Fatigue is a common process, that mostly occurs, in our body is out of fuel or feeling of being tired.
It is also known as tiredness, reduced energy, lack of motivation, physical and mental exhaustion, which is more common in women than men.
All humans and animals are tired. Although it is common, it has nothing to do with disease, but if it occurs more then it can be a cause of disease.
If your fatigue is more interfering in your life than normal, so it can also negatively impact your personal life, work, performance.
So consult your doctor, they will treat you according to your causes, signs, and ask some questions.
Most people experience fatigue, due to many reasons, so here we will talk about the possible reason, including medical conditions.
Here are 10 potential reasons for fatigue, and ways to treat it.
Lack of physical Activity
It is one of the common reasons for fatigue, where due to lack of activity affects blood circulation, reduces stamina, promotes fat, instead of muscle mass.
Many studies suggested that there was a link between physical activity and a reduced risk of experiencing feelings of low energy or fatigue.
Based on a meta-analysis study, results show that physical exercise significantly reduces fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease, where the brain and spinal cord are affected. It is considered that it is happening due to an autoimmune disorder.
Fatigue is highly allied with poor physical performance, with negative outcomes in older persons like more chance in hospitalizations, and disability. (4) (5) (6).
Fatigue has a negative impact on daily life include – decreased capacity for work, poor sleep quality, withdrawal from activities.
Much research on physical activity and fatigue showed that exercise significantly reduces fatigue, by providing energy.
Daily exercise reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, increases the chance of survival, and improves the quality of life over the years (7).
Yes, a medical condition can also be associated with fatigue, which is a common symptom of fatigue, that can be serious from mild to severe.
Here are many physical medical conditions, which is linked with fatigue include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Speep apnea
- Addison’s disease
- Autoimmune disorder
- Heart disease
- Food allergy
- Autoimmune disorder
- Iron deficiency
- Chronic fatigue
- Kidney disease
- Any lung Infection
Don’t Getting Enough Sleep
Not enough sleep or even staying up too late can causes tiredness, which overall affects concentration and health as well.
In order to get sleep, you need both sleep quantity and quality, which means – going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
NOTE: Lack of sleep increases cortisol level (is a primary stress hormone) and promotes inflammation.
Studies have shown inadequate sleep is connected with multiple health issues, including:
- High Blood pressure (8)
- Obesity (9)
- Lack of concentration on work
- Low immunity (10)
- Multiple mood disorder (11)
- Irregular heartbeat (12) (13)
- Certain skin issues, like dark spots, acne, etc (14) 15)
NOTE: It is recommended that an adult should sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.
However, not getting enough sleep, also happens due to other sleeping-related issues like – insomnia, sleep apnea.
- Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, where a person is having trouble in fall asleep.
- Sleep apnea, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It is more common in obesity.
Talk to your doctor, before getting it worse, they will treat you according to your condition.
According to the community-dwelling older adults, fatigue is the most common in adults due to restricted activity (1).
In old age, the cells of the body start dying slowly, due to which oxygen and nutrients also do not reach the whole body, causing, tissues, muscles weakness.
And all these together become the cause of fatigue in old age, where even a small physical activity seems very big.
Fatigue becomes more common after 40, in both men and women, but in women, whether it is older are more prone to being fatigued, than men.
An aged person does not only face fatigue but also experience some other health-related condition such as:
- Do not sleep
- low bone density
- Behaviour change
- Anxiety while during night
- Certain health related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid, etc.
Mental Health Issue
Poor mental health also causes fatigue. And fatigue is highly allied with both mental and physical health (16).
In mental health, where there is a feeling of fatigue due to fluctuations of hormones and emotions, that are triggered by many mental issues.
Here are many mental health issues, which are associated with fatigue such as:
- Eating disorder
- Emotionally exhaust
- Life events include divorce, someone dying, etc.
Isolation yourself from people is also associated with depression, and as we know that depression is linked to fatigue, headache, low weight.
So meeting other people, going on the trip, not socially means – (face to face), which gives you a spark to your energy level.
If you feel sad, have bad thoughts in mind, like die, over the past 2 to 3 weeks, talking to your doctor, and family support is also very helpful in it.
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Mental fatigue is characterized by a transient reduction in cognitive performance from prolonged periods of mental activity.
It can affect physical health, causes a person to feel physically exhausted, similarly, physical exhaustion, pain, and stress also affect mental health.
Mentally exhaustion can happen due to various reasons which include:
- Chronic stress
- Any physical injury
- More exercises
- Family issues
However, a study showed that mental fatigue was positively associated with working memory performance (17)
Having an unhealthy or poor diet can suck your energy away, which is also associated with sluggish feelings and fatigue.
If you are not eating healthy you are less likely to get the right vitamins and minerals necessary to produce enough adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
NOTE: ATP is stored and transferring energy in cells, and less ATP is associated with feeling more tired.
Eating too much processed food can also increase inflammation, which impairs the production of ATP in energy.
There are many other side effects of poor diet apart from fatigue including:
- Increase blood sugar level, cause diabetes, and more chance to chronic fatigue.
- More chance to heart disease
- Poor mental health
So eat healthy meals throughout the day – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, chicken, seeds, pulses, protein, fatty acids can boost ATP.
I personally experienced that, shift work makes me feel more tired or fatigued, where taking proper sleep is the main issue.
And as we know, how lack of sleep can affect both mental and physical health (18)
A study, results showed that shift work can impact overall health like fatigue, lack of sleep (19).
Shifting work can disturb your internal sleep clock, cause a lack of sleep, which leads to fatigue, headache, etc (20)
FIX: Make your room dark, cool, and quiet, give your sleep first priority and make your timetable to all week.
If you still face issues of sleep, and fatigue, then talk to your doctor, they will give you some supplements, which will help.
Lack of proper fuel in the body
Of course, eating fewer foods is one of the common reasons for fatigue.
As we know that food converts into energy, and this energy gives us a boost to do work, or heavy tasks, whereas, low energy causes fatigue, weakness.
However, eating unhealthy which is associated with lots of sugar, salt, with no amount of nutrients, and vitamins, gives you diseases, instead of giving energy.
Eating a healthy proper diet, without skipping a meal, including protein, carbs, fats, boosts your energy, which is associated with less fatigue.
A well-balanced diet has many other benefits such as:
- keep your blood sugar level maintaine
- Prevent high blood pressure
- Prevent the sluggish feeling
When there is a shortage of water inside our bodies, called dehydration which is most commonly occurs in the summer season.
Dehydration leads to lower blood pressure or poor circulation, which decreases the blood flow to the brain, causes sluggish feeling and fatigue.
There are some other things that trigger more dehydration such as:
- Caffeine which suppresses ADH secretion
- A medical condition like vomitting
- More exercises, especially in hot day
- Alcohol can also suppress ADH levels, means more pee, leads more water from the body.
NOTE: Poor fluid can make you tired also, here is why, drinking surgery drinks like soda, juices, contain lots of sugar.
Which is not good for diabetes, and too much sugary drink, causes dehydration.
NOTE: So make sure to avoid drinking sugary water, and drink enough water, people need an average of 8 to 9 cups of water per day
However, Pregnant women and breastfeeding women require more water – 3 to 4 liter, and children require less water than adults.
Being overweight and underweight
According to a report in 2020, about more than 2 billion adults (39% of the adult global population) were overweight.
Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue which have been associated with obesity, have a significant affec a person’s health (22).
Fatigue is a consequence of weight gain and obesity itself, this could be because of lack of adequate sleep (23)
If a person doesn’t take enough sleep, about 6 -7 hours a day, then fatigue will be there and weight gain will be part and parcel of sleep deprivation.
However, if you have gained too much weight in itself, that can cause secondary problems like:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
According to WebMD, there are some common medicines that make you tired such as:
- Allergy medication
- Sleeping pills
- Muscle relaxant drugs
- Anxiety drugs
- Pain control medicines
As we know that we don’t stop taking medication, and any treatment, due to fatigue, but the certain things you can do to fight fatigue like:
- Breathing exercises, like anulom vilom
Before taking any medicine, to boost energy, make sure to consult your doctor first, because it may interact with your medicines, and treatment.
A doctor can also help by changing medication, dose, schedule.
NOTE: In addition, there are some other reasons for fatigue, such as:
- Excessive exercises
- Alcohol and drug use
Ways To Treat It?
Fatigue may be straightforward to treat if it can be ascribed to known causes (24)
Many doctors, may even suggest you become more active, where exercise may reduce fatigue and improve your quality of life.
Feeling tired without reason is a common report in people suffering from fatigue, which reduced the ability to work, enjoy life, and sleep well (25).
Mental health therapy was shown to be effective in the treatment of fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (26)
Modafinil (a drug) was shown to be an effective treatment for severe cancer-related fatigue patients, and HIV fatigue (27) (28)
There are some other ways to treat your fatigue which include:
- Meditation (29)
- Exercises with a proper diet
- Take proper sleep, which is most common reason for fatigue.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
But if you are in a medical condition and in treatment, then talk to your doctor, they will prescribe you some energy supplement.