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Causes of Fatigue

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Causes of fatigue and chronic fatigue

By Katherine Solem 


Fatigue, or a lack of energy, is a normal occurrence in daily life. While there are many causes for fatigue that may not persist, chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms last for at least six months. Read more about common causes of fatigue and how to treat and prevent fatigue.

Causes of Fatigue

Fatigue generally occurs when your body is tired and can occur in response to physical activity, stress or simply lack of sleep. That said, sometimes fatigue can be caused by more serious issues.

  • Psychological problems:
       
    • Depression
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    • Anxiety
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    • Stress
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  • Lifestyle:
       
    • Alcohol
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    • Excessive Caffeine
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    • Physical activity: Excessive physical activity can often cause your body to feel fatigued.
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    • Unhealthy diet: Maintaining an unhealthy diet can cause your body to feel lethargic or fatigued.
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  • Medications: Some medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, cold treatments, prescription pain medications, heart medications and blood pressure medications can all have the side effect of causing fatigue.
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  • Medical Conditions:A variety of medical conditions can also cause fatigue.
       
    • Sleep disorders:Lack of sleep is a common cause of fatigue.
      • Insomnia: Insomnia is defined as having difficulty sleeping for at least one month.
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      • Obstructive sleep apnea: This occurs when you suffer from blocked breathing while sleeping and often causes snoring.
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      • Narcolepsy: This disorder can cause you to feel extremely drowsy every several hours and may also involve hallucinations similar to dreams, an inability to move when you first wake up, or cataplexy which causes you to be unable to move.
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    • Acute liver failure
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    • Allergies
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    • Anemia
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    • Arthritis
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    • Cancer
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    • Chronic fatigue syndrome: The main symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is severe fatigue or weariness that is not alleviated by rest. In order to be diagnosed, this fatigue must last 6 months and must decrease your daily activity by at least 50%.
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    • Chronic kidney failure
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    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): This is a group of lung diseases that make it difficult to breathe by blocking your ability to exhale. This can include emphysema and chronic asthmatic bronchitis.
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    • Diabetes: Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are likely to cause fatigue.
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    • Fibromyalgia: This common condition involves chronic pain particularly in joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissues. This in turn can cause fatigue.
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    • Heart disease
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    • Obesity
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    • Pregnancy
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    • Restless leg syndrome: This syndrome is characterized by severe discomfort in your leg when sitting or lying down.
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    • Thyroid problems: Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause fatigue.
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Continued on next page >

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