Acute Fatigue As Urgent/emergent
The new onset with sudden and profound change in ability to do what one used to do can be an urgent or emergent condition. If the fatigue is associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heart rate, or sense of imminent passing out, these are urgent conditions that warrant immediate medical attention. These could be symptoms of a serious heart condition or major vascular insufficiency. Likewise, if this type of fatigue is associated with suicidal or homicidal thoughts, then immediate medical attention is required.
The bottom line is that being tired or fatigued is expected more as we age than when we were young. There are things we can do to restore some of that old vim and vigor, but there are some conditions that might cause this that require our seeking medical help. Be alert if you are fatigued!
You Have A Thyroid Issue
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your throat that produces hormones that control the way your body uses energy. When it doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, it causes a condition known as hypothyroidism, which can mess with or slow down many of your body’s functions, according to Medline Plus.
Thyroid hormones have receptors on essentially every organ of human body and their deficiency can cause fatigue by excessively slowing the metabolic pathways, Dr. Khan says.
How to fix it: The treatment for hypothyroidism is medication to replace the hormone that your own thyroid can no longer make. Just know this: It could take a little while for you to feel better. As a result, your doctor may need to adjust your medication until you reach the optimal level.
Why Is Hypothyroidism So Often Missed In Women Over 50
While there are a few reasons for this, my vast experience points to these two reasons as the primary ones.
First. The symptoms of hypothyroidism and menopause are similar. Its quite common that around the age of 45 to 50, many women begin reporting to their doctors that they are suffering with depression, fatigue, brain fog, struggles with weight gain, and low libido. If youre at all like these women, youre hoping for answers, solutions, and R.E.L.I.E.F. Nearly every day in my practice I hear from women, saying that their doctors commonly attribute these issues to menopause or normal aging. Google these signs and symptoms and youll probably find the same conclusions drawn.
Do You Know the Signs of Low Thyroid Function?
- Fatigue, feeling exhausted all the time, requiring more than 8 hours of sleep, having to take a nap every day
- Unexplained weight gain, difficulty losing weight, or maintaining your ideal weight
- Depressed mood, unmotivated, lost your Mojo
- Impaired memory, Brain Fog
- Loss of Libido
- Feeling cold all the time, especially hands and feet
Note that most of these signs and symptoms are also commonly associated with menopause.
Second. Lab Testing. And this problem is actually two-fold:
Part 2 of this series will cover the 6 components I recommend, and Ill be explaining the concept of functional ranges.
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Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Shift work can wreak havoc on your body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. When you work nights or rotate shifts, your body doesn’t know when to be awake and when to sleep, which causes fatigue.
Daylight is often a cue to be awake. If you must sleep during the day, try to make your sleeping area as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. If you must work at night, keep your workplace brightly lit. Try to work night shifts all in a row and avoid frequently rotating shifts. Stay away from caffeine, and stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible on days off.
How Would You Describe Fatigue Associated With Pots
People with POTS experience fatigue differently. Many describe it as feeling beyond exhausted. Its as if your energy is completely depleted. The fatigue is probably hundreds of times worse than your worst flu. People with POTS may also have trouble concentrating and thinking straight. Doing simple tasks may feel like youve just run a marathon.
This fatigue might come and go, hitting you without warning daily, weekly or less frequently. For some people, extreme fatigue lasts for days. Others may experience periodic attacks. It can come on at any moment even if you just woke up. And there is no amount of sleep or coffee that can make it go away.
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Support Your Body With Supplements
Constant stress and exposure to toxins can leave you with a range of nutritional deficiencies due to poor absorption of nutrients. That means that even if you think youre eating all the right things, you may not be getting the minerals and vitamins your body depends on to function well. Often, when women try my multivitamin formula and really pay attention to their diet, their energy comes back often quickly and dramatically! If your fatigue has progressed significantly, you may need additional support to feel better quickly. Click here to see what the store at MarcellePick.com has to offer to increase vitality and help you feel great.
You Have An Issue With Gluten
In case youre not familiar with it, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In some people, gluten damages the small intestine and causes symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and yep, fatigue, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .
Celiac disease can also cause long-term digestive issues and keep you from getting the nutrients you need, and in turn, cause ongoing fatigue.
How to fix it: Celiac disease can be a tricky one to diagnose, but after doing a physical exam, your doctor may recommend you take a blood test and undergo an intestinal biopsy to look for inflammation in your small intestine. If you are diagnosed with Celiac disease, youll need to avoid foods containing gluten in the future.
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Why Do I Feel Tired Causes Of Low Energy Levels In Females
Work, family, home if just thinking about all of your responsibilities is enough to make you crave a nap, youre not alone. Why so fatigued? The causes of low energy levels in females have many possible explanations.
Before we explore some of the most common reasons for exhaustion in women, consider how long it has been since your last well-woman visit. If it has been more than a year and youre experiencing consistent fatigue, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with your Womens Care provider.
When Is Fatigue Considered Extreme
There is no good criteria for assessing the level of fatigue it depends on the person. However, most people know when their tiredness is more than a lack of sleep. Some of my patients remember the exact day they got hit with fatigue so overwhelming that they knew something was wrong.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
POTS is a common condition affecting an estimated one to three million Americans. Researchers dont fully understand the causes of POTS, but it is more common in women than men and is more likely to develop in adolescents and young adults.
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Common Reasons Women Feel Fatigued
By Jennifer Spengler, a health and wellness writer for Sharp Health News and a marketing specialist with Sharp HealthCare.
Like many women, I wear several hats on any given day. I am a mother of three active girls, wife, daughter, sister, friend, occasional runner, volunteer and employee. I am busy, happy and fulfilled. I am also exhausted much of the time.
As parents, spouses, caregivers and professionals, women are commonly prone to fatigue, says Dr. Catherine Sundsmo, a board-certified family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. We typically have commutes, 40-hour-plus work weeks, children, aging parents and the responsibilities of managing a household. Fatigue is a very, very common symptom that I see in my female patients.
According to Dr. Sundsmo, the demands we place on our bodies are often greater than the care we give it, leading to fatigue. And when our fatigue is chronic, it can feel like a never-ending cycle.
Fatigue can be triggered by a stressful event, a temporary illness, insomnia, lifestyle changes, our job or our families, she says. It might cause you to feel overwhelmed mental and physical exhaustion joint and body pain an inability to concentrate irritability or depression and can even lead to sugar cravings.
Here, she tackles the five most common reasons we feel fatigued so often, and tells us how to combat them.
Treatment Of Normal Fatigue
If one has fatigue from any of the things that cause it listed above, you don’t have to be a doctor to understand that if you eliminate the cause, then this should remedy the problem. In other words, if you are not getting enough sleep, then get enough by trying to be regular in time of retiring and getting up. If you are doing too much to too little then do the opposite. For example, moderate exercise on a regular basis is a very good treatment for couch potato syndrome. If medicines are the problem, talk to your physician about substitutions with a medicine that does not cause fatigue in you. Today there are often many good medicines that can be used for treatment of a medical problem that vary in their degree of side effects, especially drowsiness.
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The Effects Of Constant Fatigue Its More Than Being Tired
Unfortunately, women often ignore their increasing fatigue until it leads to other symptoms. By that time, the side effects of fatigue may become nearly constant, including:
- Feeling exhausted
- Waking up tired even after a good nights sleep
- Inability to bounce back from illness
- Poor short-term memory, confusion, irritability
- Food cravings
- Getting a second wind after 6:00 PM that interferes with your ability to sleep later on
And ignoring mild signs of fatigue makes it more likely that youll develop more serious conditions, like adrenal fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thats why its so important not to dismiss mild symptoms of fatigue when you first notice them. Slight fatigue is manageable and gives you a perfect opportunity to figure out the cause of your fatigue beforeit becomes debilitating.
At the very least, you should talk to a practitioner about having a blood test to rule out bacterial infection and viruses. Because fatigue can be a common side effect of medications, ask if that could be contributing to your exhaustion. Remember, its important to keep taking any medications until you talk to your doctor about stopping.
Fast Fix For Mild Fatigue
Some of us are simply tired with no medical cause. The good news is that exercise may give us a boost. Studies consistently show that people who engage in regular exercise feel less fatigue than those who don’t. When exercising for energy stay in the low-to-moderate exertion range, such as walking, yoga, or light resistance training to fight fatigue.
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Cancer Can Also Be A Cause Of Tiredness And Low Energy
Another one to add to the category of unlikely, but worth knowing. Cancer-related fatigue is incredibly common: At least 80 percent of people diagnosed with cancer experience it, according to the American Cancer Society . While people can experience fatigue from cancer treatments, they can also feel wiped out from the cancer itself. Cancer leads to fatigue by various mechanisms, explains Dr. Khan. It overtakes almost all the metabolic pathways and sabotages the mitochondrial energy of the body, she says.
How to fix it: Don’t freak out that you have a serious health issue. But know that getting a proper diagnosis is important and, from there, proper treatment is needed to target the health issue, including a specific type of cancer. That’s why seeing your doctor to rule out a serious issue is key if you haven’t been able to shake your tiredness for a prolonged period.
Does Your Lifestyle Need A Tweak
First off, ask yourself this: Do you treat your body right?
“With my patients, I talk about the three pillars of health: sleep, diet, and exercise,” says Theodore Friedman, MD, PhD.
“If you aren’t getting good sleep, it’s hard to eat well, and it’s hard to exercise. And the same is true the other way around. They’re all related.”
So try not to short-change yourself on shut-eye. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, and lean protein, and get a regular dose of physical activity.
If you’ve checked all those boxes and you still drag through your days, it might be time to check possible medical causes of fatigue.
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It’s Normal To Feel Tired Occasionally When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep But If You Feel Tired Nearly All The Time Then It’s Time To Look At What’s Causing Your Fatigue
It’s easy to blame those yawns and feelings of fatigue on being too busy or not getting enough sleep or being overly stressed.
Most times, you’d be correct.
But sometimes, it’s not just “normal” fatigue. And that’s when it’s important to take a deeper dive into those persistent, disabling feelings of sleepiness or complete exhaustion.
Are you always tired, falling asleep night after night on the couch and struggling to stay awake for your favorite television program? Do you find yourself canceling plans because you have no energy? Does your fatigue get in the way of your life?
Then there may be other causes that go beyond the obvious.
What Are The Common Causes Of Fatigue
Remember, feeling tired every now and then is something we all experience. This sort of tiredness might be caused by a change in eating habits, taking new medications, or simply not getting enough sleep. Still, if youre feeling fatigued and there have been no significant changes in your day to day, it might be a sign of something more.
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What Is The Treatment For Fatigue
The treatment for fatigue depends upon the cause. Some treatments for conditions that cause fatigue include medications, antibiotics, vitamins, and exercise. Medical treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause. Fortunately, many causes of fatigue may be treated with medications, for example, iron supplements for anemia, medications and machines to help sleep apnea, medications to control blood sugar, medications to regulate thyroid function, antibiotics to treat infection, vitamins, and/or recommendations for dietary changes and a sensible exercise program. Again, treatment of the underlying cause is the key to treatment of the symptom of fatigue.
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Do You Often Feel Sluggish Or Maybe Exhausted
If youve been struggling with feeling sluggish all the time, you might be thinking..
Its probably just due to getting older.
Or maybe it could be due to menopause.
So many of the women I work with complain of fatigue. My experience has been that the cause is most often from more than one source. Getting the proper diagnosis, or rather, uncovering the underlying root cause, is crucial for you to get your energy back. But sometimes, discovering whats really going on can be a lengthy and frustrating process. It certainly was for my patient, Mindy.
Mindys debilitating fatigue began around the time that her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. That was over 5 years ago.
Even after 9 or 10 hours of sleep, Mindy still had a hard time getting out of bed. She found herself pulling into Starbucks for a large cup of coffee with sugar every afternoon, to keep from drifting off as she drove to the nursing home to visit Mom. She used to take the 4 flights of stairs in her office building many times a day. But her leg muscles felt so weak shed end up resorting to using the elevator. Even her brain seemed tired most of the time.
For the next three years Mindy just pushed through to do the best she could for Mom. All while still working part-time and staying involved with all three of her children who were in college. Tough times, but no regrets.
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B12 Deficiency Or Insufficiency
Getting enough vitamin B12 is crucial for brain health, your immune system, and your metabolism. As we age, though, our ability to absorb B12 declines. Fatigue is one of the first signs of B12 deficiency,Lisa Cimperman, RD, told Prevention in a previous interview about B12 deficiency symptoms. Certain diabetes and heartburn medications and digestive disorders like IBS and Crohnâs hinder your bodyâs ability to absorb B12. And if you follow a plant-based diet, you also have an increased risk, since B12 occurs naturally only in meat, eggs, shellfish, and dairy.
The symptoms: In addition to fatigue, you may be low on B12 if youâre experiencing bouts of tingling in hands and feet, memory lapses, dizziness, anxiety, and vision problems.
The tests: If your doctor expects youâre low on B12, youâll undergo a simple blood test.
The treatments:Depending on your blood test results, your doctor may suggest working more dietary sources of B12 into your eating plan or taking a vitamin B12 supplement.