Scientific American presents House Call Doctor by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

56-year-old Frank came to see me in the clinic with his wife who said she had to “drag” him to my office.  Frank has been tired all the time for the past 2 months and just can’t seem get motivated enough to get out of the house.  Frank says that he just “hates the doctor’s office,” which is why he hasn’t been to one in over a decade. 

Fatigue is likely one of the top 20 complaints that I hear from my patients.  Living in today’s hectic world, we are all overworked and overstressed and this is one of the most common causes of fatigue.  Sometimes the stress can just catch up to us and cause our bodies to want to shut down and rest.  But before we blame Frank’s fatigue on stress, it’s my job to make sure it’s not anything more serious.

The History
Before I make any conclusions about Frank’s condition, I need to ask him some questions to really dissect the situation.  So I start taking what doctors call the “patient history” and I ask him about:

> Continue reading on