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Good Question: Is Exhaustion Really A Medical Condition?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Actress Demi Moore was hospitalized Monday night for what her rep is now calling "exhaustion." But is exhaustion really a medical condition?

"No, I sometimes use the term fatigue or tiredness though," said Dr. Michael Howell of the Fairview-Southdale Sleep Center. "It's probably worthwhile in noting that you could blindly flip open any medical textbook, put your finger down, and land on a condition that can cause you to be tired or exhausted."

In Moore's case, Howell says he's not surprised she was diagnosed with exhaustion.

"Celebrities are commonly diagnosed with exhaustion, mainly so they can maintain some amount of privacy in terms of why they are in the hospital," said Howell.

Howell says exhaustion could cover everything from anxiety to eating and mood disorders, to drug abuse. In some cases, exhaustion is exactly that.

Actor Tracy Morgan, who has diabetes, was hospitalized Sunday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. His rep said he is seeking medical treatment for exhaustion and altitude.

But it's not just celebrities who use the term. Anyone whose every played the computer game "Oregon Trail" knows that exhaustion has been around since Louis and Clark. Pioneers used it to describe why a family member was visiting the doctor. Nowadays, it's almost exclusively used in Hollywood.

"Exhaustion is a term that tends to be used by people with some amount of notoriety," said Howell.

Howell added that depending on what type of exhaustion you are suffering from, medications and other treatments can typically cure it.

Exhaustion in any form should be taken seriously, Howell says, or it could lead to something more serious.

In Moore's case, it makes sense that her divorce with Ashton Kutcher would lead to anxiety and stress. Howell says that's usually how this type of diagnosis begins.

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