TOP 10 REASONS FOR WHY YOU FEEL SO TIRED
Tiredness (also known as fatigue) is an extremely common problem. In fact, “why am I so tired?” was one of the most frequently searched questions of the last 2 years at Google. The answers can vary, since tiredness can come from a physiological or psychological condition. In this article we’ll discuss 10 of the main causes of fatigue.
Most people who complain about acute fatigue (lasting days or weeks) only need to change some elements about their lifestyle to fix the situation. By doing that, the feeling of tiredness should decrease in a short amount of time.
Some of the most problematic behaviors that lead to fatigue include:
- Consuming energy drinks/caffeine several times every day.
- Going to bed too late at night (>11 pm).
- Insufficient sleep (<7 hours)
- Poor dieting habits (especially in children)
Stress can be acute or chronic. Acute stress is simply a part of life and people face it every day in situations that range from being scared by a spider to being afraid for your life. Chronic stress is more problematic since it raises cortisol (stress hormone) levels for a long period of time.
Cortisol is a natural reagent of the human body, it has plenty of functions. However, if its serum levels are high, cortisol leads to increased awareness, insomnia and eventually fatigue. Normally this happens when people experience things like:
- The death of a loved one.
- Being the primary caregiver for a family member or loved one.
- Financial problems.
- Social problems.
- Work-related burn out.
Overall, repeated or sustained exposure to stressful situations promotes a general lack of energy.
Anemia is a condition characterized by a low number or abnormal shape of red blood cells. In some countries up to 10% of the population is at risk of developing some kind of anemia, mostly due to low levels of iron. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to it. There are several types of anemia; however, the one caused by iron deficiency is the most commonly related to fatigue.
Iron deficiency is related to fatigue mainly because this ion is essential for oxygen transportation, ATP production (the main energy currency of the cell) and muscle function. People with this condition usually experience dizziness and get tired easily.
4. Sleep apnea
This condition involves blocking of the upper airways during sleep which leads to short periods where the person is not able to breathe. This can be caused by a number of factors like obesity, genetic disorders, kidney failure, etc.
The lack of sleep and sudden shortage of oxygen eventually lead to general sleepiness and fatigue in most cases. So far, women have proved to be more vulnerable to this condition.
5. Underactive thyroid
The condition is also known as Hypothyroidism. It is characterized by a low production of important hormones. Since early symptoms are very common for many other diseases, people can spend many years without being diagnosed.
Usually, the symptoms include weight gain, depression, muscle ache, sensitivity to cold, dry skin and hair and of course, fatigue.
This condition can be treated with hormone therapy.
6. Coeliac disease
This is an autoimmune disease that causes severe damage to the small intestine after the ingestion of food with gluten. It manifests at different levels of severity and many people are left undiagnosed and suffer the consequences.
Fatigue is often linked to this disease; however, the reason for this is not well understood. Most patients report depression and fatigue at the moment of their diagnosis, so it may just be due to some psychological effect, but some studies seem to link fatigue with gluten-free diets. There’s still a lot to research about this topic.
CFS is the name given to a condition in which doctors can’t find an explanation for the extreme fatigue experienced by a patient. Normally, CFS doesn’t improve with rest and can’t be diagnosed with a single test. Only a series of tests discarding possible causes tend to lead to this particular result.
CFS also affects memory, can cause headaches, muscle pain, enlarged lymph nodes, etc. At the moment there’re no answers to why some people develop this syndrome and others don’t.
Some of the potential triggers include:
- Viral infections
- Problems with regulation of the immune system
- Hormonal problems
This is a common and irreversible metabolic disease characterized by high levels of glucose in blood and urine. Fatigue is common among people with diabetes; however, the reason why is still unknown. This particular area of knowledge remains underexplored.
Some think that diabetes-related fatigue is the result of the interaction of many factors, including: Diet, physical activity, psychology, hormones, inflammation, etc. At the moment no one knows .
9. Glandular fever
Also known as infectious mononucleosis, this infection is mostly seen in adolescents or adults who haven’t been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus before, people can be infected and show no symptoms for nearly 2 months.
Although fever is the main symptom, fatigue is the one that lasts the longest (up to 6 months after the infection).
Depression is the term usually used when someone feels sad or anxious for an extended period of time. People that have been depressed for a long period of time (over 2 years) can develop feelings of tiredness as part of a particular form of depression called dysthymia.
However, in literature, is common to see depression as the consequence of chronic fatigue syndrome. People who live with the syndrome often spend very long periods of their lives without effective treatment of diagnosis, which leads to feelings of hopelessness and eventually depression.
There are plenty of other reasons for why you may feel tired all the time, for example, if you are fighting an infection, it often triggers what some call “sickness behavior”, which sometimes includes fatigue. Overall, any condition related to chronic inflammation has the potential to cause tiredness. Or it simply could be that you need to make dietary changes. Whatever the case, if you If you experience long periods of fatigue and are concerned, talk to your doctor.
To search for the best healthcare providers worldwide, please use the Mya Care search engine.
- Koivusilta, L., Kuoppamäki, H., & Rimpelä, A. (2016). Energy drink consumption, health complaints and late bedtime among young adolescents. International Journal of Public Health, 61(3), 299-306. doi:10.1007/s00038-016-0797-9
- MacGill, M. (2017, July 18). Tiredness and fatigue: Why it happens and how to beat it. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8877.ph
- Kudielka, B. M., Von Känel, R., Preckel, D., Zgraggen, L., Mischler, K., & Fischer, J. E. (2006). Exhaustion is associated with reduced habituation of free cortisol responses to repeated acute psychosocial stress. Biological Psychology, 72(2), 147-153. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2005.09.001
- Eichner, E. R. (2009). Fatigue of Anemia. Nutrition Reviews, 59(1), S17-S19. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb01886.x
- Squire, P. (2013). Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780199764495.003.0012
- Chervin, R. D. (2000). Sleepiness, Fatigue, Tiredness, and Lack of Energy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Chest, 118(2), 372-379. doi:10.1378/chest.118.2.372
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). (2017, October 24). Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/underactive-thyroid-hypothyroidism/
- What is Celiac Disease? | Celiac Disease Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/
- Siniscalchi, M., Iovino, P., Tortora, R., Forestiero, S., Somma, A., Capuano, L., … Franzese, M. D. (2005). Fatigue in adult celiac disease. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 22(5), 489-494. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2005.02619.x
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, January 5). Chronic fatigue syndrome - Symptoms and causes. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490
- Kalra, S., & Sahay, R. (2018). Diabetes Fatigue Syndrome. Diabetes Therapy, 9(4), 1421-1429. doi:10.1007/s13300-018-0453-x
- Fritschi, C., & Quinn, L. (2010). Fatigue in patients with diabetes: A review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69(1), 33-41. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.01.021
- Sick and tired of being tired and sick: laboratory investigation of glandular fever. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://bpac.org.nz/bt/2012/october/glandular.aspx
- Depression | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression
- Depression and Fatigue: An Unfortunate Connection. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/fatigue#an-unfortunate-connection
- Arnett, S., & Clark, I. (2012). Inflammatory fatigue and sickness behaviour — Lessons for the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Affective Disorders, 141(2-3), 130-142. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2012.04.004
- Warning Signs of a Heart Attack: Shortness of Breath and Others. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/warning-signs-heart-attack#fatigue
Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. The views expressed are personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mya Care. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from myacare.com.
For most women, hysterectomy is a significant point in their lives. Whether the surgical removal of the uterus is done for endometriosis, fibroids, or gynecological cancer, life after hysterectomy permanently changes a few aspects of your life.
Between the decades of 1910 and 1920, Dr. Ludwig Roemheld studied the phenomenon in which patients suffering from digestive problems and no detectable heart issues would experience cardiac symptoms.
Piriformis syndrome and herniated discs are painful conditions of the back. Both can cause sciatica. Sciatica is a type of pain that affects your lower back and legs. It occurs due to irritated or compressed sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels down the back to the legs.