Fatigue is more than just feeling tired. It is when you feel exhausted all the time, even if you have had enough rest. It can affect your daily living and your mood. It can feel like you’re not motivated, either physically or mentally.

Fatigue is common in people who have liver disease as well as many other chronic diseases.

Why you get fatigue

The liver plays a vital role in managing the body’s energy levels. Fatigue can happen if your liver isn’t working properly. Some chemicals can build up in your body, making you feel tired. Your liver doesn’t make the right chemicals your body needs for your metabolism to work properly.

Fatigue can also be caused by inflammation in the body and by some medicines. People with liver disease often have other chronic diseases as well, like heart disease, diabetes or sleep problems, that also cause fatigue.

Poor sleep due to itching, pain or discomfort can also lead to tiredness and fatigue.

Tips for managing fatigue

Research has shown that losing weight if you are overweight, eating a healthy balanced diet, and physical activity are all very good at helping with fatigue. Even if you don’t feel like it, try to build some exercise in your day – go for a walk or do some resistance training with weights.

Other things that might help are:

  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Cut out alcohol and caffeine, as these will affect the quality of your sleep
  • Manage your stress; yoga and meditation might help
  • Some people find therapy is useful to treat fatigue

If you have fatigue, be very careful at work or when driving. Talk to your doctor about what’s safe for you to do.

When to see your doctor

There aren’t many medicines that can help with fatigue. But mention this problem to your doctor to check there’s nothing else going on in your body that might be making things worse.


Gerber LH, Weinstein AA, Mehta R, Younossi ZM. Importance of fatigue and its measurement in chronic liver disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Jul 28;25(28):3669-3683. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i28.3669

Health Direct. Fatigue

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