Do you feel an overwhelming tiredness you can’t seem to shake no matter how much you sleep? It can be exhausting just feeling overwhelmed and tired all the time . Persistent fatigue can have a huge impact on your life, relationships and work. How do you know when the overwhelming tiredness is actually something more? What are the causes and symptoms of chronic fatigue ?
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue syndrome is described as extreme exhaustion with no known underlying medical reason. It is made worse by physical or mental exertion. If you have chronic fatigue you may experience symptoms such as:
- Reduced or no energy. The lack of energy experienced is extreme where it is impossible to exercise or work because you are so exhausted.
- Physical or mental exhaustion. Just doing simple tasks like taking out the trash or focusing on work is exhausting.
- Lack of motivation. It’s just too hard to get motivated to do anything other than sleep — forget doing errands, exercising, or working.
The symptoms of chronic fatigue can significantly impact every aspect of your life, from relationships to work. Your boss will likely not tolerate you sleeping at your desk and your friends and loved ones might be concerned that you never leave your bed.
Chronic fatigue can also be dangerous. You may fall asleep at the steering wheel and cause an accident. Persistent tiredness can impact your whole life and put your well-being at risk.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue is not a well understood condition, as it doesn’t have one specific cause. There are many things that can make your exhaustion worse. Here are a few physical causes of persistent tiredness :
- Being overweight or underweight can both cause exhaustion. If you are underweight you may have poor muscle conditioning and be unable to engage physical activity. For those that are overweight the body has to work harder to move around, which may increase fatigue.
- Underlying illness. Blood sugar irregularities, blood pressure problems, or thyroid conditions can all cause extreme fatigue. Be sure to ask your doctor to rule out any of these underlying causes of persistent tiredness.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Low iron, lack of B-vitamins or inadequate protein in your diet can all make you feel exhausted. Ask your doctor to check for any potential nutrient deficiencies.
- Stress and overworking. Are you a go, go, go type of person? Taking on too much can lead to over exhaustion. Stress can also cause insomnia, making your fatigue worse. The underlying cause of chronic fatigue may just be that you are taking on more than one person can handle.
- A major symptom of depression is fatigue. If you are struggling with this, seek treatment to help improve your mental health.
- Although it may seem counter intuitive, not moving enough can make you more tired. The less active you are the harder it is to get moving again. Aim to get in at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity.
- Alcohol depletes your body of important nutrients needed for energy, such as B-vitamins. It also prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, making you more tired.
- Too much caffeine. Although some caffeine can help you get moving in the morning, too much can disrupt your sleep patterns, making you feel more tired. Limit yourself to no more than 300 mg per day or the equivalent of about 3 cups of coffee. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may need to drink less than 300mg.
- Poor sleep habits. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, your body will rebel. Aim for at least 7-9 hours every night.
- A poor diet. If you are eating an unhealthy diet full of refined carbohydrates and lacking in fruits and veggies, it is unlikely that you will have a lot of energy.
As you can see there are many underlying causes of chronic fatigue . So how can you help yourself have more energy?
Coping with the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
There are many things you can to try to improve your symptoms. Here are a few things to try:
- Improve your diet. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.
- Get tested for nutritional deficiencies. Ask your doctor for a blood test to see if you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals, which can impact energy.
- Consider if you have a specific food sensitivity. Many people are sensitive to foods like gluten and dairy, which can lead to inflammation and fatigue. Working with a trained Registered Dietitian can help you identify possible sensitivities.
- Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine, which can impact your sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Aim to get 30 minutes a day of physical activity. This will help increase your energy and promote better sleep.
- Get outside. A little bit of time in nature and a hefty dose of vitamin D does wonders for your mood and energy.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Aim to sleep 7-9 hours a night to get the rest your body needs.
- Manage stress. Excessive stress will lead to feeling overwhelmed and tired all the time. Try to manage stress by taking time out for yourself to do activities you love. Spend time with friends, watch a funny movie or take a long bath to unwind after a busy day.
- Identify and treat underlying medical conditions. Depression, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, blood sugar problems or viral infections can all cause symptoms of chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue and persistent tiredness can have a major impact on your life and well-being. Take your health into your hands by living a more balanced lifestyle that can help you regain energy and feel your best.
To read more about how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is directly related to the birth of Well Wisdom and our line of the finest protein powders available, you can read our Founder’s Story HERE.