“Why am I always tired?” You will hear this from many people who have low energy at the end of the day. If you see yourself sleeping till the last moment from pulling yourself out of bed. It is the result of severe and chronic fatigue. In this article, you will learn about different causes of fatigue or tiredness, including mental health disorders, nutritional deficiencies, medical problems, sleep disorders, and particular medications.
Causes of Fatigue
1.Lack of sleep
Taking proper and adequate sleep is significant for your health. Lack of sleep or low-quality sleep is one of the causes of chronic fatigue, however, it is a common reason for feeling tired. When people go to work or for other activities, they seem to have high amounts of stress or are too busy with particular tasks, leading to fatigue at the end of the day. People need a good quality of sleep to reduce fatigue that they carry from the overall day.
During sleep, your body works on several tasks, including releasing essential growth hormones and repairing and reproducing the cells. That’s why people often experience freshness, calmness, and energy when they wake up after a night of high-quality sleep.
A lack of sleep is not a medical problem, although a healthcare provider may guide you through some methods to manage and balance your sleep through medications or others. You and your provider will need to determine how much amount of sleep you require in a day. Generally, the average sleep time needed for an adult is about 7 to 8 hours per night for maintaining overall health, however, some people are average. You may also require additional sleep if you do not take enough sleep for the previous day.
2. Sleep Apnea
You may experience sleep apnea or disrupting disorders when you wake up feeling tired despite taking enough sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea include few interferences or pauses while breathing during sleep. It may occur from a few seconds to a minute while sleeping. These breaks and shallow breaths can appear equivalent to 30 times a minute.
Other symptoms linked with sleep apnea include headaches, low concentration, depression, sore throat, mental problems, and irritability.
Whenever breathing returns to normal, mostly with snorting, that can be troublesome to a person while sleeping. This low-quality and disruptive sleep can be the general cause of daytime sleepiness.
Your doctor will collect information by asking about particular sleep problems like irregular breathing or snoring. You may also need to inform if you have the risk factors for sleep apnea or daytime fatigue. If sleep apnea does not receive treatment, it may not only lead to tiredness but may also result in heart disease or even instant death.
Depression develops due to abnormalities in chemicals that regulate mood, known as neurotransmitters in the brain. It is a significant illness that has an influence on our daily life cycle, including sleeping, eating, and having feelings for others and ourselves.
People may have depression in different ways. However, often depression may cause low energy, mental disorders, sleep, and eating disorders, and a state of negativity and less motivation. Few people having depression may experience difficulty waking up in the morning and a large amount of sleep.
A few other symptoms of depression include
- Sadness, avoiding enjoyable activities
- Weight changes
- Feeling worthless or hopeless
- Repeated thoughts of death or suicide.
If you see someone having suicidal thoughts, contact 911 to avoid certain dangers.
If you have the symptoms or feel depressed, consult a healthcare provider online. You will receive particular techniques or solutions to relax and work for your negative feelings. If depression is left untreated, it will not lead to tiredness but disturbs each component of your life.
4. Deficiency of nutrients
If you have a nutritional deficiency, you may experience tiredness or wear out even when you are taking enough hours of sleep. These nutrients that are associated with fatigue, including
- Vitamin B12
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Nutritional deficiencies are common in people. Iron deficiency anemia, a common type of anemia, is the leading cause of developing anemia in about 50% of people. Fatigue is one of the frequent symptoms of anemia, it recovers after taking the recommended amount of iron in the diet.
Taking enough vitamin B12 is necessary for different organs and functions of your body, including metabolism, the immune system, and better brain health. Fatigue is the leading symptom of B12 deficiency. This deficiency is common in older adults because the body loses the ability to absorb B12 with age.
Besides, vitamin D deficiency may also result in fatigue. About half of the world’s population suffers from low vitamin D levels.
As these deficiencies can present in any individual, you need to test for the levels of each nutrient in case you have unexplained chronic fatigue. Generally, fatigue that develops due to the deficiency of one or additional nutrients is improved when you take enough nutrients.
Anemia is when your body does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance that provides color to the red blood cells, besides helping transport oxygen throughout your body. A common type of anemia is iron deficiency anemia. When you have low hemoglobin or red blood cells, your body does not have the required oxygen. It leads you to slow down and feel tired. The other symptoms of anemia you may experience include dizziness, headaches, or breathing difficulty.
Your doctor may recommend a red blood cell count to see the presence of anemia. You should also note that anemia is not only the result of iron deficiency, but other causes are also present.
Diabetes is a condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin or does not utilize it when needed. Insulin is a hormone developed by the pancreas. It helps glucose enter into the cells that it uses for energy development.
Many reasons show that diabetes may result in feeling tired throughout the day. If you have diabetes, you experience abnormal changes in blood sugar levels that result in fatigue. If you do not have the necessary glucose in your blood, it leads to tiredness.
7. Thyroid disease
Thyroid disease often develops in most people, specifically in women. It influences more than 50 million people in the United States. Thyroid hormones help regulate your metabolism. If you have low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), you may experience these symptoms, including tiredness, being overweight, and cold feelings.
A thyroid test helps your provider check how effective your thyroid gland is according to the need. You may need to take certain medications if you have the condition of under active thyroid.
8. Heart disease
If you are experiencing heart disease like heart failure, you are more prone to feel tired all day. In the case of heart failure, your heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood throughout your body’s tissues and cells. You may have difficulty doing daily physical activities such as walking, running, or working.
Other symptoms of heart disease include dizziness, fainting, breathing difficulty, and chest pain. Symptoms of heart disease in women often vary from men, like the presence of fatigue instead of chest pain. As the symptoms such as fatigue are often ignored or misplaced with other causes, women have more chances to develop heart disease than men, leading to death.
Speak to a healthcare provider if you have the symptoms and medical or family history of heart disease. Your healthcare provider may collect the information for recommending tests to determine your heart conditions.
Hepatitis occurs due to liver inflammation and other causes ranging from infection to being overweight. Your liver performs several functions, such as reducing toxins, developing proteins that help in blood clotting, metabolizing, keeping carbohydrates, and others. These body functions stop when you have liver inflammation.
Besides tiredness, a few symptoms may be experienced with hepatitis, including jaundice (yellowish skin and whitish eyes), dark yellow urine, abdomen pain, and releasing light-colored stools.
Healthcare providers often recommend liver function tests to look for liver disease. If you have abnormal test results, a healthcare provider checks for the potential causes.
10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder that disturbs the joint. According to the CDC, RA shows chronic joint pain, weakness, and swelling that is considered fatigue. It may also influence the lungs, eyes, and heart.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows these RA symptoms include pain or aching joint stiffness and swelling in one or more than one joint. The other symptoms include fever, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss. If you have RA, you may experience symptoms on both sides of the body.
A healthcare provider may use multiple tests to detect RA, such as blood work, X-rays, and physical exams. RA symptoms can be similar to those of inflammatory joint conditions, so you should consider taking a complete diagnosis from a rheumatologist or a healthcare provider.
You may have difficulty getting proper sleep if you are a woman having menopause. Menopause is the time when your period stops due to low hormone levels. These hormonal changes are responsible for producing night sweats and hot flashes, resulting in you waking up at night.
Taking enough water or other fluids is essential for keeping balanced energy levels. Biochemical reactions happen in your body daily, leading to the loss of water that needs to be back in your body.
Dehydration develops when you do not take enough liquid to replace the water you lost in urine, sweat, breath, and stools. Most researchers show dehydration leads to low energy levels and reduces the ability to think and concentrate.
Dehydration influences your overall body, which includes your daily sleep cycles. It results in extreme fatigue while exercising and affects your exercise tolerance limit.
In general, you have in mind that you should take at least eight glasses of water a day, however, the hydration requirements vary on certain factors, such as sex, age, weight, and physical activity.
Intake of a healthy amount of fluids is the need to keep hydrated. Common symptoms of dehydration are fatigue, headaches, thirst, and dizziness.
13. Dietary disorders
The daily amount of food you take has directly linked with your life conditions or feelings. Balancing energy and getting nutrients is essential so your body can work for several processes. You can take a balanced diet that contains a high amount of nutrients.
Less eating or intake of low-processed foods that include low nutrients can result in nutritional and calorie deficiencies that can develop into fatigue.
If you do not get the required calories and nutrients, such as proteins and vitamins, your body breaks down fat and muscle to cover your energy requirement. It leads to muscle and fat loss from the body, which may activate fatigue.
Older people have a high risk of nutritional deficiency and malnutrition due to age-associated changes in hunger and decreased physical activity.
Besides, diets that contain high ultra-processed foods reduce energy levels. A diet that includes added sugar may disturb your sleep, resulting in high blood pressure and insulin levels that can cause fatigue.
Taking nutrient-dense foods, including veggies, legumes, and protein from eggs and fish, and following a low ultra-processed food and low sugar, may reduce fatigue and maintain healthy sleep besides giving your body enough nutrition.
14. Taking high amounts of caffeine
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages provide you with increased energy levels, but dependency on them may result in feeling tired the following day. It is why high amounts of caffeine can disturb sleep, which may develop fatigue.
Studies indicate that feeling tired in the morning urges people to take large amounts of caffeine that harm their sleep cycle. You may develop the habit of drinking extra coffee or other caffeinated beverages for energy, leading to a poor sleep cycle followed by a high amount of caffeine.
Taking large amounts of caffeine is associated with high stress at night, sleeplessness, the sudden rise of awakening at nighttime, low total sleep time, and sleepiness during the daytime.
Coffee and caffeinated beverages such as green tea may have health benefits if taken in moderation, but energy drinks carry instant energy and extra sugar. Therefore, you should stop taking them in your daily life.
If you have recent sleep disorders and an excess intake of caffeinated beverages, you should reduce the intake of these beverages. It helps to maintain your energy levels and recover your sleep quality and time.
15. Overweight or obesity
Keeping a healthy body weight is significant to your health. Obesity is associated with a high risk of several chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and specific cancers, but it may increase the chance of developing chronic fatigue.
Obesity has significantly enhanced the risk of sleep apnea, a frequent cause of daytime fatigue. It’s also associated with high sleep time during a day regardless of sleep apnea, recommending that obesity promptly disturbs the sleep cycle.
People having obesity tend to have a high chance of developing conditions linked with fatigue, such as depression and type 2 diabetes. In addition, low sleep quality and sleep disorders may develop excess weight gain.
Balancing the body weight helps get better and deep sleep with enough energy levels, whereas high-quality sleep may restrict weight gain and lead to a decreased chance of fatigue.
16. Chronic Fatigue
This puzzle condition leads to severe fatigue that shows up immediately. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), you will feel tired from carrying on your regular activities and are easy to drain with little effort.
The signs and symptoms include headache, muscle, and joint pain, difficulty concentrating, and softness in lymph nodes. Chronic fatigue syndrome often remains confused due to the unknown cause.
No tests are available for CFS. A healthcare provider may eliminate other disorders with similar symptoms, including lupus and multiple sclerosis, earlier than the diagnosis.
Also, no prescribed medical treatment is present for chronic fatigue. You may take these that include antidepressants, self-care, and speaking therapy may help to treat chronic fatigue.
Fatigue can lead to side effects due to many different medications. A few of the common medicines that may develop fatigue include:
- Antidepressants (help to treat stress or depression)
- Antibiotics (help to relieve bacterial infections)
- Antihistamines (help to treat allergies)
- Antipsychotics (helps to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other complex psychiatric conditions)
- Blood pressure medications
- Benzodiazepines (help to treat seizures, muscle spasms, and anxiety)
- Diuretics (help to eliminate high blood pressure, edema, and glaucoma)
- Narcotic pain medications
- Proton pump inhibitors (help to treat stomach conditions like acid reflux)
If you are experiencing fatigue or chronic fatigue, you can consider trying these recommendations at home to observe if they treat, including
- Taking breaks in a day – You can set a timer or schedule a break time for a day while working or doing any activities.
- Do physical activity daily – There is a possible chance that fatigue can occur due to no or fewer physical activities. You can consider certain activities, such as walking at least 30 minutes daily, which help to reduce your fatigue.
- Doing boredom tasks with more active ones – It can occur when you take your child to a nearby school by walking and checking your mail and messages online.
- Take time for the things you like – If you have stress and boredom can develop fatigue. You can indulge in hobbies and other things that create interest, which may help treat fatigue.
If you have severe medical conditions or diseases that lead to fatigue, request an online consultation from a healthcare provider to get more recommended prevention and treatment.
What is the difference between feeling tired and chronic fatigue?
If you have consistent and persistent fatigue that stays at least six months or above, you may experience chronic fatigue. Dr. Ankerman says, “Chronic fatigue syndrome has been considered more in the last five to 10 years. Before that, it was called a psychiatric diagnosis.”
These symptoms may develop if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, including
- Memory disorders
- Sleep problems
- Flu-like symptoms include joint pain and swelling in your lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
There is still no cure available for chronic fatigue syndrome, however, it can be controlled and managed with medication and behavioral therapy.
You should consider medical consultation from a healthcare provider online if you have these symptoms.
Feeling tired, exhausted, or constantly slowing down daily leads to fatigue. Many possible factors develop chronic fatigue, including sleep problems, medical conditions, depression, caffeine intake, and nutritional deficiency. If you have fatigue that does not recover or go away, talk to your provider online to determine your cause. Fatigue may be treated as soon as you find the hidden reason. You may also need to consider suitable lifestyle, dietary, and nutritional changes or receive the proper treatment for medical disease. Schedule your e-consultation with a professional healthcare provider if you have chronic fatigue or symptoms.