5 Illnesses That Can Cause Extreme Fatigue

Many people do not understand how someone can be feeling tired all the time. However, the reality is that many people have trouble dealing with chronic fatigue. They always feel tired, have trouble staying awake, have trouble concentrating, and ultimately fatigue seems to take over all facets of their lives. While normally we all feel fatigued when suffering from some bacterial or viral infection or any other medical condition, there are many reasons why you might be feeling fatigued all the time. A constant lack of energy and continuing fatigue could be an indication of an underlying medical condition. There are many illnesses that can make you feel fatigued. So what illnesses can cause extreme fatigue and how do you deal with chronic fatigue? Let’s take a look.

5 Illnesses That Can Cause Extreme Fatigue

5 Illnesses Can Cause Extreme Fatigue

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:

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
  • Non-drowsy, second-generation oral antihistamines
  • Mast cell stabilizers
  • Topical nasal steroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers

In some cases taking allergy shots, or immunotherapy may help if you are suffering from severe allergies. This involves taking weekly shots of increasing dosage of the offending allergen. However, allergy shots will take some time to become effective and will be administered over a total period of three to five years.

Anemia and Fatigue

Another very common cause of fatigue is anemia. The common symptoms that you will experience if you have anemia are as follows:

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.

Anemia is a condition in which your body does not produce sufficient red blood cells. It can be because of a decreased production of red blood cells or also due to excessive blood loss. It can also be a result of problems in the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or even cancer.

Some other causes of anemia include:

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

Anemia is typically diagnosed with a blood test. If your doctor finds that the cause of your anemia is due to iron deficiency, then you will be given iron supplements. Taking iron supplements of vitamin C supplements will help the body absorb the iron better and bring about an improvement in your symptoms.

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness. Some of the common symptoms of this illness include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Deep muscle pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Painful tender points
  • Joint pain
  • Body feels sore

Fibromyalgia is also a more common cause of chronic fatigue, accompanied by musculoskeletal pain, particularly in women. Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, though, are two different, but related condition. They share the common symptom of severe fatigue that has a great impact on people’s lives.

When you have fibromyalgia, you are likely to feel that no amount of sleep if even to make you feel well rested. You will also continue to feel fatigued during the day and during the night, your sleep is likely to be interrupted by frequent waking and disturbed sleep overall. It is possible that you do not remember these sleep disruptions the very next day. Some people with fibromyalgia even live in a constant condition known as ‘fibro fog’. This is a hazy mental feeling that makes it very difficult for people to concentrate and focus on any activity. It typically feels like your entire day just went by and you have no recollection of what you did.

Constant fatigue in the day in people with fibromyalgia is attributed to lack of exercising or physical activity. Not exercising causes a further decline in your physical fitness, causing mood-related problems as well.

Exercising more will have a huge benefit on your sleeping pattern, your mood, and also help your fatigue. You should set a regular time for exercising daily, but remember not to overdo it as it may just add to your fatigue further.

Heart Disease and Fatigue

Heart disease can also cause chronic fatigue. The common symptom of heart disease is that you will experience fatigue even when you are doing an activity that is considered to be relatively easy. So if you find yourself becoming easily exhausted at even the slightest exertion, such as walking up the steps, then you should consult your doctor to discuss the possibility of cardiovascular or heart disease.

Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death in women. If you are a woman and your fatigue is due to a heart condition, then it is possible to correct the problem with medication or treatment procedures. This will lower your fatigue levels and also restore your energy back to what it was earlier.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fatigue

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition and a type of inflammatory arthritis. RA is a known cause of excessive fatigue. Fatigue in this condition happens because joint damage can cause disability and difficulty in moving around. The earlier your condition is caught and the faster your treatment begins, the better are your choices of getting relief from the symptoms of RA. Some of the common symptoms of RA include:

Your doctor will prescribe certain medication at an early stage of treating mild to moderate RA. These include:

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs)

There are many other medications that are used to treat more severe forms of RA such as the anti-cytokine therapies as well as injections and some other types of treatments are also available.


Apart from these conditions also there are many other illnesses that cause chronic fatigue. If you feel that you are constantly tired and are unable to find the exact cause of feeling fatigued, then it is best that you consider discussing with your doctor. Sometimes lifestyle choices can also be responsible for fatigue or you could be suffering from an underlying medical condition due to which you are feeling tired all the time. Your doctor would be the best person to help you determine what’s causing your fatigue.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 16, 2019

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