In our “Fatigue, Part I” article, we covered an overview of the
condition of fatigue. In this week’s article, let’s cover some of the
medical conditions that can cause fatigue.
is a blood condition in which there is not enough oxygen carrying
capacity in your blood because you don’t have enough red blood cells.
People with anemia frequently will feel extremely tired and often short
of breath upon exertion. In more severe cases, a person may feel short
of breath at rest and often patients with heart disease will have chest
pains because their heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen.
are different kinds and causes of anemia and if you have this
condition, your doctor can do some blood tests to find out what the
cause of your anemia is. Correcting the anemia depends on what type you
is a gland in the front of the neck and is produces thyroid hormone.
This thyroid hormone drives the metabolism in the body. If you have low
production of thyroid hormone, your metabolism will slow down. Patients
with low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) will often have fatigue, weight
gain, constipation, cold intolerance (feeling cold when no-one else is
cold), and slow pulse. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to see if
you have hypothyroidism and if so, taking thyroid hormone by mouth can
correct this condition.
adrenal gland is a gland that sits on top of the kidneys in your lower
back. It is responsible for making a variety of hormones and it is these
hormones that help regulate sodium and potassium balance as well as
blood pressure. Patient’s whose adrenal glands are not fully functioning
will often have problems with several or all of these issues as well as
significant fatigue. Again, your doctor can order some tests to find
out if your adrenal gland isn’t fully functioning and if this is the
cause of your tiredness.
allergy medications can cause tiredness, having allergies alone has
been shown to cause a greater amount of fatigue than even the
medications. Treatment of your allergies can be helpful for this fatigue
especially if you use treatment options that do not contribute to
patients with anxiety or depression will exhibit excessive fatigue.
Sometimes, fatigue can be the main complaint and patients will not be
aware of excessive depression or anxiety. It is important to talk over
all of your feelings and symptoms with your doctor and follow a program
of lifestyle modification, therapy and possibly medication for
In our next article (Fatigue—Part III) we will cover more of the illnesses that can count fatigue as a major symptom.