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Question of the week

My teenage daughter is tired all the time. Could she have chronic fatigue syndrome?
21 Feb 2005

Tiredness is probably the most common symptom that people have when they go to see their doctor. There are many causes of tiredness (fatigue), ranging from not getting enough sleep (which is not unusual for teenagers), through to some quite serious, but rare illnesses.

If the tiredness is getting in the way of her doing things which she normally enjoys, it would be a good idea to see your doctor, but chronic fatigue syndrome is not the most common cause of long lasting tiredness.

Many teenage girls have a diet that is low in iron (perhaps a vegetarian diet), and if they are also having heavy periods they may become anaemic (low red blood cell levels), which can cause tiredness. Depression is also common in teenagers. This is worth thinking about if your teenager is not enjoying her usual activities, does not want to be with friends, and is often sad or angry.

For more information, have a look at our topics Chronic fatigue syndrome and Teenage depression.