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Feeling more tired than usual? Want more energy, but don’t know how to get it? Want to learn about some possible causes of fatigue, and healthy suggestions that may just be the solution to your overwhelming tiredness? Here we list the major factors that cause fatigue (and how to beat them). It’s time to get up and energize yourself!
Not Enough Sleep: Sleep is a major factor in providing us with enough energy and brainpower throughout the day, and can greatly impact our health. Seven to eight hours each night is recommended. Try reading a book to settle down at night, and stay away from your gadgets with bright screens like cell phones or computers.
Food Type and Frequency: You may experience fatigue if you’re not eating enough, or not eating the right type of foods. A balanced diet keeps blood sugar at a stable, normal level, and prevents grogginess or light-headedness. Try to include protein and carbohydrates with every meal. For example, eggs with whole-grain toast or a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes. It’s best to eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day instead of three big meals—that way your food intake and metabolism stay at a steady pace.
Dehydration: Despite popular belief, most of us are not properly hydrated. Being thirsty is a sign that you are already dehydrated. It is recommended to drink enough water throughout the day so urine is light colored. Drink at least eight tall glasses of water daily, and at least two cups of water an hour before working out.
Food Allergies: Some allergies are easier to notice than others. Symptoms can range from urgent hives and swelling, to a slight tingling on your tongue. A hidden food allergy reaction is sleepiness. Consult your doctor about food allergy testing, and you may be surprised.
Anemia: One of the leading causes of fatigue in women is anemia. Monthly menstrual blood loss causes iron deficiency, which makes women easily susceptible to developing anemia. The loss of red blood cells majorly impacts our bodies, because they distribute oxygen throughout tissues and organs. Try taking iron supplements and eating foods rich in iron such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and cereal.
Depression: Not just an emotional disorder, depression also affects the physical body. Depression can cause fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite. If you’re feeling “down” frequently or for an extended period of time, consult your doctor.
Hypothyroidism: The thyroid is the small gland at the base of the neck. The thyroid controls our metabolism, the rate and process that converts food to fuel and energy. When the gland is underactive and metabolism slows down too much, it can cause weight gain and tiredness. A blood test can confirm if your thyroid hormones are too low, high, or right on point.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): In most cases, a UTI will let itself be known immediately with severe pain. Although in some cases the symptoms are hidden, fatigue is one of them. If you are worried you may have a UTI, check with your doctor to be sure.
Diabetes: People with diabetes have extremely high levels of sugar in their bloodstream, because it does not go to the body’s cells, where it should convert to energy. This results in an energy deficiency, and causes the body to tire quickly despite proper food quality and intake. Consult your physician for a test. Diet and exercise changes, and medication therapy are ways to help process sugar.
Heart Disease: If you’re feeling tired during simple, everyday activities like cleaning the house, working on the yard, or walking the dog, it may be a signal that your heart can’t keep up. Consult your physician if you find that tasks that were once easy are now hard.
CFS and Fibromyalgia: If fatigue lasts more than six months and is so serious that you are unable to finish everyday tasks, you may have CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) or fibromyalgia. Changing your daily schedule, going to sleep earlier and sleeping enough, stress management, and starting an exercise program can help.
The all around best thing for fatigue is exercise! Healthy but overly tired adults can get a great energy boost from even a minimum workout.
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