We all get tired from time to time. There are days when getting out of bed seems a bit of a struggle. If this is an occasional occurrence, you don’t have to worry too much about it, as it could be a result of poor sleep or a change in your schedule. But if low energy is a constant struggle for you, it could actually be a sign of a more serious illness.
Below you will find eight conditions that all have fatigue and low energy as their symptoms.
8 illnesses that cite low energy as a symptom
Underactive thyroid: Low energy and fatigue are the first symptom of an underactive thyroid, followed by weight gain, constipation, dry skin, and always feeling cold. The good news is that thyroid issues can easily be treated. So if you start noticing these other symptoms in addition to your fatigue, go see your doctor to get your thyroid checked.
Adrenal insufficiency: When the adrenal glands do not function properly, they don’t produce enough cortisol, so you can feel quite fatigued. You may also experience lightheadedness, weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and hyperpigmentation, with some skin patches appearing darker than the rest of the body.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): This is a form of debilitating fatigue in which a person experiences aches, pains, and foggy thinking. Many patients end up being house-ridden. CFS is not well studied. Some experts believe it has something to do with out-of-control inflammation triggered by even the lightest activity.
Anemia: Anemia is a condition of low red blood cell count. Along with fatigue, symptoms include paleness, brittle nails, a racing heart, dizziness, and headaches.
Diabetes: Aside from excessive thirst and urination, extreme fatigue is another early sign of diabetes as your body struggles to manage glucose.
Clinical depression: Fatigue linked with low mood could be an early sign of depression. Although how or why depression causes fatigue is unclear, it is a well-known association. If you also experience loss of appetite, sadness, and difficulty concentrating, you may be experiencing clinical depression.
Endocarditis: This is an infection or inflammation of the heart. Bacteria in the blood infect the heart and cause inflammation. Other symptoms include fever and chills.
Sleep apnea: In sleep apnea, a person stops breathing throughout the night. Catching the breath actually wakes them up, so they never fully get a good night’s rest. If you wake up with jaw pain or a headache, have high blood pressure, and are overweight, especially around the mid-section, you could be dealing with sleep apnea. Another sign is snoring, so if your partner keeps nudging you at night or complains about your snoring, have yourself checked out. The good news is, wearing a CPAP device – a wearable nighttime mask that ensures a continuous air flow – can help relieve sleep apnea and its many symptoms, including fatigue.
If you’ve been struggling with low energy and fatigue, it could be a sign of a more serious health condition. Speak to your doctor if you can’t seem to muscle up the energy to do the things you love.