Causes Of Extreme Fatigue
Many people struggle with fatigue, which has many causes some obvious, others not so much. Causes of chronic fatigue include poor quality or not enough sleep, a bad diet, not exercising, and metabolic and hormonal imbalances. It becomes a vicious cycle when fatigue sets in and worsens your fatigue.
But you can manage your fatigue when you first figure out the root causeor causes of feeling tired all the time. Some reasons why you might feel extreme fatigue include:
- Adrenal burnout
- Thyroid imbalances
- Other hormonal imbalances like testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol
- Being a perfectionist
- Being around overly critical or negative people
- Not having a positive mindset
- Food sensitivities
- Mitochondrial dysfunctions mitochondria are those little power plants in your cells. Malfunctioning mitochondria can create massive energy crashes.
- Overexercise a good workout should leave you feeling energetic and strong. Overexercising or overtraining can have the opposite effect, creating chronic fatigue that zaps your energy and mood.
- Toxicity including things like environmental pollutants, but also less-obvious toxins, including mold, mercury from amalgams, and electromagnetic fields from electronics.
This list goes on, and oftentimes multiple factors create or worsen fatigue. On the other hand, chronic fatigue might result from one primary reason, like poor sleep, stress, a bad diet, or not getting the right nutrients. These five strategies may help you boost your energy.
Physical Causes Of Tiredness
There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired or exhausted.
Tiredness can also be the result of:
- pregnancy particularly in the first 12 weeks
- being overweight or obese your body has to work harder to do everyday activities
- being underweight poor muscle strength can make you tire more easily
- cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- carbon monoxide poisoning especially if your gas boiler has not been serviced regularly
- side effects of medicines and some herbal remedies
If you have been feeling constantly tired for more than 4 weeks, it’s a good idea to see your GP so they can confirm or rule out a medical condition that could be causing your tiredness.
Other Tips For Improving Morning Fatigue
Some people do well eating a smaller dinner . People who tend to have low blood sugar do better with a bedtime snack. In general, though, its best to go to bed neither overly full nor hungry. You should ensure your diet isnt too low carb or low fat, as these types of diets can also lead to trouble sleeping.
Cut out caffeine and alcohol as they both can influence sleep. Remember that if you are currently drinking a lot of coffee, its best to wean yourself off rather than cutting it out cold turkey. You should also check out my post on whether your morning coffee is helping your energy or making you tired!
Its important to get adequate amounts of physical exercise for proper sleep. Make sure to pay special attention not only to exercise but also the time that is spent being sedentary. Try a standing or treadmill desk, take the stairs, and walk more!
If you struggle to fall asleep, ensure your electronic devices have the blue light blocker enabled. You can download one for free here. In the hours before bed, try your best to limit your exposure to bright lights. Thats because bright lights block melatonin secretion. Read about how artificial lighting makes you tired.
Also Check: Anti Fatigue Mat For Corner Sink
Problems With Your Thyroid
It’s a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits in your neck. It makes a hormone that helps control how you use energy. When your thyroid gland is out of whack, you’re out of whack.
“People with an underactive thyroid are going to feel tired,” Friedman says. “Their cells aren’t working well, they’re sluggish, and their reflexes are slow.”
Your doctor may test your blood for thyroid hormone to see if it’s to blame for your fatigue.
Can Emotions Cause Fatigue
Are you fearful about the future? Do you worry about your health and who will take care of you? Are you afraid you are no longer needed? Emotional stresses like these can take a toll on your energy. Fatigue can be linked to many conditions, including:
- Stress from financial or personal problems
- Feeling that you no longer have control over your life
Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to fatigue. Regular physical activity can improve your sleep. It may also help reduce feelings of depression and stress while improving your mood and overall well-being. Yoga, meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy could also help you get more rest. Talk with your doctor if your mental well-being is affecting your sleep or making you tired.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Fatigue From Depression
Improve Your Sleep At Night
Most people need about 8 hours of sleep per night, and everyone can benefit from creating a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. To make it happen, start working on creating a better nighttime routine that will help prepare your body for sleep. In this blog post, we analyzed the sleep habits of some of the most successful people and shared their secrets to a developing a healthy nighttime routine.
Is Pots More Common In Certain People
There are no established risk factors for POTS. However, it is known to run in families, so it could have a genetic component. Researchers have also established a link between POTS and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome . So if you have one of these conditions, you might also have the other.
A big group of those diagnosed with POTS is young women and teens. However, this doesnt mean they are more likely to develop this condition.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Cure For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Why Do I Get Tired In The Afternoon
Many factors can contribute to feeling the afternoon slump. Examining your sleep, diet, exercise, and other lifestyle elements can help you determine what’s causing you to feel the effects of an afternoon slump. Once you know what’s behind your afternoon tiredness, you can figure out how to prevent it.
Reasons you may experience an afternoon slump include:
- Circadian Rhythm Disruption: Circadian rhythm is your bodys way of regulating when you feel alert and when you feel tired. Light exposure and sleep patterns majorly impact your circadian rhythm. Shift work, waking up early for work, and using electronics can disrupt this cycle.
- Lack of Daily Movement: If youre not exercising regularly, you’re more likely to experience lower energy levels throughout the day.
- Unbalanced Meals: Eating foods that are packed with sugar and carbohydrates can lead to a spike in your blood sugar, causing fatigue and lethargy .
- Sleep Debt: Consistently not sleeping enough can lead to significant sleep debt . Experiencing sleep debt affects your ability to stay awake and alert during the day.
- Stress: Being stressed at work can affect your bodys ability to stay alert and refreshed. Stress can also negatively impact the amount you sleep at night.
- Physical Health Issues: If you have certain medical conditions, like an autoimmune disorder , you may feel more tired during the day.
Lack Of Enough Sleep / Poor Quality Sleep
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but most adults don’t get this amount. Try sticking to a sleep schedule, even on weekends, by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning.
The environment in which you sleep is also important and can affect your sleep–it’s best to sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room without any pets, children or other distractions like phones or laptops.
Don’t Miss: Can Heart Problems Cause Fatigue
When To Call Your Doctor
If your fatigue prevents you from engaging in work or school, social or personal activities, then you should see your doctor, Dr. Patane says.
“When in doubt, it never hurts to speak to your doctor about this. It can be a simple evaluation, and we may be able to say there’s nothing seriously wrong and suggest lifestyle modifications,” he says. “One of the best ways to get better from fatigue is with good sleep hygiene and by slowly increasing daily exercise.”
What May Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Why chronic fatigue syndrome occurs is unclear and complex. Researchers conclude that infections, like pneumonia and bronchitis, and other immune deficiencies can be related to chronic fatigue syndrome. Depression, pain, and sleep disturbances frequently occur with chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you suspect chronic fatigue syndrome, you should find a healthcare practitioner who can take a holistic approach to your health and uncover underlying health issues and lifestyle factors that may contribute to your fatigue.
Unfortunately, patients sometimes feel frustrated that they havent been able to get answers from their doctors or by asking . They might see symptoms like chronic fatigue as in their head or they lack motivation or willpower.
You May Like: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Fatigue
Heart Disease And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue from an activity that should be easy
If youre exhausted after an activity that used to be easy — for example, walking up the steps — it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. If your fatigue is related to your heart, medication or treatments can usually help correct the problem, cut the fatigue, and restore your energy.
Lifestyle Suggestions For Fighting Fatigue
- Dont smoke cigarette smoke contains many harmful substances. There are many reasons why smokers typically have lower energy levels than non-smokers for example, for the body to make energy it needs to combine glucose with oxygen, but the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen available in the blood.
- Increase physical activity physical activity boosts energy levels, while a sedentary lifestyle is a known cause of fatigue. Physical activity has many good effects on the body and mind. A good bout of exercise also helps you sleep better at night. Seek advice and encouragement regarding the steps you can take toward a more active lifestyle and talk to your doctor if you havent exercised in a long time, are obese, are aged over 40 years or have a chronic medical condition.
- Move more, sit less reduce sedentary behaviours such as watching television and using computers, and break up long bouts of sitting.
- Seek treatment for substance abuse excessive alcohol consumption or recreational drug use contribute to fatigue, and are unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
- Workplace issues demanding jobs, conflicts at work and burnout are common causes of fatigue. Take steps to address your work problems. A good place to start is to talk with your human resources officer.
Recommended Reading: Unexplained Weight Gain And Fatigue
Fatigue In Elderly: Causes And How To Treat It
Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onMarch 16, 2017
Fatigue is a common symptom of aging that is often ignored or attributed to another condition, but when left untreated, fatigue in the elderly can lead to a decline in normal functioning. While there is no one succinct definition of fatigue, it may be generally characterized by feelings of weariness, tiredness, a persistent lack of energy, and weakness. To find out how fatigue affects the elderly and how it can be treated, continue reading below.
Fatigue In The Elderly
Fatigue is often considered to be a symptom rather than a condition and is different from general drowsiness, confusion, and excessive sleepiness. Many elderly patients use these symptoms interchangeably, making it difficult for their physicians to discern whether what they are experiencing is truly fatigue and if intervention is needed. Older adults are more likely to experience a reduction in certain hormone levels as well as suffer from chronic diseases, which increases the likelihood that they will experience fatigue.
Don’t Miss: Can Cancer Cause Extreme Fatigue
What Should I Know About Fatigue
What is the Definition of Fatigue?
Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both. Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Apathy is a feeling of indifference that may accompany fatigue or exist independently. In addition, individuals often describe fatigue using a variety of terms including weary, tired, exhausted, malaise, listless, lack of energy and feeling run down.
How Common is Fatigue?
Fatigue is common. About 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life. A physical cause has been estimated to be responsible 20% to 60% of the time, while emotional or mental causes comprise the other 40% to 80% of cases of fatigue. Unfortunately, fatigue can occur in normal individuals that experience intense physical or mental activity .
However, in contrast to fatigue that occurs with some diseases and syndromes, normal fatigue in healthy individuals is quickly relieved in a few hours to about a day when the physical or mental activity is reduced. Also, people occasionally experience fatigue after eating , which can be a normal response to food, especially after large meals and this may last about 30 minutes to several hours.
1. Have severe chronic fatigue for at least six months or longer with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis and
Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
Also Check: How To Beat Menopause Fatigue
How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made
Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.
Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.
How To Avoid Midday Slumps
The cause of the midday slump needs to be identified. Conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism and heart diseases need to be medically managed. It is therefore important to seek medical attention for midday slumps and afternoon dips to exclude or confirm medical conditions that may require treatment. However, a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes can be helpful in preventing these slumps and dips.
- Ensure sufficient sleep by maintaining an early and consistent bedtime. At least 7 hours of sleep should be scheduled for the night.
- Create a suitable environment for a comfortable sleep. This usually involves cooling a room, ensuring a dark silent environment and using comfortable sleepwear.
- Do not consume stimulants like caffeine before bedtime. Alcohol should also be avoided as it can disrupt the sleep cycles that are necessary for a refreshing sleep.
- Avoid heavy meals before bedtime and do not indulge in late night snacks. This can cause a disturbed sleep especially if there is underlying conditions like acid reflux.
- Exercise may be helpful. It can help to increase energy levels and possibly avoid midda slumps. Exercise may also help to improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Recommended Reading: How To Combat Compassion Fatigue
How Can You Prevent Fatigue In The Afternoon
In addition to in-the-moment actions that help you avoid an afternoon slump, consider more substantial lifestyle changes that could have far-reaching impacts.
- Eat Healthfully: Reconsider the carb-heavy or sugary lunches that might make you sleepy. Instead, opt for meals containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber, with little to no saturated fat.
- Get Adequate Sleep: One of the best ways to feel awake and alert throughout the day is to get rid of your sleep debt . Having a regular sleep schedule, going to bed earlier, and getting adequate sleep can have many long-term health benefits, in addition to eliminating the afternoon slump.
- Reduce Stress: Stress negatively impacts both sleep quality and daily mood. Find ways to destress, so your sleep quality and mood can improve. If you get better sleep at night, youll also be less tired during the day and less likely to experience an afternoon slump.
- Consult Your Doctor: If you find that daily fatigue is severely impacting your ability to concentrate, function, or remain productive, talk to your doctor to rule out any potential underlying causes.
These steps can help you feel more alert in the afternoon and improve your overall sleep quality.