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What causes sudden extreme fatigue?

When a person engages in extensive physical activity, is sick, or has a medical condition, sudden , extreme fatigue may occur.

This article discusses what induces extreme fatigue, their options for treatment, and the improvements in lifestyle that individuals can make to feel less tired.


Fatigued lady sitting down

For many reasons, a person may feel sudden , extreme fatigue.


Allergies arise from overreacting to allergens, such as pollen, pets, and foods, from the body’s immune system.

Due to allergies, certain individuals can experience a runny nose, itching, rashes, and breathing difficulties.

The body releases the chemical histamine to fight it off when people come into contact with an allergen. This triggers allergic reaction symptoms, which may include sudden fatigue.


An individual with allergies may be supported by the following treatments:

  • avoiding contact with allergens
  • taking medication, such as antihistamines or steroids
  • allergen-specific immunotherapy


Depression is a mood condition that induces feelings of depression and disinterest.

The condition is attributable to a central nervous system disturbance that causes neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine , and dopamine, to not act as they usually would.

In many ways, depression can cause severe fatigue.

A 2015 study found that there was a higher level of pain, depression, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety in participants who experienced fatigue.

This means that individuals with more serious signs of depression are more likely to experience fatigue.


The following fatigue and depression therapies are endorsed by some research:


Fibromyalgia is a pain condition which is chronic.

Currently, scientists do not know why certain individuals develop this disorder, although research indicate that genes play a role.

Fibromyalgia causes individuals to perceive pain as greater than the discomfort encountered by individuals without this condition.

Chronic fatigue is one of the signs of fibromyalgia. When they wake up in the morning, people are more likely to feel this exhaustion, but this can also occur in the mid-afternoon.

This tiredness can increase cycles of inactivity and activity, and it can interrupt sleep, causing people to wake up feeling unrefreshed.


Fibromyalgia treatment options include the following:

  • aerobic physical activity of 30 minutes, three times a week
  • antidepressant medications, such as duloxetine
  • physical therapy and psychotherapy
  • alternative therapies, such as tai chi, yoga, and acupuncture

Heart disease

Heart disease refers to four different conditions:

  • coronary artery disease, which causes angina, heart attack, and heart failure
  • cerebrovascular disease results in stroke and transient ischemic attack, which may be a warning sign for stroke
  • peripheral artery disease affects the limbs, resulting in cramps
  • aortic atherosclerosis, which triggers aneurysms in the torso and abdomen

People may not show any symptoms of heart disease. An individual can, for instance, have a silent, unnoticeable ischemic attack.

Other symptoms of heart disease include:

  • chest pain
  • weakness in the limbs and arms
  • facial drooping
  • cough and shortness of breath

As a symptom of heart disease, women are more likely to feel fatigue. It is also more likely that people with chronic heart disease may feel fatigue.

As a result of plaque building up in the arteries, narrowing and hardening them, symptoms get worse the longer a person has heart disease.


Heart disease management options include the following:

  • Statins and aspirin may help prevent stroke and other complications of heart disease.
  • Making sure cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose are at normal levels.
  • Quitting smoking, following a healthful diet, and taking up physical activity may help prevent complications.


Tiredness can be caused by arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA causes people to have swollen and painful joints, joint stiffness, and a feeling of physical weakness.

In RA, individuals may experience fatigue early on, or not at all. The signs are a consequence of immune system dysfunction.

It is possible that people who develop RA are genetically predisposed to this condition. The risk may also be increased by environmental factors , such as smoking.


Treatment options for arthritis include the following:

  • physical activity, physical therapy, and acupuncture
  • anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids
  • disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where, during sleep, the upper airway does not function properly.

It contributes to snoring and disturbed sleep. Because of this obstruction for 10 or more seconds, people with apnea can also stop breathing.

When people are obese, drink alcohol or sedatives, or smoke, they are more likely to have sleep apnea.

Since disrupted sleep is induced by this disorder, individuals are likely to wake up tired. They may also experience fatigue during the day.

Memory issues, a sore throat, and a drop in sex desire are other signs of sleep apnea.


Treatments for arthritis include:

  • using a continuous positive airway pressure machine
  • chin straps or devices that keep the tongue in place may reduce snoring
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet and exercising
  • avoiding alcohol before bed
  • sleeping on the side rather than on the stomach or back


Diabetes is a long-term health disorder that affects how the body processes food into energy efficiently.

The pancreas releases insulin when a person consumes food, which enables blood sugar to enter the cells so that the body can use it for energy.

In type 1 diabetes , the body does not make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes , the body can not effectively use the insulin it produces.

One common symptom of diabetes is fatigue.

Researchers conclude that a lack of insulin makes the body depend for energy on fat rather than carbohydrates. It induces chemical changes that can contribute to a rise in fatigue.

It is also possible that people may experience psychological fatigue.

Researchers conclude that a sense of fatigue can result from the inability to manage diabetes without medication. When people experience fatigue, they are less able to maintain their condition. This may contribute to a cycle of fatigue and distress.


The treatment options for diabetes include:

Making lifestyle changes

Changes in lifestyles can make individuals feel less tired during the day. Those modifications include:

  • keeping a fatigue diary to note tiredness patterns
  • exercising regularly
  • avoiding napping for more than 30 minutes
  • quitting smoking
  • asking for help if they feel overwhelmed

When to see a doctor

If they believe their fatigue is a sign of an underlying illness , people should see a doctor.

If their fatigue prevents them from engaging in regular daily activities, or adversely impacts their life, a person should also talk to a medical professional.

A doctor will share tips on management, diagnose any underlying problems, and recommend plans for treatment.


Aside from treating and controlling underlying problems, the best way to avoid fatigue is to ensure that people practice proper sleep hygiene.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep include:

  • sleeping with a regular schedule
  • relaxing before bed
  • avoiding using electronic devices in the bedroom
  • keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature and using low lighting in the evenings
  • exercising during the day
  • avoiding eating large meals before bed and drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening


Tiredness, or extreme fatigue, may be attributed to many factors.

It may stop individuals from taking part in their normal daily activities. By treating or controlling this symptom, however, individuals can continue to live normal lives.

To control conditions that cause fatigue, a doctor can prescribe lifestyle changes and medical treatments.

Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka Martins is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.