Does Cough Cause Fatigue

Cough and fatigue


    – Why does a cough cause fatigue?

    – Conditions that combine fatigue and cough

    – Night-time coughing and fatigue

When coughing is repeated, the coughing fits can quickly become exhausting and even maintain the disease that caused the cough.

Repeated coughing is a reflex but has little practical use. If the first two or three coughing efforts are effective, the same cannot be said for the following ones. Their succession causes significant fatigue, especially among the youngest and the elderly.

Moreover, certain specific conditions combine cough and fatigue.

Why does a cough cause fatigue?

Cough and fatigue

Principle of the pulmonary mechanism

Usually, breathing through the pulmonary system supplies our tissues with oxygen.

The entire airway (from the nose to the alveoli) must be healthy for this system to work correctly.

Impact of illness on fitness

However, even mild illnesses (a cold, for example) will lead to difficulty breathing, progressively translating into fatigue, partly linked to a lack of oxygenation.

    – This lack of oxygen, which is at first embarrassing to carry out our daily tasks, will gradually lead to fatigue, which in turn will promote the disease, as the immune system has difficulty in coping.

    – It is thus a vicious circle that is set up associating cough and fatigue, one maintaining the other.

Conditions associating fatigue and cough

Cough and fatigue

Many diseases are likely to associate cough and fatigue. Some of them can be particularly serious, and the tiredness they cause is often both physical and mental.

In addition to illnesses such as the flu or the common cold, in which fatigue is related to infection, we should mention:

    – Bronchitis: bronchitis is one of the most common illnesses to combine a heavy cough with marked fatigue, especially since the cough itself is particularly exhausting for the patient.

    – Pneumonia: among the many symptoms of pneumonia, the alteration of the general state of health is notable, as is the cough, which goes from being dry to becoming oily.

    – Emphysema (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease): the difficulty in expelling air from the lungs is quite characteristic of emphysema. The associated pulmonary lesions lead to significant fatigue (they can evolve into heart failure).

    – Heart failure: the fatigue is due to the fact that the tissues (in particular the muscles) are not sufficiently oxygenated, and the cough comes from an accumulation of liquid in the lungs, in the case of left heart failure in particular (the mucus sputum will be pink, tinged with blood).

    – Tuberculosis: increasingly rare in the West, this pathology is strongly marked by an alteration of the general state (fever, fatigue, emaciation) and a more or less fatty cough accompanied by sputum sometimes bloody (hemoptysis).

    – Lung cancer: there is a significant change in general condition, marked fatigue, and a persistent cough. These symptoms should be a warning, mainly if they occur in a smoker.

Night-time cough and fatigue

Although not necessarily serious in itself, night-time coughing is exhausting. Indeed, it prevents you from sleeping at night and from resting, whereas sleep is essential.

This cough will prove to be exhausting for the patient as well as for those around him. As fatigue accumulates, the illness and the cough will have even more difficulty in disappearing.

Hope this post has given you an idea of why somebody would get tired of repeatedly coughing.


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