Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I so tired?” Maybe you didn’t sleep well last night. Maybe you’ve been trying to maintain a busy schedule. These are possible explanations for tiredness, but if your tiredness is more of a chronic problem, you may need to dig deeper to find the real cause for your tiredness.
Tiredness isn’t always a result of poor sleep or busy life. In many cases, it is a symptom of a more serious problem that you could be overlooking.
Here are six reasons for tiredness that you may want to consider if you can’t seem to shake off the feeling of being tired.
Anemia: Anemia is a condition where there is an inadequate amount of red blood cells. Red blood cells are necessary to transport oxygen, which helps us feel awake and alert. Other symptoms include weakness and shortness of breath. Anemia is most commonly a result of lack of iron, vitamin deficiency, blood loss, internal bleeding, or a chronic disease. Women are more likely to develop anemia than men. A simple blood test performed by your doctor will reveal whether or not you are anemic.
Thyroid disease: The thyroid is responsible for producing and releasing necessary hormones into the body. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can disrupt your health. Whether your thyroid is hyperactive or underactive, it’s enough to have you not feeling like yourself including unexplained weight gain or loss, fatigue, weakness, hair loss, changes in menstrual cycles, and increased thirst. A blood test is enough to determine if your thyroid is functioning properly or not.
Diabetes: Diabetics have trouble with their glucose levels, which is a primary source of energy for your body. When the body doesn’t know how to correctly use glucose, it can leave you quite tired. Other signs of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, irritability, a higher risk of yeast infections, and blurred vision.
Depression: Depression doesn’t only affect mood, it can affect all areas of life and health including eating habits, sleep patterns, and cause tiredness. Along with feeling hopeless or worthless, depressed persons may also have irregular sleeping patterns, memory troubles, and difficulty concentrating. Although there isn’t a blood test for depression, talking with your doctor will help you be diagnosed. Medications to treat depression can also alleviate tiredness too.
Chronic fatigue: Some people are tired all the time, regardless of what lifestyle habits they change. There isn’t much known about chronic fatigue syndrome, but it can dramatically impair a person’s daily life. Other symptoms may include headaches, muscle and joint pain, weakness, tender lymph nodes, and difficulty concentrating. In order to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, your doctor must first rule out all other possible causes for your tiredness.
Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person will stop breathing for a brief moment several times throughout the night. When this occurs, your brain tells your body to wake up so that oxygen can be restored. This causes restless sleep throughout the night, which leaves a person tired. The biggest sign of sleep apnea is snoring, and if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious problems including hypertension, heart disease, and even stroke.
Related: 7 foods that fight fatigue