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Talk to your healthcare provider, if you have been feeling fatigued or rundown for more than a few weeks.5
Lifestyle choices that can cause fatigue
Some of the possible lifestyle- or behavior-related causes of fatigue are:
Lack of sleep can take a toll on the body, leaving one feeling rundown and exhausted. It is recommended that adults should sleep 7 or more hours every night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.1,2
Too Much Alcohol or Caffeine can disrupt a good night of sleep. Alcohol and caffeine intake should be limited to the evening prior to bedtime.3,4
Certain Medications such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants, or antihistamines, are commonly associated with fatigue.4-6
A poor unbalanced diet or not eating enough can make you feel sluggish. Food rich in nutrition help maintain energy levels and avoid fatigue.5,6
Often changing habits can help you feel more energized. But if that doesn’t work, seek help from a doctor as there may be an underlying problem that needs treatment.
Health conditions that can cause fatigue
Many health conditions or disorders are associated with fatigue, such as:
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex condition associated with extreme fatigue, weakness, joint and muscle pain, unrefreshing sleep, and lack of concentration. It does not get better with bed rest and makes everyday activities a struggle.7
Thyroid disorders result from abnormal production of thyroid hormone. Production of too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) speeds up many body functions while production of not enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) slows down body functions. Both conditions can cause tiredness and fatigue.8,9
Depression is a serious mood disorder and in many people it is associated with the symptoms of fatigue and altered sleep patterns.10
Anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. As a result, you often feel weak, dizzy breathlessness, and constantly tired.11,12
Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal breathing during sleep. There may be pauses in breathing lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes, or periods of shallow breathing. As normal breathing is interrupted, sleep quality becomes poor, and you may wake up feeling exhausted and tired.13
In diabetes, the amount of glucose present in the blood is too high and not enough glucose gets to the cells, where it is needed. Diabetes can cause fatigue along with other symptoms, such as feeling very thirsty or hungry and needing frequent urination.14,15
In heart failure, the heart is not able to pump blood through the body normally. Simple activities, such as walking or climbing the stairs, can cause exhaustion and breathlessness. Other symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, and belly may also be present.16
Talk to your healthcare provider, if you have been feeling fatigued or rundown for more than a few weeks. If you are managing a health condition that causes fatigue, consult your healthcare team to learn the best ways to boost energy levels.
Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American academy of sleep medicine and sleep research society. Sleep. 2015;38(6):843-4.
Anemia: also known as iron-poor blood, low blood, tired blood | National heart, lung, and blood Institute: health topics [Internet]. Nhlbi.nih.gov. 2019 [Cited 7 June 2019]. Available from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/anemia
Always Tired? You may have sleep apnea| US Food & Drug Administration [Internet]. fda.gov. 2016 [Cited 23 August 2019]. Available from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/always-tired-you-may-have-sleep-apnea