Symptoms and Signs of Fatigue

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/14/2022

Doctor's Notes on Fatigue

Fatigue is a nonspecific feeling of tiredness, lack of energy, or listlessness. It is a symptom that can accompany a wide variety of medical conditions. Possible medical causes of fatigue include infections, injury, malnutrition, inflammatory conditions, connective tissue disorders, disorders of bone and muscle, gastrointestinal problems and disorders, cancers, and psychological or emotional conditions, among others.

Signs and symptoms that may be associated with fatigue are as varied as the conditions that cause fatigue. Associated symptoms may include:

Specific infections associated with fatigue may cause sore throat, shortness of breath, coughpainful urinationblood in the urine, or enlargement of the tonsils, among other symptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Fatigue?

Treatment for fatigue should involve treating the underlying cause. For general fatigue, self-care measures include:

  • Establishing a regular sleep routine
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Getting regular exercise as approved by your doctor
  • Stress management practices:
    • Talk therapy
    • Breathing or relaxation techniques
    • Other coping skills as appropriate

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.