It is quite common to experience tiredness post a strenuous physical activity or a stressful day at work. This type of tiredness, also known as fatigue, lasts for a few hours or a day and is mostly relieved after a good night’s sleep or rest. But if your fatigue becomes so severe that it interferes with your daily activities or fails to subside even after taking rest, then it’s a cause of concern. Because, excessive tiredness can indicate a lot of health problems which can range from anemia and vitamin deficiencies to diabetes.
In this article, we shed light on some of the common health problems that could lead to excessive tiredness and may require you to book an appointment at your doctor’s clinic.
6 Health Problems That Could Lead To Excessive Tiredness
Excessive tiredness or feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep could indicate an underlying health problem. There are various health conditions that can manifest in the form of tiredness, body aches in addition to other symptoms. These include:
One of the commonest causes of fatigue is anemia. Anemia may be caused by iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss or kidney failure.The symptoms include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, rapid heartbeat, and headache. In people with anemia, simple exercises such as climbing stairs or walking short distances can cause fatigue.
Anemia is detected by blood tests like anemia blood profile including complete blood count (CBC). If you have anemia, make sure you include iron rich foods in your diet like dark green leafy vegetables, meat, poultry, beans, peas, cereals, beans, and lentils. If you have severe anemia, your doctor may prescribe you iron and vitamin supplements to increase your iron levels.
2. Vitamin D Deficiency
There’s been an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency over the last few decades because we have been avoiding the sun. The symptoms of low Vitamin D levels include bone pain, excessive fatigue, and mood swings. The only way to detect Vitamin D deficiency is to get a simple blood test done.
To get your daily dose of Vitamin D, make sure you spend 15-20 minutes in the sun every day, preferably in the mornings. Expose a large area of your skin to sunlight to help the skin produce Vitamin D. You can also get Vitamin D from fortified foods such as juices, breakfast cereals and egg yolk.
Deficiency of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can also cause fatigue and tiredness. Hypothyroidism is most common in women over 50 years of age. Fatigue, lack of concentration, muscle pain, weight gain, feeling cold all the time (even in warmer weather), irregular periods and constipation are some of the common signs of low thyroid levels.
Thyroid disorders are detected by a group of blood tests called thyroid function tests. If you have a thyroid disorder, your doctor will prescribe medications to increase the level of thyroid hormone in the body.
Another important reason for feeling tired and exhausted is fluctuating blood sugar levels. Without enough energy to keep the body running smoothly, people with diabetes often notice fatigue as one of the first warning signs. The symptoms include exhaustion, excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, and irritability.
Diabetes is detected by fasting and random blood sugar tests, HbA1c tests, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure you stick to your medications, follow the dietary restrictions advised by your doctor and take up an exercise regimen after consulting your doctor to keep your diabetes under control.
5. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition in which a person feels extreme tiredness which is not improved by rest. The symptoms may persist for at least 6 months and include excessive tiredness, recurring pain, headaches, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain, problems with memory and concentration, sleep disturbances, weakness or dizziness.
There are no tests to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome. Your doctor will diagnose it by ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms and may suggest certain lifestyle changes to help you cope better.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. The symptoms include excessive snoring, followed by tiredness the next day. It is diagnosed by a test called polysomnogram, a painless test that monitors sleep patterns, breathing changes, and brain activity.
If you have snoring issues or if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, speak with your doctor about various treatment modalities to improve your quality of life and prevent various health complications that are related to sleep apnea.
Most people tend to ignore fatigue or tiredness thinking it could be due to changes in the weather, lack of sleep or continued stress at work or home. But if you have been stressed for long or suffer from fatigue for quite a long time, do not ignore it but get in touch with your family doctor. This is because it might be a key symptoms of diseases such as diabetes or sleep apnea. So get tested and treat the condition to prevent complications and stay healthy and happy!