Do you feel exhausted all the time? Here are four lesser known reasons why you may lack energy.
“Doctor, I feel exhausted all the time”.
It’s one of the most common complaints heard in a doctor’s office. That fatigue should be such a common symptom isn’t surprising with the fast paced life so many people lead in this modern age. From job to family and all the responsibilities in between, it seems the stress never ends. While stress can be an important cause of fatigue, there are others, some of them not quite so obvious.
As a general rule, if you feel exhausted all the time or experience chronic fatigue, you should see your doctor for a full physical. There are a wide range of medical problems that can cause chronic fatigue ranging from serious conditions such as cancer to not so serious causes such as stress and poor sleeping habits. Iron deficiency anemia, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid can also give rise to symptoms of chronic fatigue and a low energy level. These are all conditions that can be diagnosed with blood work and successfully treated. Once serious causes of fatigue have been ruled out, there are some lesser known causes of feeling exhausted all the time that you may not have considered.
Lack of exercise
This is probably one of the most overlooked causing of chronic fatigue. Though it may seem as if movement and exercise would be the last thing you need when you already feel tired, physical activity has cured many a case of fatigue not due to medical causes. The next time you feel exhausted; force yourself to take a brisk walk. It’ll be tough walking that first ten minute stretch but after twenty minutes you’ll start to feel more energized and alive. By thirty minutes, the feeling of exhaustion will have subsided. The next time you feel overwhelmed with tiredness, give it a try. You may be surprised at how much better you feel.
You have a low grade depression
Depression can present subtly with a sensation of feeling exhausted all the time. Do you find yourself awakening early in the morning without the alarm clock? Have you lost interest in your normal activities? Do you feel pessimistic and sad? Try taking an online depression quiz and see if your answers are consistent with those of someone who’s depressed. If you find that depression may be contributing to your fatigue, see your doctor. He may prescribe a short course of anti-depressants which can give you more energy.
Certain medications can cause you to feel exhausted. Antibiotics, sleep medications, certain blood pressure medications, and antihistamines are just a few of the medications that can cause fatigue. Review your medications with your doctor to see if you’re on any that could cause you to feel exhausted all the time.
For women only
If you’ve recently developed fatigue, consider taking a pregnancy test. Pregnancy can cause you to feel exhausted for no obvious reason. At the other end of the spectrum, menopause can also bring on feelings of fatigue. If you’re going through menopause and experiencing chronic tiredness, talk to your doctor.
It also goes without saying if you feel exhausted all the time, you need to reassess your sleep and dietary habits. Sleep requirements vary significantly depending upon the individual. Although you may not need eight hours of sleep per night if you’re getting less than six, this could be part of the problem. Likewise, if you’re existing on a poor diet of processed foods that are low in nutritional value, you can’t expect to have a high energy level. Start keeping a food and sleep diary to get a more accurate assessment of what role your sleep patterns and diet may be playing in regards to your symptoms.
Feeling exhausted all the time can be a frustrating symptom particularly if you lead a busy life. Take some of these factors into consideration and bring them to the attention of your doctor. Together, you can work towards getting back your old vigor and zest for life.