Feeling tired and sluggish all the time can significantly impact your daily life, making it challenging to focus on work, engage in social activities, and maintain overall well-being. While insufficient sleep and a lack of physical activity are common culprits behind low energy levels, several unexpected factors can also contribute to fatigue. Understanding these hidden causes can help you identify and address the root of your fatigue if you constantly suffer from low energy levels. Keep reading this article to learn more.
Your body’s thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolic rate, growth, and development. Other functions include playing a part in the regulation of the body’s temperature, gut motility, brain development, and skeletal muscle contraction.In some cases, the thyroid gland cannot produce enough of the thyroid hormones needed by the body, and this condition is known as hypothyroidism. It is due to iodine deficiency in the diet. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, menstrual period abnormalities, slower heart rate, dry skin and hair, forgetfulness, hoarse voice, and cold intolerance. If you are always tired and experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor so they can perform blood tests to find out if you have undiagnosed hypothyroidism.
2. Iron Deficiency Anemia
Inadequate iron in your diet can lead to a condition known as iron deficiency anemia. Your body uses iron to synthesize a protein called hemoglobin. It is present in red blood cells and enables them to carry oxygen all over the body. Inadequate iron can lead to low hemoglobin levels, decreasing the oxygen your red blood cells can carry.
When less oxygen reaches your tissues and muscles, it deprives them of energy, making your heart work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood around your body and tire you. Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia (apart from fatigue!) include:
- heart palpitations
- shortness of breath
- frequent headaches
- brittle or spoon-shaped fingernails
- dry and damaged skin and hair
- restless legs
- swollen tongue and throat
- A craving for eating non-food items like dirt, clay, chalk, ice, or paper, called pica
Consult your doctor in case of these symptoms so they can perform tests to determine the severity of your condition and prescribe appropriate medications. Untreated iron deficiency anemia can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. You can strengthen your immune system by taking vitamin D, C, zinc, and Beta Glucan 1 3D supplements.
Stress is a cause of fatigue that most people overlook. Not only does stress mentally exhaust you, but it can also physically tire you. When stressed, your body releases the “fight or flight” hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and the stress hormone cortisol. These hormones cause your heart rate to increase, your blood pressure to rise, and your muscles to tense. This can lead to physical and mental fatigue from the constant alertness.
Stress can also disrupt sleep, leading to daytime fatigue and other problems such as irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors like eating unhealthy foods, skipping meals, and drinking alcohol or caffeine, which all contribute to fatigue.
If you suspect that you are experiencing stress-related fatigue, it’s essential to identify the source of your stress so that you can address it. Healthy ways to manage stress include exercising, meditation, or yoga. Consider talking to a therapist or counselor as well.
4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea are another cause of low energy levels. In this condition, your breathing is interrupted during sleep for longer than 10 seconds.
In obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of the back of your throat relax, expanding too much and narrowing or closing your airway. This lowers the oxygen level in the blood, causing a buildup of carbon dioxide.
Your brain senses this and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. On average, it happens five times per hour, and these frequent interruptions decrease sleep quality, resulting in daytime fatigue, poor concentration, morning headaches, irritability, and low mood.
Snoring loud enough to disturb your sleep or the sleep of others, pausing your breathing during sleep, and then waking up gasping or choking are some telltale signs of sleep apnea. If you think you suffer from this sleep disorder, speak with your doctor. They will review your symptoms, take your medical history, conduct a physical exam, recommend a sleep study, and order additional tests to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Besides a lack of physical exercise and sleep deprivation, various underlying medical conditions can cause low energy levels. You must consult a doctor if you suffer from any of the symptoms of the previously mentioned medical conditions. They can perform the necessary tests to help diagnose your condition and prescribe the appropriate medications. By identifying the underlying causes and taking proactive steps to address them, you can reclaim your energy, enhance your well-being, and live life to the fullest.