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Common Causes of Persistent Fatigue

Sep 01, 2023
Common Causes of Persistent Fatigue
Pulling an all-nighter makes you tired, but chronic fatigue is different — it zaps your energy all day, every day. Find out what could be causing you to feel unrested, sleepy, and low energy and how we can help you regain your vigor.

There’s a difference between tiredness and chronic fatigue. A poor night’s sleep or a hard day’s work can tire you out, but you feel better after resting. Chronic fatigue, however, is a medical condition.

There’s no single cause of persistent fatigue — in fact, there are many reasons your body may have trouble resting and repairing, and it often takes a team of specialists to identify the underlying causes and treat chronic fatigue.

Our experienced physicians at Advanced Medical Care in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, specialize in complicated cases of chronic fatigue and can help you get to the bottom of it. Here’s a look at the most common culprits and how we approach chronic fatigue.

Common causes of chronic fatigue

In addition to intense tiredness, chronic fatigue causes a cascade of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. You may feel nervous and anxious or depressed and unmotivated. Some people have difficulty concentrating on simple tasks; others experience muscle pain and weakness. Whatever your symptoms, the causes vary and could include a combination of factors. 

Poor sleep quality

Lack of sleep is the most obvious cause of fatigue, but we aren’t talking about missing a night or two. Chronic fatigue stems from chronic sleep deprivation, which can occur if you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, like narcolepsy, insomnia, sleepwalking, or restless leg syndrome. 


Constant stress ramps up your production of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that are meant to give you a burst of energy in times of need, like when fleeing from danger, running a race, or meeting a critical deadline. If you’re under constant duress, your body can’t handle the overload of stress hormones and becomes fatigued.

Medical conditions

Chronic fatigue is often a byproduct of other medical conditions, including:

  • COVID-19
  • Mononucleosis
  • Heart disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Diabetes

This list only offers a glimpse of the many medical conditions associated with chronic fatigue. Illness generally taxes your body’s systems and leaves you feeling spent. 

Drugs and medications

The good news is that many modern medications can treat the conditions we listed above; the bad news is that some trigger fatigue, such as:

  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Antipsychotics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antihistamines
  • Opioids

Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants can also zap your energy and cause chronic fatigue.


Chronic fatigue can even be a medical condition unto itself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) affects up to 2.5 million Americans and confines about 25% of them to bed. 


ME/CFS isn’t caused by a lack of rest and doesn’t improve with rest. Research is still ongoing, but most experts believe that ME/CFS stems from infections, a compromised immune system, stress, and genetics. 

How to overcome chronic fatigue

Chronic stress is a complex condition, and we treat each case uniquely. Often, we find that oxidative stress is a key factor in persistent fatigue, and glutathione is the answer. 

Your body naturally produces glutathione, which contains three amino acids — cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. Your liver normally synthesizes glutathione, an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your body and keeps your immune system running smoothly. You can also get glutathione from foods like broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes. 

However, as you age, your glutathione production declines. Stress and exposure to toxins can further deplete your supply. Although oral supplements can slightly increase your glutathione levels, we recommend glutathione injections or IV infusions to maximize effectiveness. Rather than traveling through your digestive system, our glutathione treatments go directly into your bloodstream, increasing its bioavailability and addressing your chronic fatigue more quickly. 

To discover whether glutathione treatments can restore your energy and resolve your chronic fatigue, schedule an appointment with our experts — call or book online

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At Advanced Medical Care, care is not just a part of our name — it is in our hearts. Our providers strive to put our patients first and find solutions to meet their needs on every level. If you’re ready to start improving your health, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our office in Queens or Brooklyn.