, you may finally come to the point where you want to seek medical advice and guidance about what is going on with you. There are many conditions that can cause you to be fatigued, some easily remedied and some more serious. Before you go into panic mode, get to know some of what you can expect from a doctor's office visit for feelings of extreme fatigue. Then, you can be as prepared as possible for what is to come at your doctor's appointment.
Expect a Physical Exam
One of the things you can expect of any visit to the doctor is a general physical exam. They will check your heart rate, your breathing, your temperature, your blood pressure, and the like. This will all give the doctor an idea of your general health and could key them in to what is wrong if you are having lung or heart problems.
The physical exam is also to make sure you are not necessarily ill with a virus or a bacterial infection that might be causing your fatigue. The doctor can determine, through this exam what testing may be needed.
Expect a Standard Blood Panel
When you are feeling fatigued with no obvious cause, your doctor will likely need to rely on lab services to help with the process of diagnosing you. One of the tests they will run is a standard blood panel.
A standard blood panel tests your blood for the number of red and white blood cell counts, platelet counts, blood sugar, and a variety of other levels. If one of these numbers is off, it could be a clue as to what is going on. Leukemia, for example, can cause fatigue and presents with low counts of one or more blood cell types.
Expect a Thyroid Panel
Another lab service that you will likely get when you are feeling extreme fatigue is a thyroid panel. Thyroid hormones help with metabolism and providing the body with energy. If someone has too little thyroid hormone, their body is not efficiently converting their food into energy, which can cause fatigue (among other symptoms).
If you have hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), doctors can prescribe medications to supplement that hormone in the body. This can get your metabolism back on track, and of course, help with energy issues as well.
Now that you know some of what to expect from a doctor's appointment when you are experiencing fatigue, you can be prepared for the lab services and other steps that a doctor will use to help you with your fatigue issues.