Reasons why you might be feeling completely drained and exhausted

Brunilda Nazario, MD, provided a medical review. This article was updated on April 21, 2021.

Feeling exhausted all the time Are prime time sitcoms making it hard for you to stay awake? Most of us are familiar with exhaustion, especially during bouts with the common flu/default.htm" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">cold, influenza, or another viral infection. But if you're feeling drained all the time and exhausted all the time, it might be time to see a doctor.

Constant, debilitating tiredness is what we mean when we talk about fatigue. Fatigue is characterized by unexplained, ongoing exhaustion that comes and goes in cycles. It's like how you feel when you've got the flu or when you haven't slept in a long time. A lack of sleep is a common complaint among those who suffer from chronic fatigue, also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). It's also possible that you won't be able to work or get anything done at home. It's possible you're too worn out to handle anything more than the simplest of tasks.

If you're feeling tired, it's probably not for no reason. It might be allergic rhinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease (COPD), a bacterial or viral infection, or some other health condition In that case, we can expect a bright future. Some common sources of exhaustion and their respective solutions are outlined below.

Weakness, head pain, itchy nose, stuffy nose, and drainage are all symptoms.

Chronic fatigue is frequently brought on by allergic rhinitis. On the other hand, allergic rhinitis is typically manageable without medical intervention. In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor will take your symptoms into account. Whether your allergies are triggered by pollen, insects (dust mites or cockroaches), animal dander, molds and mildew, weather changes, or something else will be determined by the doctor through a thorough history and/or testing.

Fatigue is a common symptom of allergic rhinitis, but taking precautions to avoid the allergen can help. Furthermore, the right medication can alleviate symptoms. There are a variety of medications that could help, including:

In extreme cases, immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be helpful. Allergens that cause reactions are injected into the patient at a higher concentration every week. Immunotherapy for allergies is typically spread out over three to five years.

Weariness, lightheadedness, chills, and irritability are some of the symptoms.

In the United States, anemia is the most prevalent blood disorder. S Over five people are impacted. 6.2% of Canadians Women of childbearing age often feel tired because of anemia. Women who experience painful menstruation, have uterine fibroids or polyps, or who have had hysterectomy may be at a higher risk for these complications.

When there are not enough red blood cells in the body, a person is said to have anemia. There are a variety of causes for this. Hemorrhoids, stomach issues like ulcers, and even cancer are all possible causes. Ibuprofen, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause similar gastrointestinal (GI) issues and bleeding. Lack of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 is another common cause of anemia. Anemia is also a common complication of long-term diseases like diabetes and kidney disease.

To confirm a diagnosis of anemia, your doctor will give you a blood test Iron supplements may be prescribed if your doctor determines that a lack of iron is to blame for your exhaustion. Iron-rich foods, like spinach, broccoli, and red meat, can also be added to the diet to alleviate symptoms. Vitamin C taken with meals or iron supplements increases iron absorption and alleviates symptoms.

Depression, feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and fatigue

Anxiety and depression can sometimes play a role in causing persistent fatigue. It's been shown that depression is more common in women than men and can even run in families. Between the ages of 15 and 30, it usually first appears.

It's possible to experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Certain people experience wintertime fatigue and depression due to seasonal affective disorder. Mood swings like those seen in major depression are a hallmark of bipolar disorder.

One symptom of depression is a persistent, low mood that lasts for most of the day. Perhaps you've lost interest in the things you used to enjoy. Fatigue is just one symptom; you may also overeat or undereat, sleep too much or too little, feel hopeless and unworthy, and have other serious symptoms.

Potential signs of anxiety include:

If you've been feeling down, or if your anxiety or depression symptoms seem to be getting worse, it's time to see a doctor. Your doctor may discuss possible treatments with you and refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for a psychological evaluation if he or she determines that there is no physical cause for the depression or anxiety.

Despite the lack of understanding surrounding their origins, depression and anxiety are both highly treatable medical conditions. Symptoms can be managed with medication, psychotherapy, or a hybrid of the two.

Signs: a lack of energy, a high temperature, and aches and pains in the head and body

Many different diseases, from the common cold to HIV, can cause fatigue. If you have an infection, you'll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss (They will be different for each infection. )

Common infections that can sap your energy include:

Regaining your energy after an infection has been treated is common. Still, infections like mononucleosis and COVID-19 can cause persistent fatigue.

Chronic exhaustion, severe muscle pain, tender points, insomnia, anxiety, and depression are all symptoms.

Among the many potential causes of persistent fatigue and aching muscles, fibromyalgia is disproportionately prevalent in females. Despite their similarities, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are classified as two different illnesses. One symptom that both of these conditions share is extreme fatigue.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you might feel like no amount of sleep helps. In addition, you might feel like you have no energy during the day. Regular awakenings could be a problem for your sleep. However, the next day, you might not even realize that there were any problems with your sleep. A common symptom of fibromyalgia is a mental cloudiness known as "fibro fog," which can make even the simplest tasks seem daunting.

Many people with fibromyalgia don't exercise enough because they are too exhausted to do so during the day. As a result, one's level of physical fitness decreases. Mood disorders are another potential outcome. Increasing one's physical activity is the most effective way to counteract these consequences. For better sleep, a better mood, and less fatigue, exercise is highly recommended.

Swimming (or other mild exercise) can help with fatigue, but you should ease into it. You can gradually increase your pool or gym time as your body adjusts to the new routine. Identify a consistent time of day to work out. Don't push yourself too hard or you risk exhaustion.

Manifestations: Lethargy, sleepiness, and persistent exhaustion

Despite the fact that eating is supposed to fuel your body, some people may actually be unable to digest certain foods because of unseen intolerances or allergies. Exhaustion is a common symptom, and it may be an indicator of a food intolerance or allergy. The inability to digest gluten, which characterizes Celiac disease, may also contribute to fatigue.

Discuss the elimination diet with your doctor. The goal of this diet is to determine whether or not temporarily abstaining from certain foods (for example, those known to cause sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes after consumption) will have any effect on a person's symptoms. You can also ask your doctor about a food allergy test, or buy a home test like ALCAT, that may help you pinpoint the foods that are triggering your symptoms.

Signs: exhaustion from what should be a simple task

If you’re exhausted after an activity that used to be easy -- for example, walking up the steps -- it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of heart disease For females, heart disease is the number one killer. Medication or treatments can typically help correct the problem, cut the fatigue, and restore your energy if it is cardiac in origin.

Signs and Symptoms: Tiredness, morning stiffness, aching joints, and joint inflammation

Another inflammatory arthritis that can cause extreme fatigue is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is best treated early and aggressively because of the risk of permanent joint damage and the associated risk of disability.

Some medications that could be used early on for mild RA are:

  • Drugs that reduce inflammation but are not steroidal are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs

Anti-cytokine therapies (anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha agents), in addition to shots and other forms of treatment, are used in more severe cases of RA.

Fatigue is a common symptom of many autoimmune diseases, including lupus and Sjogren's syndrome.

Snoring, feeling exhausted upon waking up, and persistent fatigue are all symptoms.

A variety of health issues can prevent you from getting the rejuvenating sleep you need, and we call these sleep disorders. It's important to be on the lookout for warning signs and symptoms of this, as it can have negative effects on your health and quality of life.

There are many different sleep disorders, but sleep apnea is extremely prevalent. Sleep apnea may be the cause of loud snoring, which may be noticed by either you or your bed partner, as well as persistent daytime sleepiness. A large percentage of U.S. adults (over 35%, to be exact) S snore on a regular basis (at least a few nights per week) However, sleep apnea may be to blame if your snoring causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. Find out if it's bad to sleep on your stomach by reading up on the pros and cons of different sleeping positions.

Insufficient oxygen in the blood is caused by obstructive sleep apnea. That's because when airways are blocked, oxygen-rich air can't reach the lungs. Your heart and brain can't function as well when oxygen levels are low. Extreme tiredness may be the only indicator that you have sleep apnea.

If you have trouble breathing while you sleep, your doctor may recommend a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Obstructive sleep apnea in severe cases may be helped by surgical procedures. Tissues that are obstructing airflow will be surgically removed. Sleep apnea can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke if left untreated.

However, sleep apnea is only one of many sleep disorders that lead to daytime sleepiness. Additional frequent kinds are:

  • You have insomnia if you have trouble falling asleep or maintaining your slumber.
  • You may experience sudden bouts of sleepiness throughout the day if you suffer from narcolepsy.
  • You suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) if you get the nagging urge to move your legs in your sleep because they are uncomfortable.
  • If you talk, walk, or swing your arms while dreaming, you may have REM sleep behavior disorder.

If you think you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, discuss getting a polysomnogram with your doctor. Do something about your weight and your smoking. Factors that increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea include being overweight and smoking cigarettes. Mild sleep apnea may be alleviated by switching to a side sleep position rather than sleeping on your back.

Extreme weariness, thirst, hunger, urination, and weight loss, along with other symptoms.

In the United States, both children and adults are increasingly at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. S Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the warning signs of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be self-managed with a doctor's guidance, so while the diagnosis may be shocking, you need not let it control your life.

Type 2 diabetes treatment options may include:

If you have type 2 diabetes, maintaining good health requires a multifaceted approach. Stopping smoking is one of them, as is maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.

Extreme tiredness, lethargy, feeling generally run down, depression, inability to tolerate cold, and weight gain are all symptoms.

Possible causes include a sluggish or underactive thyroid. Diseases of the thyroid gland cause hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small gland in the shape of a butterfly that is located in the front lower part of the neck. Metabolism, the rate at which the body converts food into usable energy, is largely determined by this factor.

About 1 in 5 women will develop a thyroid disorder before they turn 60, per the American Thyroid Foundation. And most people won't even realize it. Most cases are due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition. Because of Hashimoto's disease, the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough of the hormones necessary for proper bodily function. Thus, hypothyroidism, or a sluggish metabolism, results.

T3 and T4 tests check for thyroid hormones in the blood. Synthetic hormones (medication) can bring you up to speed if your levels are low, and you should start to feel better pretty quickly.

Cancer patients frequently experience fatigue as a result of their diagnosis or as a side effect of their treatment. Fatigue caused by cancer treatments is much worse than regular fatigue. It's possible that you'll feel too weak and exhausted to do much of anything. It can happen with the more common types of cancer (such as lung cancer, colon cancer, or breast cancer); with the rarer types, such as cancers of the brain and spinal cord; and with blood cancers, which include leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma

Very low energy levels can be a symptom of cancer if you haven't been diagnosed with it, but there are many other possible explanations. Consult a medical professional if your fatigue persists despite increased rest and alterations to your lifestyle, or if you experience any other unusual symptoms.

Fatigue can be caused by a wide variety of medical conditions and environmental factors, making it difficult to pinpoint its source. Caffeine consumption late at night is one example of a potentially simple and straightforward cause. Heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are two examples of more serious causes that may necessitate immediate long-term treatment.

Your doctor will be able to sort through your symptoms, diet, exercise routine, and other lifestyle habits to help you determine the root of your health problems and begin the healing process.

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