Feeling tired from time to time is normal. A long day of chores, an emotionally taxing event, a sudden change of weather—there are so many things that can drain our energy. However, a good night’s sleep and a wholesome meal the next day can fix it. After all, we all need a break to unwind and recharge our batteries from time to time. But if you’re finding yourself exhausted day in and day out, for weeks in a row, and nothing helps to restore your regular energy, there may be a more serious cause that requires medical attention.
What causes your low energy?
Low testosterone. The primary male sex hormone, testosterone is responsible for a slew of different health aspects, from sex drive to muscle mass and bone density. It’s a fact that testosterone levels decline with age. In case of a significant drop, men may experience more pronounced symptoms of low testosterone, such as increased body fat, lagging libido, decreased motivation, and sleeping troubles, cumulatively resulting in chronic fatigue. If you experience any of the above, your first step should be to check your hormone profile through a blood test to see if it’s low T causing your tiredness. (Boost your testosterone naturally.)
Thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism is a condition where insufficient thyroid hormone is produced, resulting in plummeting energy levels. Fatigue is the most common sign, which may be accompanied by sensitivity to cold, constipation, weight gain, skin dryness, hair loss, and moodiness. Low thyroid hormone levels have also been linked to low testosterone levels, so it would make sense to check the levels of both. Although low energy is usually experienced in hypothyroidism, patients with hyperthyroidism—an overactive thyroid— may also experience fatigue because of a racing heartbeat.
Sleep troubles. The best way to replenish your energy supply is to get a good night’s rest. But if you can’t fall asleep or are not sleeping very well through the night, you will wake up feeling even worse. Sleep troubles are common among people who don’t have a regular sleeping schedule, people who work night shifts, and people who pull all-nighters. Other medical conditions, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, also affect the quality of your sleep. Treating coexisting conditions and organizing your bedtime routine can help. (There’s an epidemic of sleep loss in America.)
Depression. Mental health issues have a tremendous effect on our physical well-being, and depression is the best example. Characterized by psychological traits like persistent sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, loss of interest in life, indifference, and difficulty concentrating, depression also manifests itself through sleeping problems, fatigue, and low energy. It’s a treatable condition, through medications and psychotherapy, and once you feel better, your physical well-being will improve.
Iron deficiency. Frequent blood donation, internal bleeding, and even a vegetarian diet can cause low levels of iron, which manifests as tiredness, pale skin, headaches, dizziness, and tingling in the hands and feet. While anemia associated with iron deficiency is more common in women, men can also develop it. If left untreated, low iron levels can lead to an irregular heartbeat and increased susceptibility to infections.
While these are some of the most common causes of low energy, if none of the above applies, there may be a more serious underlying medical condition at play that requires medical attention and treatment. If you’re chronically tired for an extended period of time, don’t write it off as the necessary evil of a modern lifestyle. Timely diagnosis and corresponding treatment can bring you back to normal and avoid possible complications.
Related: 6 ways to have all-day energy without coffee