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Fatigue is a condition when you feel tired, exhausted, and lethargic. Your energy level may be extremely low and you also can find it difficult to stay focused and concentrated. Fatigue is not an illness itself but it can be a symptom of some serious disorder or a disease, especially if it is persistent and severe, and followed by other symptoms. Fatigue should go away once the underlying cause is cured.

General Causes

One of the most obvious causes of fatigue is lack of sleep. If you did not get enough rest after a hard and stressful day at work, you will feel fatigue. Many people who work night shift feel exhausted even if they had about 8 hours of sleep. Performing excessive physical activities or exercises can lead to fatigue. On the other hand, if you are physically inactive and you spend the majority of your day sitting, you may feel mild fatigue. The cause of fatigue can be consuming too much caffeine or alcohol. Fatigue can also be caused by excessive eating of greasy food.

Medical Causes

Fatigue is a common symptom of various diseases. It can also be a side effect of some medications. Flu, pneumonia and anemia are often followed by fatigue. Problems with thyroid gland can lead to fatigue. If fatigue is accompanied by irregular pulse or pain in the chest, it may be the sign that you suffer from some heart disease. One of the symptoms of kidney or liver failure is fatigue. Various infections, particularly those which last for a long time can cause fatigue. Patients with cancer, diabetes or lupus may experience fatigue as well. Other medical conditions which have fatigue as one of the symptoms include dehydration, arthritis, anorexia, Parkinson's disease and autoimmune disorders. A lot of painkillers and prescribed medications list fatigue as one of potential side effects.

Mental and Emotional Causes

Too much worrying can lead to fatigue. If you have had an emotional trauma, you may experience fatigue after some time. Fatigue can be caused by grief, anxiety or depression. Such emotional conditions can also cause sleep deprivation which can make the fatigue worse. Stress, being overloaded with work and pressure can cause mental fatigue which is often followed by inability to focus or concentrate.


As soon as the underlying cause is treated, problems with fatigue should vanish. However, you must take care of your physical, emotional and mental health in order to avoid fatigue. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. You should do moderate exercises and eat well balanced and healthy food. Avoid stressful situations as much as you can, and stop smoking and drinking alcohol.

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