Fatigue: what are the symptoms?


After a long, busy day, you can greatly look forward to a good night's sleep. The next morning you get up fresh and alert, ready to take on anything. But what if this doesn't work for you? Fatigue can have far-reaching consequences for your functioning throughout the day. If you are always tired, this can even make you fairly desperate. However, to solve sleep problems, you first need to know where they come from. Fatigue can indeed have many different causes. You're probably also wondering: How much sleep do I need? Knowing this is also handy in your fight against poor sleep and fatigue.

What is fatigue

Everyone sometimes feels tired and occasionally suffers from poor sleep. Fatigue is a normal phenomenon and a signal from your body that it needs to recover, both physically and mentally. A good night's sleep can often do wonders for normal tiredness.

What is extreme fatigue?

Sometimes, however, fatigue does not go away after one or more nights of sleep. Regular poor sleep can lead to extreme tiredness. This can manifest in problems falling asleep, frequently waking up during the night, or even feeling tired after a night's sleep. Extreme fatigue is very frustrating and has a negative impact on all aspects of life. Work, study, and household chores require a lot of effort, and overall health can suffer. It seems as though a lot of sleep doesn’t solve the problem.


How often does fatigue occur?

Fatigue is a common complaint, affecting about 1% of people who visit their general practitioner. However, it is difficult to determine the underlying cause of fatigue. In approximately 20 to 30% of the patients who report fatigue to their general practitioner, an underlying cause is actually found.


What are the symptoms of fatigue?

With extreme fatigue, you experience prolonged tiredness. In addition to fatigue, symptoms such as concentration difficulties, longer recovery time after activities, reduced enjoyment in pleasurable activities, decreased reaction speed, forgetfulness, despondency, and overall listlessness can occur. Extreme fatigue has far-reaching consequences for daily life.


What are the causes of fatigue?

Diseases and side effects

Many different diseases can result in fatigue. In some diseases, fatigue is even the only symptom. Fatigue occurs in thyroid disorders, anemia, infectious diseases, cancer, systemic exertion intolerance disease (formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome), and lung diseases. A food allergy, such as gluten intolerance, can also result in fatigue.

Mental causes

Not only physical complaints can lead to fatigue. Mental conditions, such as burn-out or stress, can also result in fatigue.

Pay attention to your diet

Are you always tired? Then pay close attention to your diet. Fluctuating blood sugar levels lead to significant fatigue. This can be resolved by consuming fewer sugars and simple carbohydrates. Also, a deficiency in important minerals, vitamins, and nutrients results in fatigue.

Daily rhythm

A good daily routine can ensure that poor sleep becomes a thing of the past. Rhythm and regularity are very important and can assist you in your battle against fatigue.



Fatigue is a common complaint that can have both physical and mental causes. Extreme fatigue can adversely affect daily functioning and quality of life. It is important to take fatigue seriously and search for the underlying causes. A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular daily routine, and good sleep habits, can help reduce fatigue. If fatigue persists, it is advisable to consult a physician to determine the specific cause and explore appropriate treatments. Striving for a balance between physical and mental well-being is essential in combating fatigue and regaining