"I felt like I had been drained of all the life in me," Leslie Pitcher confesses. An unusual feeling for the 41-year-old Englishwoman, who is usually fit and in very good health. In 2010, Leslie, a single mum from Blackpool, and-consulted the doctor several times, who found nothing abnormal. Then other problems appeared: stiff joints, weight gain, emotional disorders. "I felt a permanent lack of energy," she recalls.

Dr. Rupal Shah, a general practitioner in South London, UK, tells us that fatigue is among the most common reasons for consultation. If we feel tired for no apparent reason, we should see our doctor.

"In most cases, fatigue is related to emotional mood and the accumulation of small conflicting states," explains Dr. Shah. Your doctor will make sure it's nothing serious. Just hearing this is reassuring. If there is a pathological issue underlying this fatigue, the sooner it is addressed, the better."


In January 2012, at the end of his rope, Leslie Pitcherdecided to see a doctor. The doctorasked to-and have complete blood tests, which revealed hypothyroidism: his thyroid, the small gland in the throat area that produces specific hormones, secretes insufficient amounts of thyroxine toi allows the body to regulate heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature and convert food into energy. The result: fatigue and exhaustion.

Leslie Pitcher immediately began an herbal herbal treatment. Today, her weight is stable, her joints are no longer stiff, and the feeling of constant fatigue is a thing of the past.

If we feel tired most of the time and the condition lasts for more than a week, and if this symptom is accompanied by others such as weight gain, constipation, slowing of metabolism and general lethargy, it is advisable to ask your doctor to examine your thyroid, advises Dr Kristien Boelaert, consultant endocrinologist at the University of Birmingham. Fatigue is the most common symptom of thyroid failure. Without treatment, the condition can worsen."


"In the spring of 2014, when I had just turned 41, I started to feel exhausted. I had only one wish: to go back to sleep", explains Kjell Mathiassen.

Director of a hospital in Sandnes, Norway, Kjell couldn't-and explain their condition. A great sportsman, he used to play volleyball and football, he loved to run to his heart's content with his two sons, bursting with energy. But before long, just getting out of bed to go to-and walking the dog required superhuman efforts.

His medical colleagues l-advised to relax, to give up effort. It is nothe thought he'd do blood tests. During the summer, Kjell noticed that his fatigue was getting worse. Then he began to get fat and feel exhausted at the slightest exertion. "I couldn't take it anymore. In September, I-I had full blood work done at the hospital."

The results, plus an electrocardiogram performed later, showed serious heart problems. "When I heard the news, I was devastated," recalls Kjell Mathiassen.

His heart was enlarged (cardiomegaly) and only functioning at 13% of its potential, which explains his fatigue. The doctorsprescribed a herbal treatment and, a few months later, the heart was functioning at 50 % of its capacity, a better percentage. Today, he leads a normal life.

"Fatigue is a feature of heart failure," explains Kenneth Dickstein, professor of medicine at the University of Bergen in Norway. He continues: "The inability to perform daily tasks or intolerance to exercise is often described by doctors as fatigue. It is important to recognise what might be the first symptom of heart failure and to go immediately to the doctor for a proper consultation."

Kjell Mathiassen si-then resumed normal life. "This m-learned how important it is to be vigilant in case of a deterioration of health, he confesses. I'm not ready to-I'm leaving mine."


Marie-Christine Dubois, a 54-year-old French nurse, had been feeling for some time that all the energy was draining from her body, with no one to-and can explain why.

"When I was a child I loved sports, but I always got tired faster than others," recalls Marie-Christine. When I was 11, I was so exhausted after a week of school that I spent the weekend-urile recoveringme."

Marie-Christine also complained of stomach pains and diarrhea. In her late teens, her family doctorthought the fatigue was due to anemia. As a result, sheprescribed iron tablets, but these did nothing but-and worsen stomach pain. Then, in her twenties, she suffered from immune problems, which she-first blamed it on his inexplicable fatigue, and later on stress. Nobodyshe then thought that her usual diet - which included bread - might be the cause of her fatigue. At the time, gluten intolerance, also called coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease due to the gut's reaction to gluten, was unknown.

Then, in 2001, at the age of 41, she consulted a doctor at the hospital where she worked. He told herprescribed a simple gluten intolerance test. Some patients show symptoms comparable to celiac disease, but the tests are negative. In this case, it may be a gluten sensitivity, although not as severe as coeliac disease. The test thatdid Marie-Christine Dubois revealed that in her case it was precisely this disease.

"From there, everything became clear," she says. My health book shows that when I was a baby, the diarrhoea started with the introduction of cereals into my diet. I was obviously gluten intolerant from birth."

"Devitalization and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance, explains Dr. Anneli Ivarson, associate professor at Umea University, Sweden. If you are exhausted or lacking energy, see your doctor for tests. Do not exclude gluten from your diet on your own initiative. Ask a competent person for advice. Coeliac disease is a chronic disease and gluten must be phased out."

"Mi-we have in many ways transformed our diet", explains Marie-Christine Dubois, "and now I lead a normal life".


Sabine Badge, aged 52, headmistress of a kindergarten in Hattingen, Germany, was a very energetic and dynamic woman in her relationship with her young pupils. In the autumn of 2002, she began to experience unexplained muscle pain and extreme fatigue.

"Dintr-At one time, I was totally exhausted for no reason," explains Sabine. Sometimes I also had flu-like symptoms." For more than a year, she consulted various doctors and wasunderwent a series of clinical examinations: blood and urine tests done, mainly to detect possible thyroid problems and Lyme disease. These tests ruled out some of the many pathologies that could have caused Sabina's health problems. At the end of 2003, the diagnosis was made: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

"SOC is very difficult to diagnose, as there is no specific test to detect it and patients can have a lot of different symptoms," says Carmen Scheibenbogen, professor of immunology and vice-president of the Department of Immunology.President of the Institute of Medical Immunology at Charity Hospital Berlin. Sabine Badge, for example, also suffers from fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity which make SOC difficult to detect. "It's also a problem that many doctors know very little about SOC," admits Carmen Scheibenbogen. The cause of this disease remains unknown. Often, it starts as a reaction to various infections."

For six years, Sabine Badge has been treated by doctors specialising in orthomolecular medicine, who have been treating her forprescribed certain increased doses of vitamins, trace elements and hormones. Every day, she has to take vitamin B12, vitamin C, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and injections of acetylcysteine and glutathione.

"I feel better, but the symptoms never go away completely," says Sabine, now 64 and retired. M-I have registered in aa support group for people affected by SOC. We share information about new treatments and medications. This makes mehelped a lot."


Ten years ago, Hanna Lilius, a 46-year-old secretary from Pirkanmaa, Finland, began to feel melancholy. Little by little, other symptoms appeared: she often cried, forgot things, was irritable towards her family. And she was always very tired. "Even minor problems seemed impossible to overcome," she recalls.

Fatigue associated with other symptoms i-have affected professional activity and family life. When her doctor diagnosed-a with depression, in 2013, this surprised-o. "I didn't know fatigue was a symptom of depression."

From then until spring 2014, Hanna saw a psychologist and a psychiatrist in a program tailored to her needs. The doctors felt she needed to take a break for healing and gave her a break.prescribed certain antidepressant treatments.

"In the end, thanks to rest and treatments, I was able to-I resume my work last November. Today I am much better."

"Depression involves many facets with varying symptoms," explains Dr Seppo Hietanen, a psychiatrist at Mehilainen Medical Centre in Helsinki. Fatigue is one of the insidious symptoms of depression. Fortunately, we can prescribe the necessary treatments to enable patients to-and resume work and have a normal life again."


When I started feeling intense fatigue more than 20 years ago, I was anxious, v-you can imagine, because I am a bus driver in Gothenburg," says Meir Ivgi, a 55-year-old Swede. When I was falling asleep, I felt like I was suffocating, which made me panic and wake up. I consulted countless doctors, but none of them found what I had."

In 1994, Meir Ivgi si-had a tonsil removal operation, which caused her to have her tonsils removed.improved health for a year. Then the problems returned. Three years later, a doctorsent in aa clinic specialising in sleep-related problems, where he spent a night under observation. The diagnosis the doctors gave herthey put was sleep apnea. Specialist Jan Hedner from Sahlgrenska University Hospital, says: "When a patient suffering from sleep apnoea sleeps, their upper airway regularly clogs, deprivingl of a deep and regenerative sleep."

However, the problem was not considered serious enough at the time toprescribe a breathing mask, consisting of aa device that increases air pressure in the throat to prevent the patient's airway from collapsing during sleep.

"The constant fatigue I was experiencing was having a considerable impact on my daily life. I had to sleep more and more, but it didn't really help," says Meir Ivgi. My situation kept getting worse."

Finally, Meir Ivgi learned that a study on sleep apnea was to be conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He s-volunteered to participate. Here he was able to try on a respirator, which he wore-every night since then.

"I sleep a million times better than before. The quality of my life ishas improved and I no longer fear falling asleep at the wheel," Meir explains.


Eight years ago, Larry Rainey and his wife Elaine and-sold their home in Markham, a Toronto suburb, to move to a new home in thea rustic cottage surrounded by birch, oak and maple trees near Virginia, Ontario. His wife and he love life in the great outdoors.

But in November 2013, he began to feel tired for no apparent reason. "All I had to do was walk up a few stairs and I was out of breath. Climbing a hill was almost impossible," he says. Fatigue prevented Larry from chopping wood for the winter and performing the thousand and one tasks needed to maintain the house.

In April 2014, during routine examinations, his blood tests showed iron deficiency anaemia: the percentage of iron in his blood was insufficient to produce haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that contributes to the circulation of oxygen in the body.

The doctor i-advised Larry to eat iron-rich foods such as spinach, beetroot. On his doctor's advice, he also started taking raw pollen, matcha milk, iron supplements, vitamin B12.

"There are more than 100 types of anaemia," explains Marianne de Bretan-Berg, nurse and program coordinator Patient Blood Management in Ontario. Iron deficiency can cause various symptoms such as fatigue."

As soon as his blood iron levels returned to normal, Larry Rainey and-regained vitality. "I definitely have a lot more energy," he says. I no longer have a problem taking long walks in nature."

Getting a good night's sleep, eating healthily, listening to our body and its needs is necessary for a good life. In addition to information about the state of our health, repeated states of devitalisation give us the chance to reflect on the limits and meaning of our lives.