If you're feeling fatigued and exhausted most days and can't seem to pinpoint the reason, it could be a sign of an underlying chronic infection. Chronic infections can cause fatigue and a myriad of other symptoms such as brain fog, muscle aches, and/ or joint pain.

Chronic infections are infections that are persistent and long-lasting, and can be caused by a variety of factors. These infections can be bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic and are often the result of an immune system that is overworked or weakened. These infections can be difficult to diagnose since the symptoms can be so varied and the underlying cause can be hard to identify. 

Why and how do infections cause fatigue?

One of the main ways that chronic infections can cause fatigue is through the constant activation of the immune system. When the body is fighting an infection, it releases a variety of immune cells and molecules to combat the pathogen. This process can be very energy-intensive, and can leave a person feeling tired and run down. In addition, chronic infections can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can further contribute to fatigue.

Another way that chronic infections can cause fatigue is through the disruption of the body's natural processes. Chronic infections can interfere with the way that our cells function and can deplete us of essential nutrients, leading to a decrease in energy production. This can make it difficult to carry out everyday activities, and can leave you feeling tired and sluggish.

What kind of chronic infections are there?

There are many types of chronic infections that can contribute to fatigue. Some of the most common include:

  • Chronic viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Chronic bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and mycoplasma pneumonia
  • Chronic fungal infections such as candida overgrowth and aspergillosis
  • Chronic parasitic infections such as Giardia and Toxoplasma gondii

For example, Lyme disease, which is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, can cause a wide range of symptoms, including major fatigue. Other symptoms of Lyme disease include joint pain, muscle aches, headache, and/ or fever. 

Other chronic infections include Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a virus that causes mononucleosis (also known as mono). Mono is characterized by exhaustion, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. EBV can be reactivated again later in life and can cause fatigue again then, long after the original case of mononucleosis has resolved.

What you can do about it

To reduce the impact of chronic infections on fatigue and improve your overall health, it's important to take steps to minimize your risk of infection. This may include taking steps to boost your immune system, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep. Additionally, it's important to address any underlying health conditions that may be contributing to the chronic infection such as gut health issues, hormonal imbalances, and nutrient deficiencies.

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms associated with potential chronic infections, it's important to seek medical attention. Your doctor may order blood tests and other diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause. Once the cause is identified, your doctor can recommend the most effective treatment. Treatment for chronic infections may include antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, or other natural therapeutics and medications. 


Chronic infections can be a root cause of fatigue and other negative symptoms, so it's important to be aware of the potential warning signs. If you're experiencing persistent fatigue or other symptoms, it's important to talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause and get the appropriate treatment.

If you'd like to work with us here at Zuma Wellness, reach out. We can run some chronic infection lab panels and help get to the root cause of your fatigue, so you can treat it and resolve your low energy woes today!