Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

How Can I Fight Fatigue?

Thursday, 16 September 2010 08:44 AM

Question: I am a 52-year-old man, and I am fighting fatigue. I work outside a lot in the Arizona sun, but it never affected me like this before. How do I get my energy back?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Failing energy in the hot dry Arizona climate is usually from dehydration, and can be easily prevented by ongoing hydration combined with suitable sun protection and headwear. The humidity is so low at times in Arizona that the body’s cooling mechanism — sweating — is overpowered. Sweat can evaporate from our bodies faster than it is produced, and in as few as 15 minutes, we can be suffering from dehydration and heat stroke.

If our cooling mechanism is overcome by rapid evaporation of sweat, or if our perspiration is impaired, we may not recognize our fluid loss until it has advanced to a point that may become dangerous and indeed life-threatening.

Try drinking water before going outside. Do NOT use caffeine and caffeinated drinks as caffeine will work as a diuretic (water pill). It is wiser to avoid these products when you have fluid balance issues. Limit direct sun and keep work outside to a minimum.

See your doctor for a check to be sure that lack of hydration is indeed the only reason you are tired. Be sure your fatigue doesn’t related to a correctable or deficiency state (thyroid, electrolyte disorder, diabetes, etc.) or isn’t a symptom of early vascular or heart disease that is triggered by the stress of the heat and dehydration.

Do not forget the sunscreen and appropriate headwear to provide protection from the intense sun common to summer in Arizona and the southern United States. Enjoy that sun and heat wisely!

© HealthDay

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