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  • Fatigue is a common reason for GP consultations (10-20%).
  • A serious study was conducted on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of fatigue using relevant publications and a German clinical practice guideline.
  • Fatigue can be caused by various diseases.
  • The most common causes of persistent fatigue are sleep disorders, breathing-related sleep disorders, depression (18.5%), and excessive psychosocial stress.
  • Previously undiagnosed cancer was a rare cause of fatigue (0.6%).
  • Anemia (blood disorder) and other organic causes are also rare causes of fatigue (4.3%).
  • Additional investigations beyond history, physical examination, and simple laboratory tests are only necessary if there are additional symptoms or findings.
  • Watchful waiting and follow-up appointments can prevent an excessive focus on physical causes, leading to overdiagnosis.
  • Psychoeducative and psychotherapeutic approaches and an individually adapted exercise program should be discussed with the patient.
  • Your GP can identify what needs to be done. Seeing your doctor is always the best starting point.


Maisel P, Baum E, Donner-Banzhoff N. Fatigue as the Chief Complaint–Epidemiology, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2021 Aug 23;118(33-34):566-576. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0192. PMID: 34196270; PMCID: PMC8579431.

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