Fatigue is something many of us may face from time to time. It can be a serious issue, both in the cause of fatigue and the effects of it. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1 in 25 drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past 30 days.
Many of the reasons that people are so tired are medical, and until they’re able to get to the bottom of these conditions, it’s nearly impossible for someone to resolve their fatigue. Of course, there are also lifestyle factors that aren’t necessarily medical conditions that can cause fatigue, including lack of physical activity and lack of sleep, as well as some medications and unhealthy eating habits. The following are some of the conditions that most commonly contribute to fatigue beyond general lifestyle factors.
Obesity is something impacting the majority of Americans. When you’re obese, you may be more likely to experience daytime sleepiness. Along with depression, obesity was one of the number one cause of fatigue and daytime tiredness. Many factors may link obesity to fatigue, but one specific one is the increased likelihood of struggling with sleep apnea if you are obese.
When you’re depressed, there are multiple reasons you might feel fatigued. For example, it may take you longer to fall asleep, and therefore you will get less of it. It may also be tougher for you to get into REM sleep, as people with depression frequently wake up in the night.
When your body is battling itself, you are likely to feel tired. Plus, you can become mentally drained because of the unhealthy way your brain deals with your thoughts.
Like depression, anxiety is a mental health disorder that can significantly affect your physical health. Specific anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and social anxiety disorders. There are several physical health conditions linked to anxiety, including heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, respiratory disorders, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Anxiety causes fatigue in a few ways. First, you may frequently experience spikes in adrenaline, and as these levels go down, it can make you feel a crash. Anxiety can also cause muscle tension, so at the end of the day, you will feel tired. Additionally, you might have challenges sleeping well at night.
You should never jump to the conclusion that because you are tired, that means you have cancer; however, the two can be linked. Fatigue can be because of the disease itself, but it can also be a side effect of treatments.
One reason cancer can cause fatigue is because the body releases cytokines. There are also changes in hormone levels. Tumor cells might even steal nutrition from healthy cells, and some types of cancer can increase your body’s energy needs and damage your organs.
5. Thyroid Problems
Fatigue can stem from thyroid problems, including both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. When you have too much of the thyroid hormones, it’s called hyperthyroidism, and too little is hypothyroidism. Your thyroid makes hormones that impact how your body uses and energy and controls your metabolism. Therefore, when these hormones are off-balance, you will experience tiredness.
If you have an iron deficiency, you may feel tired often. This condition is called anemia. Women who have heavy periods and pregnant women are especially likely to be affected by anemia, but it can happen to anyone.
Other reasons for anemia include intestinal issues and stomach issues. Both of these affect the absorption of iron and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and these two conditions can affect your energy levels. IBD causes inflammation in the digestive tract, and that inflammation can lead to fatigue. The symptoms of IBD can also keep you up at night or cause you to wake up earlier. Fatigue can also be a side effect of medicines you might take for this condition.
If you are struggling with consistent fatigue and you aren’t sure why you might want to speak with your doctor. There could be a medical reason for it, and treatment available depending on the cause. If you are concerned and want to make a doctor’s appointment ASAP, we suggest trying My Virtual Doctor. This site offers telehealth services wherever and whenever you are for an affordable price! Stay healthy and listen to your body. Your fatigue might be telling you something important.