Font Size

Fatigue (cont.)

Fatigue Symptoms

Fatigue is a symptom that usually has some underlying cause. Fatigue may be described by people in different ways, and may include some combination of the following (both mental and physical):

  • weakness,
  • lack of energy,
  • constantly tired or exhausted,
  • lack of motivation,
  • difficulty concentrating, and/or
  • difficulty starting and completing tasks.

Other symptoms such as fainting or loss of consciousness (syncope), near-syncope, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), dizziness or vertigo may also be described as part of the fatigue experienced by the affected individual. The presence of these symptoms may actually help lead a health care practitioner to discover the underlying cause(s) of the fatigue.

When to Seek Medical Care for Fatigue

Generally, people need to seek medical care if they experience any of the following:

  • fatigue that comes on suddenly (not due to normal short-term physical or mental stress),
  • fatigue that is not relieved by adequate rest, adequate sleep, or removal of stressful factors,
  • fatigue that becomes chronic or extreme,
  • fatigue that is accompanied by unexplained symptoms, and/or
  • fatigue and weakness associated with fainting or nearly fainting.

If a person experiences any of the following with or without associated fatigue, they should go to a hospital's Emergency Department:

Some additional symptoms, often associated with fatigue, should prompt an urgent visit to their doctor:

Last Reviewed 9/11/2017
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Fatigue

Anemia Anemia can be caused by many conditions and diseases such as iron deficiency, poor diet and nutrition, cancers, bone marrow problems, and more. Symptoms of anem...learn more >>
Blood in the Urine
Blood in the Urine (Hematuria) Blood in the urine (hematuria) can be associated with many conditions, some of which can be dangerous. Causes of blood in the urine include
learn more >>
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning material containing carbon. Carbon monoxide kills nearly 400 people each year in the U.S. ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Fatigue:

Fatigue - Causes

What was the cause of your fatigue?

Fatigue - Symptoms

What other symptoms have you experienced in addition to fatigue?

Fatigue - Treatment

What treatments have been effective in treating your fatigue?

Medical Dictionary