As of 2015, the cause of chronic fatigue is unknown, according to Mayo Clinic. Factors such as viral infection, hormonal imbalance and immune system problems might affect people born with a predisposition to chronic fatigue.
People with chronic fatigue tend to have impaired immune systems, notes Mayo Clinic. It is not clear whether the effect on the immune system is sufficient to cause chronic fatigue. Some patients with chronic fatigue may also experience the production of abnormal blood hormones in the adrenal glands, pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Some people develop this condition after getting infected with viruses such as mouse leukemia viruses and human herpes virus 6, making researchers question whether these viruses might trigger chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome mainly affects people between the age of 40 and 50, and more women than men are diagnosed with the condition, reports Mayo Clinic. Sleep cannot cure this condition, and physical and mental activities may worsen its symptoms, according to Healthline.
Common symptoms of chronic fatigue include impairment of short-term memory, unexplained muscle pain, and joint pain without redness or swelling, notes MedicineNet. Health conditions that chronic fatigue is a symptom of include hypothyroidism, obesity and depression eating disorders. Treatment includes physical therapy, psychological counseling, acupuncture, and limiting caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake, states Healthline.