Bit of an 'odd' one for me to repost. But bear with me here... Is it just my imagination or does this guy actually make sense? In that he is defining 'chronic fatigue' as a symptom and chronic fatigue syndrome as a specific and 'rare' condition... If so, cool. 15 February 2012: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/...cle_50ff8169-e5bd-5b6b-9d24-12bf422a1b9d.html Many older people face specter of constant fatigue Feel tired? Welcome to the club. We all have times when we are fatigued. We may have exercised or worked too hard, feel stressed or had a poor night's sleep. However for up to one in five older people, this feeling of fatigue lasts for months and interferes with daily routines. I urge these patients to see a doctor and have their sleep patterns assessed perhaps with an overnight sleep test to determine if treatment is necessary. Sleep disorders are among the most common reasons for chronic fatigue. Those who have sleep apnea do not get enough oxygen to their brain during sleep, which makes them tired. Restless leg syndrome leads to poor quality sleep. As we grow older, many of us have difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep at night, leaving us tired the next day. The need to get up multiple times at night to go to the bathroom leads to fragmented sleep and fatigue. Anemia is a treatable cause of tiredness. Vitamin B12 deficiency and a number of endocrine disorders such as thyroid disease, poor adrenal function and diabetes mellitus, all can make a person feel exhausted. Those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease become fatigued because of their shortness of breath and poor tissue oxygenation. Over treating hypertension can cause low blood pressure, which leads to too little blood reaching the brain. Those who have heart failure cannot lie flat and when they slip down in bed at night, they wake up short of breath as the fluid in their lungs increases. Chemotherapy for cancer typically causes marked fatigue, as can cancer itself. Numerous other drugs can lead to fatigue. Depression or sadness also can cause chronic fatigue. A rare cause of tiredness is chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalitis. This condition often overlaps with fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. Fatigue is an early warning sign of disease and so it is important to make sure your doctor takes your complaints seriously. SLUCare physician John Morley is director of geriatrics at St. Louis University and a geriatrician at St. Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.