A generalized sense of exhaustion or energy shortage is referred to as fatigue. It differs from merely feeling sleepy or drowsy. You lack both energy and motivation when you are exhausted. Sleepiness may be a sign of exhaustion, but the two are not the same.
Numerous medical disorders, ranging in severity from moderate to serious, frequently exhibit fatigue as a symptom. It also happens naturally because of some lifestyle decisions, including not exercising or eating poorly.
Consult your doctor if your weariness does not go away with adequate rest and nourishment or if you think it might be brought on by a physical or mental health condition. They can collaborate with you to identify the root cause of your exhaustion and address it.
What causes fatigue or tiredness?
Fatigue may have a variety of causes. They can be categorized into three broad groups:
- lifestyle elements
- the physical state of health
- mental illness problems
Your habits and other lifestyle decisions could be to blame for your exhaustion. For instance, the following can cause fatigue:
- physical effort
- absence of exercise
- becoming overweight or obese and lacking sleep
- emotionally taxing times, boredom, grief
- consuming alcohol daily while taking certain drugs, such as sedatives or antidepressants
- utilizing illegal narcotics, like cocaine
- overdosing on caffeine
- not maintaining a healthy diet
Physical health issues:
Fatigue is a common symptom of many medical problems. Examples comprise:
- syndrome of protracted weariness
- illnesses like the common cold and flu
- a condition called Addison’s disease that can mess with your hormone levels
- thyroid underactivity, or hypothyroidism
- overactive or hyperthyroidism thyroid
- disturbances of sleep, such as insomnia
- disorders of eating, including anorexia
- autoimmune conditions
- enlarged heart failure
- renal illness
- liver illness
- persistent pulmonary obstruction (COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease))
Difficulties with mental health
Fatigue can result from issues with mental health as well. As an illustration, exhaustion is a typical sign of anxiety, sadness, and seasonal affective disorder.
When should you visit your doctor?
If you are experiencing exhaustion and any of the following, you should schedule a visit with your doctor:
- cannot imagine anything that could explain your weariness.
- have difficulties getting or staying asleep, feel sensitive to cold temperatures frequently, have a greater body temperature, have seen unexplained weight loss, or suspect depression.
Schedule an appointment with your physician if your weariness has persisted for two weeks or more and you have tried unsuccessfully to address the most frequent lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep, bad eating habits, and stress.
Your fatigue may occasionally be brought on by a significant medical problem. If you experience exhaustion combined with any of the following, visit the hospital right away:
- abdominal bleeding
- nausea and blood vomiting headache
- suffering from chest discomfort
- fainting sensations
- shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat
- significant discomfort in your pelvis, back, or abdomen
- suicidal or self-destructive thoughts
- thoughts of harming someone else
How will your doctor handle your tiredness?
The course of treatment that your doctor advises will depend on what is causing your weariness. They will inquire about the following to make a diagnosis:
The type of your fatigue, when it began, and whether it gets better or worse at certain times, as well as any other symptoms you have been having, any medical illnesses you may have, your lifestyle, including any sources of stress, and any medications you are taking.
Your doctor can request some tests if they think you have had an underlying medical disease that is the root of your fatigue. They might, for instance, request blood or urine tests.
Here are a few tips for combating fatigue:
Whether your fatigue lasts longer than a day or two, attempt to identify the source of your weariness before experimenting with other remedies to see if they work.
- Change your way of life
If you believe that aspects of your lifestyle, such as insufficient sleep or bad eating habits, are to blame for your exhaustion, work to improve your nutrition and put more emphasis on getting enough sleep at night.
A sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to fatigue, so it is critical to make sure you are getting enough exercise. Even though it may be difficult to get moving if you are constantly exhausted, exercise can improve your mood if you give it a chance. As with any form of behavioral change, it is advised to acknowledge that it will be challenging. Try to divide the task at hand into manageable, little steps. The example of starting with two minutes of exercise every day and increasing it to five minutes, then 10 minutes, after a few days are given. Increasing your daily physical activity can also improve the quality of your sleep at night.
- Examine your prescriptions
Some drugs may contribute to fatigue. Contact your doctor if you suddenly become tired while taking a new prescription.
- Encourage peace
A priority should be given to your mental health if stress or anxiety are causing your symptoms. According to doctors, stress management techniques, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can all be beneficial.
Foods to combat fatigue:
Foods that can increase energy levels tend to be fresh rather than heavily processed. They frequently include several nutrients as well.
Several instances include:
Eggs: Whole eggs are packed with nutrients. An average egg has 7 grams (g) of protein, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)Trusted Source. Additionally, it offers 6% of the daily needed amount of vitamin A and 4% of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
Additionally, eggs contain fats. The National Institute on Aging claims that fat gives the body energy and aids in vitamin absorption.
Bananas: Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, and potassium. This mix of fiber and carbohydrates offers a sustained source of energy. In fact, one tiny study found that during a 47-mile time trial, trained cyclists who ate bananas fared comparably to those who drank sports beverages. Bananas are a fantastic source of energy, especially before and during intense exercise, the researchers found.
Almonds: Nutrient-rich whole almonds are abundant in lipids, fiber, and protein. Protein and fat both give people a sensation of fullness and can boost their energy.
Magnesium and vitamin E are also present in almonds. They are excellent for an afternoon snack.
Watermelon: Watermelons are a fantastic way to stay hydrated. Watermelons, which contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and numerous other nutrients, are 92% water, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Centre.
The effects of weariness can worsen due to dehydration. However, according to a review from 2010 by a reliable source, drinking enough water boosts mental clarity and enhances well-being.
Kale: Kale is a leafy green vegetable high in nutrients like iron, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Iron is a component of red blood cells in the body. This mineral is crucial for transporting oxygen throughout the body so that cells can utilize it as fuel. For this reason, a loss of energy may result from low iron levels.
The USDA reports that 1 cup of raw kale is also a good source of potassium and vitamin A.
Spinach: Another green leafy food that is high in iron is spinach. Magnesium and vitamin K levels are also high. Kale and spinach work well together in salads.
Chia seed: Chia seeds are nutrient-dense. For instance, 1 ounce of chia seeds has 4 g of protein, 11 g of fiber, and 9 g of fat.
Blood sugar increases around mealtimes and can be avoided with fiber. Another potential factor in weariness is quick variations in blood sugar levels.
Oats: Oats are rich in complex carbs and fiber.
Refined carbs are simple for the body to break down and can be used for a quick energy boost. One type of refined carbohydrate is sugar.
Complex carbs, however, are more challenging for the body to digest. They become a more reliable source of energy as a result.
Basic dietary advice for energy:
To maintain their energy levels throughout the day, a person might also try a few general dietary behaviors. These consist of:
- keeping from skipping meals
- sticking to the acceptable daily calorie intake taking a midday or morning snack, such as a handful of almonds, if energy levels dip remaining hydrated with water or other nutrient-rich beverages.
These tactics may, however, be used differently by different people, and what works for one person may not work for another.
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