Most of the time fatigue can be traced to one or more lifestyle issues, such as poor sleep habits or lack of exercise. Fatigue can be caused by a medicine or linked to depression. Sometimes fatigue is a symptom of an illness that needs treatment.

Lifestyle factors

Fatigue may be related to:

  1. Alcohol or drug use
  2. Eating poorly
  3. Medicines, such as ones used to treat allergies or coughs
  4. Not enough sleep
  5. Too little physical activity
  6. Too much physical activity


Exhaustion that doesn't let up might be a sign of:

  1. Adrenal insufficiency
  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  3. Anemia — a condition in which the body doesn't get oxygen due to a lack of healthy red blood cells.
  4. Anxiety disorders
  5. Cancer
  6. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
  7. Chronic infection or inflammation
  8. Chronic kidney disease
  9. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) — the blanket term for a group of diseases that block airflow from the lungs — including emphysema.
  10. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  11. Depression (major depressive disorder) or other mood disorders
  12. Diabetes
  13. Fibromyalgia
  14. Grief
  15. Heart disease
  16. Heart failure
  17. Hepatitis A
  18. Hepatitis B
  19. Hepatitis C
  20. HIV/AIDS
  21. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  22. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  23. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  24. Liver disease
  25. Low vitamin D
  26. Lupus
  27. Medicines and treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, pain medicines, heart medicines and antidepressants
  28. Mononucleosis
  29. Multiple sclerosis
  30. Obesity
  31. Parkinson's disease
  32. Physical or emotional abuse
  33. Polymyalgia rheumatica
  34. Pregnancy
  35. Rheumatoid arthritis
  36. Sleep apnea — a condition in which breathing stops and starts many times during sleep.
  37. Stress
  38. Traumatic brain injury

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

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Feb. 11, 2023

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