Are you experiencing tiredness or fatigue sometimes? It could be caused by several factors such as lack of sleep, jet lag, lack of physical activity, side effects of medications or an unhealthy diet.
However, unrelenting exhaustion or fatigue is more profound. It is very different than drowsiness, though both can occur at the same time. If you have a constant lack of energy and ongoing fatigue, it may be due to some underlying health problem.
Fatigue is a common symptom of all types of anemia. Anemia is a condition characterized by low levels of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying chemical in the bloodstream. Lack of oxygen in the body causes constant fatigue and tiredness.
A 2002 study published in Seminars in Oncology shows a strong relationship between fatigue and anemia. Fatigue along with shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, cold hands and feet, pale skin and chest pain are symptoms of anemia.
Depression can make a person feel very tired, even after a good sleep/rest. Plus, people who are depressed often suffer from sleep problems. Any kind of sleep problem affects your energy level. According to the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people suffer from depression.
Fatigue is a common to depressed patients. This has been proven by a 2004 study published in Psychiatry. Depression triggers a lower production of various neurotransmitters, which results in chronic fatigue.
If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide. It is important to consult a doctor if you experience constant fatigue as well as feeling sad, hopeless, worthless and helpless.
Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Fatigue is one of the symptom for thyroid patients, especially those who suffer from hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland helps regulate metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy. When the gland is not making enough thyroid hormones, it results in constant fatigue, tiredness and low energy.
Along with fatigue, other symptoms of hypothyroidism are sudden weight gain, muscle soreness, hair loss, dry skin and increased sensitivity to cold. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor.
Also known as infectious mononucleosis, glandular feveris a viral infection that causes severe fatigue. Other symptoms include a fever, loss of appetite, aching muscles, a sore throat and swollen glands. While other symptoms of glandular fever go away within a month, patients suffer from fatigue for several months.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Infectious Disease reports that risk of either prolonged fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome in glandular fever is five to six times that of other common upper respiratory tract infections.
If you suspect you have glandular fever, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS involves severe and disabling fatigue and tiredness that goes on for months. Its one of the main medical reasons behind fatigue. If you have this condition, you may experience extreme fatigue after normal physical or mental activities, which can last for more than 24 hours after the activity. It does not even improve with rest.
Apart from fatigue, other symptoms include a sore throat, muscle or joint pain, and headaches.
The exact cause of CFS is not yet known. However, researchers believe that viruses, hypotension (unusually low blood pressure), a weakened immune system and hormonal imbalances are contributing factors.
Self-care measures as well as several treatment options may help people suffering from CFS.
Fibromyalgia is another common cause of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. It is described as a disorder of the muscles, joints and fibrous tissues.
In cases of fibromyalgia, fatigue is accompanied with feelings of depression, and often, social withdrawal. Along with chronic fatigue, other symptoms of fibromyalgia are deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety and depression.
Commonly known as MS, is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord. In this case the body’s immune system attacks myelin, which is an insulating coating around nerve cells. Women appear to be more prone to this disease than men.
Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 80 percent of people with MS suffer from fatigue. This fatigue gets worse as the day goes on, and heat and humidity can worsen the condition.
Some of the other symptoms of MS are numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, tingling or pain in parts of your body, slurred speech and dizziness. There is no cure for this disease. However, with timely diagnosis and treatment, you can slow the progression and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Fatigue and tiredness are a common complaint among people with diabetes, which hinders the ability to perform day-to-day activities.
According to a 2014 study published in Diabetes Care, chronic fatigue is highly prevalent in Type 1 diabetes patients.
It is not yet clear why diabetes makes people so tired. However, it is believed that as the body needs to use an ample amount of energy to deal with frequent changes in blood sugar levels, it results in fatigue. Fatigue and weakness occur despite eating properly and getting adequate sleep.
However, always consult your doctor if you start experiencing these symptoms, as with time your condition could worsen and severely affect the quality of your personal and professional life.