Tiredness can result from several different reasons, the primary one being a lack of sleep. But fatigue and tiredness are often the most documented symptoms that patients report. For that reason, it’s difficult to properly diagnose a health condition based on the symptom of tiredness alone. Furthermore, lifestyle habits are another large contributing factor to fatigue.
The main difference between fatigue caused by an illness and fatigue caused by lifestyle habits is that fatigue as a result of a health condition does not improve with proper rest. Generally, if fatigue is persistent for over a week, then it can be an indicator of a more serious health problem.
Furthermore, there is a big difference between feeling tired and feeling excessively fatigued. Sleepiness is the desire for sleep whereas excessive fatigue is feeling tired even when you know you got adequate sleep. You may feel completely wiped out, as if you haven’t slept in days.
If you feel more like the latter, then below, you will find nine common causes of fatigue.
9 health conditions that cause fatigue
This is a tiredness that occurs seasonally. You will also experience watery, itchy eyes, a runny or stuffed nose, coughing, and headaches. All those symptoms can leave you feeling tired.
Getting over an illness can be strenuous on your body and your immune system. So, while your body is still trying to fight it off, you could be left feeling tired. Getting enough rest post-illness will help you recover.
People with depression not only lose hope and feel helpless, but it can also take a physical toll, too. They feel exhausted and lack energy, more so because their sleep becomes largely interrupted as well.
4. Celiac disease
Along with the common symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation, some will experience fatigue. Some patients may even experience fatigue after consuming gluten without the other symptoms.
5. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep condition where a person periodically stops breathing several times throughout the night. This, in turn, disrupts a person’s sleep.
Other symptoms include having high blood pressure, being overweight, heavy snoring, and waking up with a headache or jaw pain.
Persistent anxiety and feelings of being anxious can cause a person to feel tired. This can be quite draining, as their bodies are constantly in fight-or-flight mode.
7. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
CFS causes excessive fatigue and tiredness without a clear explanation. There still isn’t much known about CFS, and unfortunately, there aren’t any FDA-approved treatments for it.
To properly diagnose CFS, doctors must first rule out other possible causes of fatigue. And if no cause is found, it is often attributed to chronic fatigue syndrome.
8. Thyroid problems
The thyroid is responsible for supporting several different bodily functions, including energy levels. An underactive thyroid causes fewer hormones to be released into the body to support proper bodily function, which can trigger fatigue.
On the other hand, an overactive thyroid can trigger insomnia and lack of sleep, which also causes tiredness.
Oxygen cannot be carried throughout the body properly when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells. Often, anemia can easily be resolved with iron supplements, which support the development of red blood cells.
As you can see, persistent tiredness can be linked to several different conditions. So, it’s important that you pay attention to other symptoms to help your doctor narrow in on your cause of fatigue.