Nearly everyone is overtired or overworked from time to time. But there is a big difference between fatigue and tiredness: usually tiredness can be recovered after resting and sleeping. Fatigue lasts longer, is more profound, isn’t relieved by rest. It is nearly constant state and mainly fatigue reduces your energy, motivation and concentration
Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both.
Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue.
Fatigue is generally diagnosed as either being chronically fatigued for more than 6 months or present 4 or more of the following symptoms:
- Unrefreshing sleep
- lack of energy
- muscle pain
- constantly tired or exhausted
- lack of motivation
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty starting and completing tasks
- rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness and vertigo
There are numerous potential causes of fatigue. They range from those that cause poor blood supply to the body’s tissues to illnesses that affect metabolism, from infections and inflammatory diseases to those that cause sleep disturbance. Fatigue is a common side effect of many medications.
- Not Enough Sleep: It can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night. Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and televisions from your bedroom.
- Use of alcohol. Too much alcohol can rob the body of essential nutrients, lowering energy levels and causing low moods.
- Sleep Apnea: some people think they are sleeping enough but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it so you’re sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed. Your doctor may order a sleep study to check for this. Try to lose weight if you’re overweight and quit smoking if you are a smoker.
- Excess or lack of physical activity.
- Medications and treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, pain drugs, heart drugs and antidepressants
- Medical conditions such as anxiety, anemia, cancer, chronic kidney disease, depression , diabetes, grief, heart disease, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), obesity, etc…
- Unhealthy eating habits: Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating the wrong foods can also be a problem.
- Energy Drinks: If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, don’t reach for a Red Bull. Research suggests energy drinks may do little to curb sleepiness. The combination of caffeine and sugar puts your body through the ringer and may just leave you feeling dehydrated and fatigued.
- Processed food: it drops off energy levels. Research has found that diets high in processed food tend to lead to weight gain and a more sedentary lifestyle
- Honey: has serious health benefits but it’s not something you should be reaching for if you’re looking for sustained energy. Adding a few teaspoons to your tea or yogurt will give a quick rush of energy that spikes your blood sugar, which means a crash can follow.
- Caffeine: it can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure.. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people. It causes fatigue due to sleep disruption such as insomnia and adrenal gland overstimulation and exhaustion. Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.
- Wrong type of carbs: high glycaemic index carbohydrates are quickly digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream where it triggers insulin release. Big insulin spikes removes too much glucose from your blood and leaves you feeling fatigued and without energy
- Allergies and Intolerances: 90 percent of cases are triggered by dairy products, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat or soybeans. Food additives such as preservatives, colorings, artificial flavors and sweeteners can also trigger negative reactions.The most common symptoms of allergic reactions are severe congestion, swelling and breathing problems, although fatigue is not unusual due to an overworked immune system.
- Whether you’re working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day so your urine is light. Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity. Then, sip throughout your workout, and afterward drink another two cups.
R.D. Chermine Bahous