Each year thousands, if not millions, of Americans see their doctors about fatigue. Fatigue is a constant feeling of tiredness or weakness brought about by not getting enough rest, mental or physical exertion or illness. It can seriously affect the quality of a person’s life.
Due to our fast-paced modern lifestyle, most adults will feel exhausted or run down at some point in their life. Dr. Gabrielle Francis, a naturopathic doctor at The Herbal Alchemist in New York City, told the Medical Daily that “we are never turning off,” which causes a syndrome known as “wired and tired.”
While it is entirely normal to feel tired or sleepy, if these feelings are not resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep something more may be at play. If you are getting enough quality sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthy foods but still feel tired and find it hard to concentrate or perform your day-to-day activities, you may be unknowingly struggling with one of the more severe conditions mentioned below.
Snoring is a common characteristic of sleep apnea which affects more than 18 million American adults. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing is temporarily and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. These breathing interruptions prevent our body from taking in enough oxygen while we sleep. When the brain notices we are holding on to CO2 instead of taking in oxygen, it often wakes us up to prevent damage, causing interrupted sleep patterns and fatigue.
If you are feeling weak, unfocused, irritable or sluggish, your body may be in need of iron. An iron deficiency, or anemia, causes a decrease in red blood cells. These cells are responsible for oxygen transport throughout the body. Dr. Donnica Moore, a physician trained in gynecology and women’s health, told Medical Daily that when the brain, muscles, and organs don’t get enough oxygen, people will feel fatigued.
Fatigue and exhaustion are very common symptoms of a thyroid problem. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in front of the neck that controls the speed of your metabolism – or the system that helps the body use energy. A thyroid disorder that causes hormone levels to drop will also lower metabolism to conserve energy which will make you feel sluggish or constantly tired.
Our heart is the pumping engine of our body. When the heart is compromised our circulatory system will not work at full power, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. Fatigue and exercise intolerance are two common symptoms of heart failure.
Furthermore, people who struggle with heart disease often take medication that can cause extreme fatigue as a side-effect. Ever heard of astaxanthin to improve your heart health and beat the constant feeling of exhaustion?
Women who enter the menopausal period struggle with hormone levels that rise and fall, until eventually, the body stops making the female hormones. Dr. Donnica Moore explained to Medical Daily that these changing hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, thyroid and adrenal hormones) and a decrease in metabolism – which are both involved in regulating cellular energy – could also contribute to extreme feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
Fatigue is becoming an epidemic among the American population. About 28 percent of the general population reports fatigue as a common symptom. While fatigue will often be the result of spending more energy than we take in, sometimes it may be the first sign of a more serious condition that cannot be resolved by a good night’s sleep.
Therefore, it is important to stop ignoring these serious causes of fatigue to live a longer and happier life.