Extreme fatigue is a condition that goes well beyond simply feeling tired every so often. It is often indicative of more serious problems, and can interfere with common daily activities. It can occur due to stress or anxiety, an illness or other medical condition, a psychological condition such as depression, or poor diet. Extreme fatigue can also result from a particular lifestyle or activity. This type of fatigue should not be confused with simple fatigue, or a feeling of tiredness or lethargy.
Deficiencies in certain chemicals in the body can lead to extreme fatigue. Vitamin B12, if not present in sufficient quantities in the body, can cause one to feel extremely tired or lethargic. Low levels of iron can also cause abnormal fatigue. While vitamin B12 can be obtained over the counter with no prescription, blood tests may be necessary to determine if one has an iron deficiency that must be treated.
Feelings of fatigue that reach an extreme level can trigger other negative effects on the body. It discourages movement and exercise, which are vital for proper health. It can affect interpersonal and work relationships and cause logical thinking and reasoning to slow. Such fatigue and its side effects can ultimately lead to other more severe conditions such as depression or anxiety, which can have negative implications on top of those due to the fatigue. If depression or anxiety become apparent, one should seek medical attention immediately.
Sleeping problems may lead to extreme fatigue during the day. Medical conditions and/or insomnia can prevent a person from getting a full night's sleep, thereby causing him or her to become extremely tired during waking hours. Sleeping problems can be due to stress or anxiety, medical issues, restless leg syndrome, or a variety of other environmental or personal factors. A lack of sleep can not only cause fatigue, but it can also lead to more serious health issues.
Other factors that can cause such fatigue are temporary situations. Pregnancy can cause fatigue on extreme levels due to the strains placed on the human body during this time. Illnesses such as the flu or other viruses can weaken the immune system, thereby causing a person to feel fatigue on extreme levels. More serious illnesses, such as heart disease, hyperthyroidism, leukemia, and even cancer can be the culprit of extreme fatigue. If the condition lasts for an extended period of time, one should consult a doctor to find out if it is due to a serious problem that must be diagnosed.