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What Are Common Causes of Sore Throat and Fatigue?

Common colds and flus can begin with sore throat and tiredness.
Mononucleosis causes a person to have a very sore throat and need to sleep a great deal.
Certain kinds of medication, such as antihistamines, may cause dryness leading to a sore throat.
Window cleaners can cause a sore throat and fatigue.
Stomach aches are one symptom of strep throat.
Getting antibiotics from a doctor may be necessary.
Repeated exposure to nail polish remover can lead to sore throat and fatigue.
A sore throat can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
People with chronic fatigue syndrome may present with a sore throat in addition to muscle and joint pain.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2014
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There are many causes of sore throat and fatigue, and many of them are very common. A lot of garden-variety illnesses begin with these two symptoms, but they can also be a signal of more serious illnesses that require medical attention. Viruses and bacterial infections are common causes, and sometimes either intentional or accidental chemical exposure can cause these symptoms as well.

Those who have had a cold or the flu may recall starting out by noticing a sore or scratchy throat and a sense of feeling run down, although this isn’t always the first symptom of the many rhinoviruses or influenza viruses. Sometimes a scratchy throat is so minor it isn’t noticed at first, or it is present without fatigue. Some people feel achy, develop a fever, and get nasal congestion or coughing, too.

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A few more serious illnesses can begin with sore throat and fatigue. These two symptoms, which are sometimes accompanied by an aching in the stomach near the spleen, could be a sigh of mononucleosis or chronic fatigue syndrome. The throat is usually extremely sore and not just scratchy or a little uncomfortable with mono. Infections like strep throat are also associated with sore throat and tiredness, and patients with this illness may have other symptoms like fever, swollen glands, rash, and/or stomach ache. Other conditions that may have these two symptoms include mumps, HIV, swine flu, typhoid, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), dengue fever, Ebola virus, anthrax, and avian flu, but these are not as common and some are preventable with vaccine.

Certain forms of cancer are also cause tiredness and a sore throat. Lymphoma falls into this group, with the sore throat often caused by swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes, the treatments for cancer result in a depressed immune system, which can leave the patient open to other illnesses. People with cancer should immediately report cold or flu symptoms to a physician.

There are many medications that can cause dry or sore throat and fatigue. Among these are a number of antidepressants, tranquilizers, decongestants, and antihistamines. People who use medication daily may feel fatigued. For example, taking daily pills for allergies may experience low-level tiredness and a scratchy throat.

People can also develop these symptoms if they have significant or low level repeated exposure to certain chemicals. These include some pesticides, and commonly used products like isopropyl alcohol, nail polish remover, window cleaners, pool cleaners, or formaldehyde. Those who seem to have these symptoms chronically and who work around chemicals may want to consult a medical professional about whether chemical exposure could be creating the problem.

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Discuss this Article

anon317658
Post 8

I'm thinking it may the chemical induced since there is so much chemtrail atmospheric spraying going on each day over our heads. For the last couple of years, I've inhaled something that sticks to the back of my throat and irritates it. Now it's a constant irritation back there. The water analysis say the rain and snow are full of aluminum and barium nanoparticles.

fify
Post 7

@burcinc-- Have you gotten a routine blood test? Has your doctor checked your thyroid hormones?

When I had hypothyroid, which is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormone, I had these symptoms as well. I gained weight, I was tired all the time and didn't even want to get out of bed. I also had a persistent sore and swollen throat that was worse in the morning.

I finally got a blood test and was diagnosed with hypothyroid. My doctor put me on hormone medication and my symptoms got better very quickly. You should get your hormones checked out if you haven't yet.

burcinc
Post 6

I've been experiencing sore throat and constant fatigue for the past month. I went to the campus nurse and I don't have flu or strep throat. I'm getting worried, what could this be?

ZipLine
Post 5

I always know that I'm catching a cold when I get sore throat and fatigue. These are the symptoms that always show up first and then I also start coughing and sometimes I get a fever too.

I've noticed recently though if I take a lot of vitamins, especially vitamin C when I start seeing these symptoms, my cold is not as severe and lasts a shorter time. I usually drink vitamin water with 100% vitamin C or I take one of those multivitamin effervescent tablets daily.

orangey03
Post 4

Being exposed to lots of dust or dirt causes me to have a sore throat and start coughing. After awhile, all that coughing makes me weary.

I should never have cleaned out that old shed without a mask. The dust had been piling up for years, and as soon as I took a swipe at it, I saw it swirl up into the air. I couldn't help but inhale it.

I stayed out there for hours cleaning. I had a sore throat and a productive cough for days after that, and this made me very fatigued.

seag47
Post 3

I had a sore throat due to allergies, but it was mostly because of the medication I took. I used to take a combination decongestant and antihistamine that made me extremely drowsy, and it dried out my throat so much that it became sore.

I could handle the slightly sore throat, but the drowsiness drove me nuts! I couldn't keep my eyes open at work, and even if I was at home, I would have to go take a nap. It was a fatigue that I could not fight, because it was medically induced.

Once I eliminated the decongestant and started taking an antihistamine only, my throat felt better. I take the antihistamine at night, so the tiredness helps me sleep rather than hindering my abilities in the daytime.

OeKc05
Post 2

@StarJo – Generally, if you have a sore throat but no fever, you have a cold. Strep throat causes a fever of around 100 degrees.

Also, if you have strep, your throat will become so swollen in just a few hours that you will have trouble even swallowing your own saliva. The fever may make you feel a little loopy, and you will not have the energy to do anything but lie in bed.

Colds don't require treatment, but strep throat does. You need to go to a doctor and get antibiotics to keep it from worsening.

Trust me, you will know if you ever have strep throat. It's several times worse than the soreness that comes with a cold.

StarJo
Post 1

How can you tell the difference between strep throat and a cold with a sore throat? Don't you feel fatigue with either illness?

I've never had strep throat, but I've had plenty of sore throats due to colds. With all of them, I started out feeling extremely tired and having a dry, scratchy throat that progressed into a swollen one that made it unpleasant to swallow.

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