Taking a quick inventory of the things that might be responsible for your fatigue is the first step toward relief. In general, most cases of fatigue may be attributed to three areas: lifestyle factors, medical conditions or psychological problems.

Lifestyle factors
Feelings of fatigue often have an obvious cause, such as:

  1. Alcohol use or abuse
  2. Caffeine use
  3. Excessive physical activity
  4. Inactivity
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Medications, such as antihistamines, cough medicines and cold remedies
  7. Unhealthy eating habits

Psychological conditions
Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Grief
  4. Stress

Medical conditions
Unrelenting exhaustion may be a sign of a medical condition or underlying illness, such as:

  1. Acute liver failure
  2. Anemia
  3. Cancer
  4. Chronic fatigue syndrome
  5. Chronic kidney disease
  6. COPD
  7. Emphysema
  8. Heart disease
  9. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  10. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  11. Medications, such as prescription pain medications, heart medications, blood pressure medications and some antidepressants
  12. Obesity
  13. Restless legs syndrome
  14. Sleep apnea
  15. Type 1 diabetes
  16. Type 2 diabetes

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Feb. 27, 2013