The Top Common Causes of Fatigue
Remember how you used to play for hours on end when you were a child, and yet yearn for more at bed time? What happened as you grew up?
Too tired to work now? Too weak to keep your eyes open and yet have to carry on with your daily task because, well, you have no other option? Fatigue, or the feeling of being tired constantly, often increases with age. However, while you can blame it all on the slowing metabolism rate, it’s not the only factor.
The sense of tiredness comes gradually and can hit a person all at once and entirely out of the blue. Fatigue leads to extreme lethargy, weariness and an absolute disinterest in doing even the simplest of chores.
Did you know that as many as 20% of accidents on the road happen due to fatigue?
If you are working, injuries are three times more likely to happen to you if you get less than five hours of sleep a night.
WHY DOES FATIGUE HAPPEN?
Taking rest to help the body to regain strength and rejuvenate itself is a great way to combat fatigue. In fact, this is the best and the easiest way of improving your body fight with tiredness.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of leading a healthy life and you need a minimum of eight complete hours of sleep to stay healthy.
Many mistake fatigue as a symptom for cold, flu, fever and more but it is always better for your own self to dig a little deeper and analyze the causes of being super tired all the time. In case you do feel something is off, it is always better to seek a professional opinion for the same.
Fatigue can lead to severe problems and diseases if not checked on time and to combat the fatigue depends entirely on how you decide to handle your physical and mental health.
Fatigues can be caused by a multitude of factors, mainly divided into two different segments. They are physical causes and mental causes. If you’re looking to be more productive, read on.
The next time the sudden feeling of being overly tired hits you, you’d know what to do to deal with the issue at hand.
The Top Causes of Fatigue:
Lifestyle changes and physical health issues are the primary fatigue drivers. Mental health and stress is also a significant cause that might be making you feel fatigued. We’ll try to break down the reasons for you here.
Don’t Forget the Lifestyle Factors
How you live your life can tell how fatigued you become at the end of the day. Here are a few warning signs and things that can cause excessive fatigue.
1. Excessive physical exertion
While it feels great to physically exert yourself as much as you can to reach your fullest potential in life, it is essential to keep a check on how much you actually end up using yourself. Keep an achievable target in mind and do not overestimate the power of your body.
Also, in case you do end up over-exerting yourself, try to take a break. Health comes way before anything else that you might want to do.
2. Absolute Zero Physical Activities
Like too much of a good thing is never a good idea, neither is not indulging in any physical activities and remaining to be a couch potato. Nope. That wouldn’t do at all.
Zero physical activities lead to extreme drowsiness where your body ends up experiencing fatigue due to absolute lack of physical activities. That is again not as healthy as your body needs to burn up the carbs that you intake as part of your diet somehow.
3. Not Getting Adequate Sleep
This is the most common cause of fatigue and is a complaint that is made by almost everyone, be it a student or a working professional. Chances are you have complained about experiencing fatigue because of lack of sleep too. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep is mandatory to live a healthy and properly functioning life.
4. Being Obese Doesn’t Help Either
Being obese or being overweight is in itself not good for you, health-wise.
Add that to experiencing fatigue, and it’s a definite no-no. Obesity can cause fatigue which will keep you feeling tired often which can later lead to more severe problems. The problem of being obese is also related to not performing enough physical activities and not exercising regularly.
Studies have shown that being obese also hampers your sleeping cycle, which can later lead to fatigue. Try to keep a check on your diet and get to doing more regular exercises to keep you fit and sleep for a regular eight hours to avoid being fatigued.
5. Periods of Emotional Stress
It’s not just physical exertion that can cause fatigue. Wondering about the what if’s and what not’s in life too often? It’s known to cause fatigue too, as internal turmoil doesn’t help you do what you normally would.
Have you noticed how if sometimes you are under extreme emotional stress, due to personal or professional commitments, you start feeling extremely fatigued and tired? And extreme emotional stress is not something that is considered healthy.
Emotional stress can be caused due to a lot of pressure. Break up with the boyfriend or girlfriend? It can cause emotional stress and heartaches, both of which are known to cause stress, and in turn, fatigue.
Even if you are moving away from the family, it can cause emotional stress. There many more causes. The best way to alleviate this stress is to meditate or sleep it off. That way the fatigue can be combated gradually. If you see that you aren’t able to deal with stress, try meditation or seek help. Over a longer term, it can lead to depression.
6. Too Much of Boredom Isn’t Good for Health
Sounds strange? It is not if you really think about it. When you are bored, you are actually not utilizing either your mental faculties or your physical faculties. This actually leads your brain to shut off and start feeling foggy.
This again leads your body to experience extreme fatigue. Like it is said, an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. Does not sound that strange right now, does it? Especially when you see that it actually leads you to feel more fatigued.
Think about the lazy Sunday afternoons you had during your childhood. Sure, they sounded great, but that’s because you had your favourite pal to play with or the storybook you wanted to read. If you just had to sit around in a room the entire day, you wouldn’t have liked it as much, would you?
7. Depression Can be a Worry
People who suffer from depression have a higher chance of suffering from extreme fatigue. Insomnia, where one is sleep deprived for extended periods, is common. Sleep deprivation makes the fatigue much worse, and you start feeling more tired.
Being in this state makes you lose all motivation to even complete simple chores like dressing up and going to the washroom. However, fear not. Mental illness is not a crime. There are quite a few doctors who can help you out if only you reach out to them. Speak out about your problems. No one will judge you for that.
8. Intake of Excessive Medication especially Anti-depressants and Sedatives
While it is understandable that you might want to take painkillers for a night of proper rest without having to wake up because of stress, or that taking anti-depressant pills actually helps you fight against your depression, make sure that your intake of these medicines is not very high.
It has been proven by many studies that excessive medication makes you weak and tired and actually helps fuel your fatigue.
Try exercising and meditating for a healthier way of overcoming your fatigue; it’s a known way to deal with stress.
9. Excessive Alcohol Intake Does More Harm than Good
The question on your mind here might be ‘but doesn’t a glass of alcohol at night actually better my chances of sleeping well, knowing that alcohol has sedative power in it?
However, you’d be rather unhappy to know that alcohol actually ends up raising the epinephrine levels in the body which is basically a stress hormone. This ends up spiking the rate of your heartbeat and can make you feel excessively warm at night which will disturb your sleep pattern.
In fact, different studies suggest that alcohol causes almost 10% of all insomnia cases. And we know that lack of sleep and fatigue go hand in hand. Try cutting down on the alcohol consumption to help regulate your daily sleep pattern and thereby help keep fatigue at bay.
10. Too Much of Caffeine
Love to start your day with a cup of coffee? While caffeine provides energy to function correctly while on low amounts of sleep, it is not a free pass to not have a regular and healthy sleep pattern. Too much of caffeine is not fit for the body as it can worsen the condition of the other parts of your body. This will ultimately lead to more fatigue.
In the end, too much of caffeine intake actually means that you are delaying what is inevitable. And when the inevitable does occur, you actually end up in a worse situation than before. Therefore, try and avoid caffeine as a substitute to help gain energy.
11. Taking Way too Much Hard drugs like Cocaine, Meth, and Heroin
Studies suggest that hard drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin slow down the functioning of the body and also make you lethargic. In turn, you become fatigued physically and wouldn’t be able to do things you normally would.
The recreational drug, while it might seem fun to the user, is actually not so and should be stoically stopped.
12. Consuming an unbalanced diet
It will come as no surprise if most of you are reading this article binges on chips, pizza, burgers, soft drinks and more on a regular basis. However, you must know that these items do not contain the requisite amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins that make up a balanced diet.
An unbalanced diet does not fulfill your nutrient needs and hence can cause extreme fatigue due to lack of proper nourishment that is needed by your body for its functioning. The only way to correct this would be by consuming a balanced diet daily and taking adequate rest whenever possible.
Do note that different diseases can cause fatigue too, and here is a look at a few of them.
PHYSICAL HEALTH CONDITIONS PLAY A PART TOO
Hitting the gym does more good than you might think. It helps you stay fresh, and gives your body the energy it needs. Here is how it helps ward off fatigue.
Anemia is known to be one of the most common medical conditions that cause fatigue. Our organs need oxygen to function in the right manner. And when you are anemic, you do not have an adequate number of red blood cells to transfer oxygen to all the body parts that need it on time.
Due to the deficiency of iron in the body, it has to put all its faculties to use when it comes to producing and meeting the energy requirement of the body. This causes a lesser amount of energy to reach all the organs, and that results in less energy in the body overall.
This causes extreme fatigue in the body. Iron deficiency needs to be removed by eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Cells in our body communicate and interact with each other all the while. During these communication periods, the cells produce something called cytokines. The cytokines, in turn, cause inflammation in the cell and thereby arthritis is called Tumor Necrosis Factor or TNF.
The inflation in the cell causes fatigue in our body while we are suffering from arthritis. There are certain medications available in the market that help check the inflation or swelling. So, there is nothing to worry about in case you are suffering from fatigue that is caused due to arthritis.
3. The common cold and the flu
It is very common for you to notice that a simple infection like the common cold or the flu makes you extremely tired, nauseous and fatigued. This is because the common cold and the flu drains your body of the fluids and lack of fluid causes extreme fatigue.
Keep yourself hydrated at all times to avoid getting fatigued or tired. Common cold and flu are widespread causes for fatigue, so there is nothing life-threatening or risky to worry about.
4. Anorexia or eating disorders
This one, while a severe medical issue, is a prevalent cause of fatigue due to physical health issues.
Anorexia is an eating disorder where the patient is either afraid to eat for fear of getting fat or just ends up puking all that he/ she has eaten. This apart from being a physical condition actually stems from various mental issues and is quite common in people these days.
There are rehabilitation centers for patients suffering from anorexia. However, because of the lack of intake of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and more nutrients by the body, there is a lack of energy generation by it which does not allow the body to function correctly. Thus, this puts a lot of pressure on the body of an individual and ends up causing extreme fatigue.
5. Addison’s disease which causes a hormonal imbalance in the body
Addison’s disease is a physical problem which creates a hormonal imbalance in our bodies. It can happen to anyone, irrespective of age and gender.
It occurs when the adrenal glands that are present just above our kidneys do not produce the necessary amount of the hormone called cortisol and aldosterone. The Addison’s disease is also sometimes referred to as chronic adrenal insufficiency or hypercortisolism.
The hormone called cortisol actually affects all the organs in our body as it helps regulate the blood pressure of our body as well as the cardiovascular functions in our body. Apart from that it also governs the inflammation of the immune system which is extremely necessary.
Most importantly, why the lack of this hormone causes fatigue in our body is that it is used to break down sugar to create energy for the regular functioning of our body. Therefore, in the event of the lack of the presence of this hormone in our body, there is a meager amount of energy that is created in the body which makes you feel fatigued.
If you are a patient suffering from hyperthyroidism you might often find yourself extremely tired to even go through the very basics for the day. Keeping your eyes open, wearing clothes, going out to shop for groceries, all these simple little tasks that actually are quite regular and easy to do, seem like a herculean effort. There are many reasons why hyperthyroidism happens.
Some of them are lack of sleep when you are suffering from hyperthyroidism. The lack of sleep can also be because of extreme stress, rapidly beating pulse, very high blood pressure, diarrhea, anxiety or many more such issues.
Another reason for fatigue can be an excessive intake of medication. This lets your body gets exhausted and leads to the gradual or sudden onset of fatigue.
If you are a patient suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the feeling of always being tired or fatigued is not new to you.
You might be wondering why that is the case. Well, the reason is quite simple. If you are diabetic, there is the possibility of your body creating an excess amount of glucose.
Excessive glucose creation in the body leads to dehydration because of the loss of fluid due to frequent urination.
Surely, if you know someone who is diabetic or is diabetic yourself, you know how much you want to urinate in that stage. The dehydration caused by frequent urination causes fatigue in our bodies.
8. Problems with the kidneys
If your kidneys are not functioning as well as they should, there is a possibility that your body is not getting as much oxygen as it needs to create energy for its daily functioning. This is one of the primary reasons why you might be feeling fatigued.
Oxygen is an essential component of energy creation, and without the adequate amount of energy created by your body, it is more than evident that you will end up feeling tired and fatigued. Visit a doctor if your symptoms get too severe.
9. Autoimmune Disorder
An autoimmune disorder is a disorder in which your immune system does not function as effectively as it should. This leads to chronic fatigue syndrome. In this syndrome, while also having the autoimmune disease you end up always being super tired, and there is a constant pain in your body.
There is a certain tenderness that can be felt all over your body and there are continuous stiffness and fatigue. There are no known causes for this disease, but if it gets too out of hand, it is always best to consult with your personal physician.
10. Problems with the liver
Why issues with the liver also results in fatigue have so far not been entirely understood by experts. However, it has been estimated that it has to do something with hormonal imbalance as well.
The liver is one of the most critical parts of the digestive system and without proper digestion; there is a possibility of the body being dehydrated. This leads to extreme fatigue and tiredness in the body.
Fatigue can happen due to different reasons. While a few of them are very common and can be easily treated with proper diet and a good sleep, many of these require you to pay a visit to your doctor. However, there is not really a lot to worry about.
Invest time in yourself with a simple few lifestyle changes, and ensure that you feel good about yourself.