What Causes Chronic Fatigue?

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Chronic fatigue is a serious long-term illness. It can be associated with an ongoing medical condition or occur alone due to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Chronic fatigue is defined by extreme fatigue that doesn’t change with increased rest or sleep. It may increase after performing physical or mental activities. Identifying what causes it is a complex process because the condition can be a symptom of many other illnesses, a side effect of medication, or a result of genetic or lifestyle factors.

How to Treat Chronic Fatigue?

Knowing how to treat chronic fatigue is difficult because of the complexities of this illness, it’s important to have appropriate medical care. Treating it is a specialty of John Humiston, MD, Medical Director of Emerald Neuro-Recover, of Carmel, Indiana. Dr. Humiston uses his expertise in both traditional and functional medicines to diagnose it. He addresses contributing factors with innovative, effective treatments.

Dr. Humiston helps patients with chronic fatigue originating from many different causes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the condition can be associated with some of the following potential causes:

Chronic Fatigue May Mean More Infections

You may be more susceptible to chronic fatigue after having a cold, flu, or other infection. It can occur more often among individuals who have been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, which is the same virus that causes mononucleosis; and Coxiella burnetti, the bacteria that causes Q fever.

Sometimes fatigue can be related to depression. According to the CDC, up to 10% of those who’ve been infected with the Ross River virus, Epstein-Barr virus, or Coxiella burnetti bacteria will develop symptoms after their infections.

Changes in your immune system

Cases of ME/CFS mimic autoimmune diseases that trick your immune system into destroying healthy tissue. The fact that it is more common among women and is often associated with increased inflammation, like many autoimmune diseases, indicates there may be a relationship between the two types of conditions.

In a 2018 study on the link between immune systems and CFS, scientists at King’s College in London reported a correlation between CFS and an overactive immune system. The study gave a reason for more research into the possibility that the onset of it may be tied to an exaggerated immune response to a trigger, such as a virus or stress.

Demographic/genetic links

Being part of a specific demographic group can also increase your likelihood of having chronic fatigue. For example, the number of women who experience ME/CFS is two to four times higher than men, according to the Office on Women’s Health.

It’s also more common among people between the ages of 40 and 60 and among whites. However, scientists believe that many individuals of other races and ethnicities may be affected, but undiagnosed, according to the CDC.

Studies of twins and families indicate that more than one member of the same family can have this syndrome. Evidence points toward genetic and environmental factors as potential links the cause, though further research is needed.

Changes in body chemistry

You’re more likely to experience chronic fatigue due to changes in body chemistry that occur as a result of physical or emotional stress from illness. According to the CDC, patients reporting chronic fatigue often demonstrate low levels of the hormone cortisol.

When you’re sick, cortisol helps to reduce inflammation and regulate your immune response. A reduction in normal cortisol levels, especially at times of increased stress, can affect many different bodily functions. This includes blood sugar levels, metabolism, inflammation, resulting in symptoms.

Diagnosing chronic fatigue

In a comprehensive study of ME/CFS, the National Academy of Medicine reported that the condition affects up to 2.5 million Americans. Many people experience fatigue and don’t seek medical attention because they think they simply aren’t getting enough rest.

Be careful if you have any of these symptoms for six months or more:

  • Profound fatigue that reduces your ability to do daily activities
  • Feeling tired after sleep or rest
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Memory loss and/or inability to concentrate
  • Increase in these symptoms after physical or mental activities

Emerald Neuro Recover NAD Amino Acid Therapy Treats Cronic Fatigue


NAD amino acid therapy is known to reduce chronic fatigue. Don’t ignore the signs if you think you’re experiencing chronic fatigue. Schedule an appointment at Emerald Neuro-Recover
12265 Hancock Street, Suite 42, Carmel, IN 46032 by calling  (317) 606-8778. Your visit will lead to a confirmed diagnosis and treatments that can help improve your chronic fatigue symptoms and overall quality of life.