While you may write-off your exhaustion to a busy schedule or stressful workload, constant fatigue that isn’t getting better warrants a visit to your doctor to rule out something more serious. “When you’re not able to produce healthy red blood cells [as those with blood cancers can’t] you can develop anemia,” explains Dr. Fischer. “This results in fatigue and low energy,” says Dr. Fischer. These 13 medical reasons may explain why you’re tired all the time.
Because the bodies of people with leukemia aren’t able to produce healthy white blood cells, frequent infections are a very common presenting symptom, says Dr. Fischer. You may feel like you have a cold or the flu, but what will make it stand out from a standard illness is if you have a fever of 102°F or higher. “A [high] fever in an adult is not normal,” says Dr. Jacoub. Dr. Fischer adds that most cold and viruses run through our system in about three to five days, so anything well past that should be discussed with your doctor. In addition, these infections don’t tend to improve with antibiotics.
Clinically referred to as mycosis fungoides, this lymphoma-specific rash happens when malignant cells in the blood travel to the skin showing up as a scaly, itchy appearance on the body. This isn’t to say that every rash that pops up on your skin is a cause for concern, says Dr. Jacoub, but if it’s a persistent problem that’s not getting better with topical medication over time your doctor may refer you to an oncologist for diagnosis.