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The term fatigue ( French ; German: tiredness or exhaustion), rarely also fatigue syndrome , was defined by Gregory Curt in 2000 as "significant fatigue, exhausted reserves of strength or an increased need for rest, disproportionate to all recent efforts".

Fatigue is a symptom that accompanies various chronic diseases. The ICD-10 and ICD-10-GM coding therefore depends on the underlying disease. If, however, the underlying disease is no longer present, the diagnostic code for malaise and fatigue (R53) should be used, unless the diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome (G93.3) are met.


While standard medical dictionaries either do not list the term fatigue at all or simply translate it as “exhaustion”, the term fatigue is often used in Germany to describe a cancer-related syndrome . The word is primarily used by these German doctors in the treatment of cancer patients in oncology and palliative medicine . In the English-language specialist literature, on the other hand, the expression cancer fatigue is common for this particular cause .

In contrast to this, other doctors use fatigue to describe general symptoms of exhaustion as a result of severe chronic heart and lung diseases or in chronic diseases such as sarcoid , rheumatism , vasculitis , multiple sclerosis , muscular dystrophies , AIDS , lupus erythematosus , Crohn's disease , ankylosing spondylitis (Bechtere's disease ), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and pulmonary hypertension . The Fibromyalgia may be associated in a severe form of fatigue. Fatigue can also occur after a stroke .

Be distinguished from that is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (English: chronic fatigue syndrome; outdated and " neurasthenia ") called Chronic fatigue syndrome (G93.3). This is an independent disease with the main symptom of rapid fatigue and other immunological and neurological changes. However, fatigue can turn into a chronic fatigue syndrome if the underlying disease is no longer present.

Burnout syndrome still does not fall under fatigue (Z73.0).

Fatigue in women

A study from the University of Iowa found a link between pain and fatigue that could explain why more women than men suffer from chronic pain disorders. An experiment with mice found that male animals are protected from muscle pain and fatigue by the interaction of testosterone and the protein ASIC3.

Fatigue and cancer

Pathogenesis in cancer

The pathogenesis of fatigue in cancer has not yet been clearly clarified. Mostly a multifactorial genesis is assumed, in which psychological factors, blood count changes and nutritional influences are also involved in cancer patients . For them, the fatigue is triggered by the disease itself or in connection with chemotherapy or radiation . It usually lasts weeks to months beyond the treatment period and often has a significant impact on quality of life. Typical characteristics are persistent weakness and exhaustion despite sufficient sleep phases, being overwhelmed even with low stress and a significant decrease in activity in private and professional surroundings.

Therapy for cancer

Therapeutically, in oncology, it is primarily recommended to compensate for any existing anemia ( anemia ), possibly also through blood transfusions, and to carefully dosed physical endurance training . Several studies have also shown that yoga, among other things, has a positive effect on fatigue.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Gregory A. Curt et al .: Impact of cancer-related fatigue on the lives of patients: new findings from the Fatigue Coalition. In: Oncologist. No. 5, 2000, pp. 356-360.
  2. a b C. Scheibenbogen, H.-D. Volk, P. Grabowski, K. Wittke, C. Giannini, B. Hoffmeister, L. Hanitsch, Institute for Medical Immunology and Immune Defects, Charité Berlin: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Today's presentation on pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy , daily prax. 55, 56 7–574 (2014), Hans Marseille Verlag, Munich, accessed on July 17, 2016. (Note: The article deals with the neurological disease chronic fatigue syndrome . Fatigue is only defined and described in this article for purposes of distinction.)
  3. ICD10-GM ( Memento of the original from July 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Retrieved August 18, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.dimdi.de
  4. ehlers-danlos.com
  5. Michael Schäfer: On the history of the neurasthenic concept and its modern variants Chronique Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity. In: Advances in Neurology and Psychiatry. Volume 70, 2002, pp. 572-580.
  6. LA Burnes, SJ Kolker, JF Danielson, RY Walder, KA Sluka: Enhanced muscle fatigue occurs in male but not female ASIC3 - / - mice. PMID 18305024
  7. Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Jeanette M. Bennett, Rebecca Andridge, Juan Peng, Charles L. Shapiro: Yoga's Impact on Inflammation, Mood, and Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial . In: Journal of Clinical Oncology . tape 32 , no. 10 , April 2014, ISSN  0732-183X , p. 1040-1049 , doi : 10.1200 / jco.2013.51.8860 , PMID 24470004 , PMC 3965259 (free full text).
  8. ^ Effects of yoga on cancer-related fatigue and global side-effect burden in older cancer survivors . In: Journal of Geriatric Oncology . tape 6 , no. 1 , January 1, 2015, ISSN  1879-4068 , p. 8-14 , doi : 10.1016 / j.jgo.2014.09.184 .