Medical causes of fatigue

Your physician can rule out treatable medical conditions as the cause of your fatigue. Some of the most common medical causes in women include:

•Anemia, which is caused by lack of iron in the blood. This is the primary medical explanation for fatigue in women of childbearing age.

•Thyroid disease, which may affect up to 10 percent of women. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty losing weight, extremely dry skin and hair and sensitivity to cold.

•Depression, which is an under-diagnosed, under-recognized condition among women. Fortunately there are now more options available than ever to treat it.

•Chronic fatigue syndrome. Symptoms include severe fatigue lasting for more than six months that does not improve with rest, impaired memory and thought processes, pain and sleep difficulties. Although CFS gets a lot of media attention, only about 1 in 375 people has the disease.

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