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Common Causes Of Extreme Fatigue

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The Common Cold And The Flu

7 common extreme fatigue causes

It is very common for you to notice that a simple infection like the common cold or the flu makes you extremely tired, nauseous and fatigued. This is because the common cold and the flu drains your body of the fluids and lack of fluid causes extreme fatigue.

Keep yourself hydrated at all times to avoid getting fatigued or tired. Common cold and flu are widespread causes for fatigue, so there is nothing life-threatening or risky to worry about.

How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made

Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.

Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur when your blood doesn’t circulate properly, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors don’t totally understand the condition or why it happens, but they know that when a person with POTS stands upright, more blood collects in their lower body, causing the heart to beat faster to pump blood up to the brain.

Some people with POTS describe it as having sudden fatigue attacks, while others say it’s like having waves of sudden extreme fatigue and nausea or extreme fatigue “out of nowhere.” It can present differently depending on the person, but other symptoms might include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy when standing, or fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps or muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Feeling shaky
  • Sweating a lot

POTS tends to run in families, and there’s a link between POTS and having highly mobile joints , per Johns Hopkins Medicine. If you think you have it, see your doctor, who can run a test and make a diagnosis.

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Key Points About Fatigue

  • Fatigue is a common symptom.

  • Fatigue caused primarily by a physical disorder increases with activity and lessens with rest.

  • If a doctor uncovers no findings suggesting a cause of fatigue, tests are often not helpful in identifying the cause.

  • Successful treatment of chronic fatigue may take work and persistence.

  • Fatigue in older people is not a normal part of aging.

Essentials For Older People: Fatigue

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in an older woman may be fatigue rather than any pulmonary symptoms or fever. In older people, the first symptom of other disorders, such as giant cell arteritis Giant Cell Arteritis Giant cell arteritis is chronic inflammation of large and medium arteries of the head, neck, and upper body. Typically affected are the temporal arteries, which run through the temples and provide… read more , may also be fatigue. Because serious illness may become apparent soon after sudden fatigue in older people, it is important to determine the cause as quickly as possible.

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Hypothyroidism Tends To Make People Feel Sluggish

Hypothyroidism tends to make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed.

It is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. Inflammation of the thyroid gland is the most common cause. Other symptoms may include hair loss, depression, heavier menstrual periods, weakness, unintentional weight gain and being more sensitive to cold.

Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue

Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.

Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.

Infections that may cause fatigue include:

  • Flu

Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression

Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people’s lives.

With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog — a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.

Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.


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Can Boredom Cause Fatigue

Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.

Exercise Can Worsen The Symptoms Of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Stndrome

The Doctor is In: Common Causes of Fatigue

While exercise can be helpful for more common forms of fatigue, the relationship of exercise to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is much more complex. Exercise can, in fact, temporarily worsen the symptoms of CFS — a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “post-exertional malaise” or “payback.” This can strike ME/CFS patients about 12 to 48 hours after exercise and make their symptoms worse for days or even weeks.

Even so, ME/CFS patients are not discouraged from exercising. A carefully structured and balanced program of exercise can, over time, help build stamina. Not exercising can cause deconditioning, which can make symptoms worse.

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Genetic Conditions Affecting Muscles

Muscular dystrophies: these are inherited diseases which affect muscles. They are rare disorders but the best known and most common is Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This occurs in children and leads to gradual loss of muscle power from toddler-hood.

Some rare muscular dystrophies: these can present in adulthood and include Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome and the facioscapulohumeral dystrophies. They also cause gradual loss of power and function in muscles. Those who have these conditions may become wheelchair-bound.

Sarcoidosis: this is a rare disease in which clumps of cells form in skin, lungs and soft tissues, including muscles. The condition usually goes away after a few years.

Amyloidosis involves deposits of an ‘unhelpful’ abnormal protein called amyloid throughout the body, including muscles and kidneys.

Other rare causes: direct damage to muscles can occur in rare inherited metabolic conditions. Examples include:

  • Glycogen storage diseases .
  • Even rarer, mitochondrial diseases which occur when the energy systems inside muscle cells don’t work properly.

Myotonic dystrophy: this is a rare genetic muscle disorder in which muscles become extremely tired. Myotonic dystrophies are passed down through families and they tend to occur earlier and become worse as they move through the generations.

Problems With The Liver

Why issues with the liver also results in fatigue have so far not been entirely understood by experts. However, it has been estimated that it has to do something with hormonal imbalance as well.

The liver is one of the most critical parts of the digestive system and without proper digestion there is a possibility of the body being dehydrated. This leads to extreme fatigue and tiredness in the body.

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Is Pots More Common In Certain People

There are no established risk factors for POTS. However, it is known to run in families, so it could have a genetic component. Researchers have also established a link between POTS and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome . So if you have one of these conditions, you might also have the other.

A big group of those diagnosed with POTS is young women and teens. However, this doesnt mean they are more likely to develop this condition.

Some Blood Pressure Medications

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Shown &  Explained Using A Medical ...

Blood pressure medications are used for lowering the blood pressure inside your blood vessels, so that your heart does not have to work so hard to pump your blood throughout your body. But while blood pressure medications slow down your hearts pumping action also depress the entire central nervous system. Or deplete electrolytes, in the case of diuretics which can translate into fatigue and other symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, or excessive urination.

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Stress Anxiety & Depression

If youre tired all the time, try taking your emotional temperature. How is your stress level? Before you answer, fine, consider these stress and anxiety symptoms:

  • Low energy, fatigue
  • Digestive problems
  • Tense muscles, aches, and pains
  • Rapid heartbeat or chest pain
  • Shallow breathing
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Easily frustrated

If youve lived with stress and anxiety long term, then these symptoms have probably become an integral part of your life. You might not even recognize them without paying careful attention. But stress and anxiety both sap your mind and body of vital energy and cause chronic fatigue.

Check out our article, Stress Management for Seniors: Tips for Improving Health and Wellbeing for practical information about managing daily stress.

Its not uncommon for anxiety to lead to depression. Depression also triggers chronic fatigue and is fueled by sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness. A chronic depressive state affects your mind as well as your body, disrupting the neurotransmitters in your brain that handle alertness. This makes you feel drained of energy and sleepy in addition to the sleep problems depression typically causes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Fatigue

Symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflamed joints

Rheumatoid arthritis , a type of inflammatory arthritis, is another cause of excessive fatigue. Because joint damage can result in disability, early and aggressive treatment is the best approach for rheumatoid arthritis.

Medications that may be used early in mild RA include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Other drugs used in more serious forms of RA include the anti-cytokine therapies , as well as shots and other forms of treatment.

Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Sjogren’s disease, may also cause fatigue.

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Hay Fever Allergies And Fatigue

One of the most common cause of chronic fatigue is suffering from allergies or hay fever. The typical symptoms of this include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nasal drainage
  • Red and watery eyes

Allergic rhinitis can usually be treated easily and also self-managed. For making a diagnosis, though, you should consult your doctor, who will diagnose after assessing your symptoms. Your doctor will also try and determine the exact trigger for your allergies. This will either be determined through a detailed history or by testing what your allergy triggers are, including pollens, dust mites or cockroaches, molds and mildew, animal dander, weather changes, or anything else.

If you want to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including fatigue, then you can take steps to avoid getting exposed to the offending allergen. Additionally, taking proper medication will also help relieve the symptoms. Some medications that can help include:

  • Topical nasal antihistamines

Anemia is a very common blood condition and for women who are in their childbearing years, anemia has been found to the number one cause of fatigue. This is also true for women who have very heavy menstrual cycles, uterine polyps, or uterine fibroid tumors.

Some other causes of anemia include:

  • Deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12, iron
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Heart Attack Or Stroke

CHRONIC FATIGUE: 13 Common Causes

While you may be on the lookout for chest pain to signal problems with your heart, you should also add sudden-onset fatigue to the list, per the American Heart Association. .

In addition, the AHA points out that fatigue or confusion can be one of the initial symptoms of a stroke. Other signs might include a severe headache, arm weakness and difficulty with walking or talking.


If you have sudden exhaustion along with any other symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately. In either case, your likelihood of recovery is better the sooner you get treatment.

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Eating And Drinking Habits

Diet can affect how tired or energetic a person feels. Maintaining a moderate and well-balanced diet can lead to better health and better sleep.

Here are some tips to try:

  • Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Eat snacks that are low in sugar.
  • Avoid junk food and follow a well-balanced, healthful diet.
  • Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

Fatigue Cause No : Not Enough Sleep

It may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night.

Fix: Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and televisions from your bedroom. Still having trouble? Seek help from a doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

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Fatigue Cause No 1: Heart Disease

When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it’s becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.

Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed

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Right now, there’s no test to tell if someone has chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors ask a lot of questions . They also will do a thorough physical exam.

Doctors also usually order blood, urine , or other tests to check for conditions that cause similar symptoms. They may send a person to see other specialists to help with the diagnosis.

A doctor may suggest meeting with a psychologist or a therapist who can see whether mental health disorders might contribute to or mask CFS.

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Dont Forget The Lifestyle Factors

How you live your life can tell how fatigued you become at the end of the day. Here are a few warning signs and things that can cause excessive fatigue.

1. Excessive physical exertion

While it feels great to physically exert yourself as much as you can to reach your fullest potential in life, it is essential to keep a check on how much you actually end up using yourself. Keep an achievable target in mind and do not overestimate the power of your body.

Also, in case you do end up over-exerting yourself, try to take a break. Health comes way before anything else that you might want to do.

2. Absolute Zero Physical Activities

Like too much of a good thing is never a good idea, neither is not indulging in any physical activities and remaining to be a couch potato. Nope. That wouldnt do at all.

Zero physical activities lead to extreme drowsiness where your body ends up experiencing fatigue due to absolute lack of physical activities. That is again not as healthy as your body needs to burn up the carbs that you intake as part of your diet somehow.

3. Not Getting Adequate Sleep

This is the most common cause of fatigue and is a complaint that is made by almost everyone, be it a student or a working professional. Chances are you have complained about experiencing fatigue because of lack of sleep too. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep is mandatory to live a healthy and properly functioning life.

4. Being Obese Doesnt Help Either

5. Periods of Emotional Stress

Tired All The Time 24 Causes Of Consistent Fatigue

Tired all the time questionnaire

Use our free symptom checker to find out what’s causing your tired all the time.

There are so many reasons you may be feeling tired all day. Maybe you’re not devoting enough time to sleep, or you can’t fall asleep fast enough. Or it may be a hormonal or mental health issue. It’s important to find the cause and try to treat it.

Read Also: How To Explain Lupus Fatigue

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Associated With Fatigue

Fatigue is a symptom that usually has some underlying cause. Fatigue may be described by people in different ways, and may include some combination include weakness, lack of energy, constantly tired or exhausted, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and/or difficulty starting and completing tasks.

Other symptoms such as fainting or loss of consciousness , near-syncope, rapid heartbeat , dizziness or vertigo may also be described as part of the fatigue experienced by the affected individual. The presence of these symptoms may actually help lead a health care practitioner to discover the underlying cause of the fatigue.

The potential causes of fatigue are numerous. The majority of diseases known to man often list fatigue or malaise as possible associated symptoms. This is complicated by the fact that fatigue can occur in normal healthy individuals as a normal response to physical and mental exertion. However, normal fatigue may begin to become abnormal if it becomes chronic, extreme or prolonged fatigue usually this occurs when a person experiences chronic or prolonged physical or mental exertion. For example, unusually hard physical or mental exertion for one day can result in normal fatigue that may last about a day or sometimes more, depending on the exertion level, while daily unusually hard physical or mental exertion may result in prolonged fatigue . This latter situation may develop into abnormal fatigue.


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