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"Does asthma cause fatigue?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes asthma cause fatigue?

Question

I have suffered from asthma since I was child, but only recently did I begin to wonder whether the asthma could be associated with my fatigue. I have fatigue and exhaustion that, while not incapacitating, is very difficult. Is this a function of my asthma?

Answer

Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the airways which causes attacks of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. It is a common condition and ranges from mild to debilitating. It is very possible that your asthma is associated with your fatigue, especially if it is not well controlled. If your airways are continually inflamed then your body is having to work extra hard to take every break, and as you know, your body never takes a break from breathing. All this extra work can lead to noticeable fatigue. A good way to think about it is to picture going through life only being able to breath through a straw - exhausting! It is very important to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or pulmonologist to determine that your asthma is being optimally treated. You will likely have a PFT (pulmonary function test) test or spirometry to evaluate your lung function. Besides making sure you are on the appropriate medications and dosages it is also important to avoid all environmental triggers such as cigarette smoke and dust. There is also the possibility that the medication you are using to treat your asthma could be contributing to your fatigue as this is a common side effect of many medications.

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