Before we get into the meat of getting recharged, let’s address the fact that sometimes medical issues will play an important role in your energy levels. These can drag you down no matter how well you do on any given day.
If you are suffering from unexplained exhaustion, it’s important that you seek medical answers first. Go to your doctor and ask him/her to give you a complete blood work-up to check all your vitamin and hormone levels, plus test you for common diseases that cause exhaustion like sleep apnea. Alternatively, you may be taking medication for an illness and one of the side effects is tiredness. If you feel tired after taking the medication for two weeks, ask your doctor if there are alternatives.
The following conditions can easily be tested for and acknowledged by your primary care doctor through typical blood tests.
This medical condition is characterized by paleness, fatigue, racing heart, and sometimes even upper left quadrant abdominal pain. If a person has anemia their red blood cell count (known as hemoglobin) is too low. If hemoglobin gets too low, it can cause severe fatigue and other problems as well. For men, hemoglobin levels less than 13.5 grams per 100 ml and for women, hemoglobin less than 12.0 grams per 100 ml is too low.
Other Vitamin Deficiencies
Besides low iron, if you are short on vitamins D3 or B12 you may feel severely fatigued and even anxious, which can cause you to lose sleep – thus making you feel even more tired all day long. Even though you can buy D3 and B12 (with folate) to help with this issue, it is still best to get a blood test to rule out anything serious before starting with treatment.
Whether you’re hypothyroid (slow) or hyperthyroid (fast), you will suffer from fatigue. Having said that, hypothyroidism tends to cause you to feel tired, sluggish, and even depressed, while hyperthyroidism tends to make people feel anxious, restless, irritable and then contribute to fatigue due to lack of sleep. If you are feeling tired even if you have bursts of energy, ask your doctor to test your thyroid levels to be on the safe side.
One of the biggest first indications of diabetes is fatigue. Even though most people think diabetes only affects overweight people, many people who appear healthy still wind up with type II diabetes.
If you already know you have diabetes since birth and are often tired, talk to your doctor about this. Today, even older people are being diagnosed with type I diabetes, so the old rules don’t fit anymore. You can feel fatigued whether your blood sugar is high or low; if it’s off you will feel the effects. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor to try to manage your disease through medication, diet, exercise, and regular sleep.
Depression and Anxiety
While there can be underlying causes of depression and anxiety such as anemia and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, sometimes people have these conditions for other or even unknown reasons. If you’ve checked everything and nothing shows up, talk to a professional about whether you suffer from depression or anxiety (or both). Anxiety causes fatigue by preventing a good night’s rest, and depression sometimes has the effect of making you want to sleep away your problems regardless of how much sleep you get.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Another illness that can cause fatigue is CFS. It’s right in the name. There could be many causes for CFS that we don’t know yet. But it is a real medical condition that is often characterized by fever, body aches, and protracted exhaustion. This condition sometimes occurs after you think you’re recovered from another viral infection. It’s very difficult to diagnose and is only given after a complete work-up to discount other possibilities. But, it is a real illness that can be managed and treated.
An almost epidemic problem today, sleep apnea is caused by either an obstruction due to the way you sleep, or because the brain isn’t signaling your muscles to breathe properly even if your airway isn’t blocked (known as central sleep apnea). Both types of apnea are very dangerous and can lead to sudden death while sleeping. However, most often what it leads to is a low quality of life due to experiencing non-restorative sleep.
To diagnose this issue, you’ll be sent to a sleep center overnight to do a sleep study. There are many ways to get help with this problem. Even if no one has mentioned that you snore, this is a great test to get to ensure that you are sleeping well.
If you have any type of illness where you’ve been given medications, they may be causing your problems. They might make you tired, or they may make it hard for you to sleep – thus causing daytime fatigue. Sometimes you still must take the medication, but often there are other options that you can use so that you can find a medication that doesn’t cause you as many problems. Other times, there are additional medications that you can take to combat the problem if it’s interfering with your ability to live your life fully.
So, now that we have talked about potential medical issues that cause fatigue, we can move on to talk about other issues that may cause fatigue and how you can overcome it. After all, the entire point is to find ways to recharge your body and take control of your life. Whether that is via medical intervention or something else is less important than doing something to make a difference.