What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a feeling or sensation of tiredness, weariness, exhaustion, weakness or low energy. Fatigue is a symptom of a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions including infection, inflammation, trauma, malignancy, chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and mental illnesses.

Fatigue can occur in any age group or population, but it is particularly common in the elderly and in people with chronic diseases. Depending on the cause, the sensation of fatigue can last briefly and disappear quickly, such as after exertion or a single night of insomnia. Fatigue can also be chronic and ongoing over a longer period of time, such as with fatigue due to chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, or heart failure.

Fatigue can be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition. If you experience fatigue that is not alleviated with good sleep habits and adequate nutrition, seek prompt medical care and talk to your medical professional about your symptoms. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing fatigue with chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or a change in consciousness or alertness, seek immediate medical care (call 911).


What other symptoms might occur with fatigue?

Fatigue may occur with other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, fatigue caused by hypothyroidism may be associated with dry, brittle hair, hair loss, unusual weight gain, and possibly goiter (neck swelling due to enlargement of the thyroid gland). Fatigue associated with depression may occur with excessive crying, insomnia and apathy.... Read more about fatiguesymptoms


What causes fatigue?

Fatigue can be caused by a wide variety of diseases, disorders or conditions, such as anemia, low blood pressure (hypotension), chronic fatigue syndrome, and Addison's disease. Although fatigue can be due to relatively mild and temporary conditions, such as jet lag, fatigue can also be caused by serious or life-threatening conditions, such as organ failure or cancer.... Read more about fatiguecauses

Medical Reviewer: Williams, Robert MD Last Annual Review Date: Mar 16, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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This Article is Filed Under: Fatigue, Food, Nutrition and Diet

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