Many cases of fatigue are related to lifestyle factors such as insufficient or excessive amounts of sleep, poor eating habits, high stress levels, a sedentary lifestyle or the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Other lifestyle issues may include workplace stress, shift work, and long work hours.
Depression, bereavement, financial anxiety and other mental health problems may also lead to low energy states, as well as to mood swings, low motivation, and irritability. In fact, psychological factors such as these may be involved in the majority of fatigue cases.
Many health problems are also associated with fatigue, including (but not limited to):
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Colds, flu and other infections
- Heart problems
- Hypothyroidism and other hormonal problems
- Sleep disturbances, including obstructive sleep apnoea
- Chronic fatigue syndrome and glandular fever
- Hepatitis, coeliac disease and other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract
- Chronic pain
- The use of some medicines
In many cases, a combination of these and other factors contribute to fatigue.