6 Most Common Causes Of Fatigue

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Being tired and being always tired are two different things. What you may perceive and dismiss as a simple tiredness that can be remedied by a quick nap is not often what you think it is. Read on as we delve deeper into the possible causes of fatigue.

Reason # 1:  Anemia

The loss of blood brought about by a woman’s monthly menstrual period causes anemia – and this is the number one cause of fatigue. Menstruating can lead to a loss of iron because of haemoglobin deficiency brought about by the loss of blood components such as red blood cells.  RBCs are responsible in carrying oxygen coming from the lungs to all body systems. When important organs and other tissues fail to receive adequate amounts of oxygen, fatigue becomes a consequence.

Aside from menstrual periods, bleeding, fibroid tumors and folic acid deficiency can also cause anemia. A blood test will confirm this diagnosis and the best way to manage iron deficiency anemia is to consume foods that are rich in iron such as beans, shellfish, liver and lean meat as well as take iron supplements.

Reason # 2:  Dehydration

Your body is 60-70 percent water, and your body processes relies on water for it to be able to perform its function well. Your blood, which is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to your body systems, has water in it.  So imagine how dehydration will affect your body – the brain will be deprived of blood causing sluggishness, muscles will become weak, breathing becomes difficult. The best way to counteract this is to make sure that you drink enough water all throughout the day, especially during periods of extreme physical activity.

Reason # 3:  Hypothyroidism

Easy fatigability is one of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid – or a thyroid gland that is functioning less efficient than normal.  Your thyroid gland is responsible for controlling your body’s metabolic rate.  It refers to how fast, or slow, your body converts fuel so that it will be utilized in the form of energy. So if your thyroid malfunctions in such a way that your body’s metabolism slows down, you will feel sluggish, always tired and then you begin to put on weight (which can cause sleep apnea).

The American Thyroid Foundation revealed that approximately 17 percent of women ages 60 years and above have a disorder of the thyroid gland.  The problem is this: they are not aware of it.  If you notice most of the symptoms listed below, go see your doctor and he will advise you to undergo a T3 and T4 blood test which will determine the levels of your thyroid hormones:

  • Constant tiredness
  • Low energy levels
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Diminished appetite
  • Cold intolerance
  • Slowing of the heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in concentrating


Reason # 4: Insufficient sleep

Your harried lifestyle and your harried existence are complemented by your harried looks. An eight to eight job isn’t just enough for you that you have to actually bring work at home. You go to bed at two in the morning and then jump out of bed by six.  That 4-hour sleep won’t be enough to tide you by.  Yes, you may argue that you’ve been doing this for so long and that your body is already accustomed to it, but sooner or later, those sleepless hours will catch up with you.

The lack of sleep causes poor performance and it diminishes a person’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand. If your co-workers start to notice you nodding off at a mid-day meeting, and your boss has started to throw dagger looks your way, maybe it’s about time that you slow down.  In order to be healthy, adults are advised to get at least seven hours each night.  If you find trouble falling asleep, see your doctor.  However, before you decide to pop in that sleeping pill, try these natural methods first:

·  Set a regular bedtime schedule and stick to it, even on weekends.

·  Put your cellphone on a silent mode and issue a ban on laptops and PDA’s inside your bedroom.

·  Make sure that your room is conducive for sleeping.  Your wall color can greatly affect your ability to sleep. Go for muted tones and refreshing hues and avoid wild, splashy colors.

·  Know what stimulates you to sleep – soft music, reading or a glass of warm milk – and then make this as your bedtime ritual.

Reason # 5:  Sleep Apnea

If you still feel tired despite having sufficient sleep, think again. Maybe you did not have enough sleep, after all.  True, you may have gone to bed at 10pm and woke up at 6am, but you really haven’t slept for all of the 8 hours that you were in bed. Such is the case when it comes to sleep apnea.  You sleep soundly, and then the next thing, you wake up all of a sudden because your breathing stopped. This typically occurs all throughout the night – without you even knowing it.  So instead of a deep and restful, you are constantly awakened.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results to a temporary absence of breathing.  This is often caused by obstruction in the upper airway, most especially in obese or overweight women.  The person’s sleep is interrupted without her knowing it.  In order to diagnose sleep apnea, you will need to go to a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders or visit a sleep laboratory.

One natural way of relieving sleep apnea, and thereby eliminate chronic tiredness, is a change in lifestyle.  If you are overweight or obese, start modifying your diet so that it will include healthy meals.  You might also want to include regular exercise as a part of your daily routine.  Also, if you are smoking, it is best that you quit. The danger in sleep apnea lies in the fact that if it is left untreated, it significantly increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Reason # 6:  Too much caffeine

Surprised? You may have associated caffeine with alertness and hyperactivity.  This is understandable because caffeine has long been known as a stimulant.  But an article by W. Stephen Pray, PhD, RPh, found in the US Pharmacist journal stated that consuming too much caffeine can sap up your energy levels. For some who abuse caffeine’s stimulant effects, the results are opposite – you get too tired. And if you think adding more caffeine will do the trick, think again.  This can actually worsen fatigue.