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What causes fatigue and shortness of breath on exertion? 44 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Chronic Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis causes coughs that produce mucus. You don't need antibiotics, but bed rest and home care can help.

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2

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic condition that affects the chambers of your heart. Learn more about CHF, including symptoms and risk factors.

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3

Failure to Thrive

A child is said to have failure to thrive when they don't meet recognized standards of growth. According to Kids Health, failure to thrive isn't a disease or disorder. Instead, it describes a situation in which a chil...

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4

Emphysema

Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema, a disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. Learn more about how emphysema affects you and how it's treated.

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5

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland produces a hormone that controls how your cells use energy (metabolize). Hypothyroidism occurs when the body doesn't produce enough. Untreated, it can cause complications like obesity and heart disease.

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6

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, which occurs when the body does not have enough of the mineral iron. The body needs iron to produce hemoglobin.

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7

Dissection of the Aorta

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

The aorta is a large artery that carries blood out of your heart. If you experience a dissection of the aorta, it means that blood has entered the wall of the artery, between the inner and middle layers. This can happe...

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8

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Ischemic cardiomyopathy (IC) is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle is weakened. It's usually caused by heart attack or coronary artery disease.

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9

Mitral Valve Prolapse

In mitral valve prolapse the flaps of the heart's mitral valve do not close correctly, which can make blood leak from one chamber into another. Lifelong heart abnormalities likely contribute to this condition.

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10

Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. Excessive sweating at night, fatigue, weight loss, bone pain, and easy bleeding or bruising are signs of this disease.

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11

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum.

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12

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes lung scarring, and stiffness. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

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13

Sickle Cell Anemia

Red blood cells are normally shaped like discs, which allows them to travel through blood vessels. Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to be sickle-shaped. Read on to learn about risk factors, symptoms, and more.

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14

End-Stage Kidney Disease

In end-stage kidney disease, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the kidneys are functioning below 10 percent of their normal function.

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15

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Read on to learn more about its symptoms and how it's diagnosed.

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16

Megaloblastic Anemia

Megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder marked by the appearance of very large red blood cells that crowd out healthy cells, causing anemia.

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17

Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is a serious illness that can stop your kidneys from functioning properly. Learn how this condition is diagnosed and treated.

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18

Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious anemia occurs when your body can't absorb enough vitamin B-12 to function properly. Learn about the signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia.

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19

Hypovolemic Shock

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Hypovolemic shock (hemorrhagic shock) is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20 percent of your body's blood or fluid supply, preventing the heart from pumping sufficient blood to your body.

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20

Sarcoidosis

Learn about sarcoidosis and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and potential complications.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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