If you feel overtired, you might be sleeping poorly or working too hard. Equally, heavy drinking, poor dietary habits, a sedentary lifestyle and stress can all contribute to feelings of tiredness.
Usually, you can identify the cause of temporary fatigue. However, if you feel tired all the time, despite taking enough rest and addressing relevant lifestyle factors, an underlying medical condition may explain your exhaustion.
A consultation with your doctor, or in the case of sleep issues, your dentist, is, therefore, advisable to investigate the cause of your fatigue. Your doctor or dentist, may consider the following health problems when assessing your symptoms.
Image via: Dangers of Sleep Apnea Infographic
Over 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, where the narrowing of your throat during sleep causes loud snoring and adversely affects your breathing.
As a result, you wake often during the night, and feel drained the following day. Although a diagnosis is possible based on your symptoms alone, your dentist or doctor may refer you to a sleep center to assess your condition more thoroughly.
Treating sleep apnea can reduce your likelihood of cardiovascular complications, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke and an irregular heartbeat.
Losing excess weight, cutting back on alcohol and changing sleep position can aid symptom management, though a specialized mask that delivers air while you sleep can help to keep your airway open. Other effective therapies include mouth appliances, allergy therapy, orthodontics and more.
In America today, more than one million adults are diagnosed with diabetes each year.
Tiredness is one of the main symptoms of diabetes and is usually accompanied by increased thirst and more frequent urination.
Weight loss, blurred vision, poor wound healing and frequent yeast infections are further signs of diabetes.
When you have diabetes, glucose levels remain high, as your body either stops producing insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.
A simple blood test determines the diagnosis, and depending on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2, you will then require a combination of dietary changes, oral medication or insulin injections to control your blood glucose levels. Adhering to treatment is essential to avoid diabetic complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease.
Proper monitoring, treatment, diet and lifestyle changes can help alleviate tiredness.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia caused by iron deficiency is common among women of childbearing age, particularly during pregnancy. However, anemia can also occur if you have a medical condition that causes internal bleeding or poor iron absorption.
When you do not have enough iron in your blood, you cannot transport sufficient oxygen, so your body is unable to release energy efficiently.
As a result, you feel extremely tired, with breathlessness and palpitations, also common symptoms of anemia.
If a blood test reveals you are anemic, iron tablets and an iron-rich diet can help. However, your doctor may also investigate the cause of your anemia, allowing you to receive treatment for any underlying condition.
Around 1% of the population has it, though many people remain un-diagnosed, as they put their symptoms down to other causes.
When you have celiac disease, your body reacts adversely to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Besides tiredness, people with celiac disease often experience digestive upset, anemia and unintentional weight loss.
However, symptoms are wide-ranging, with mouth sores, headaches, joint pain, numbness and infertility all possible presentations of the disease.
A blood test and an intestinal biopsy can confirm your diagnosis, after which a lifelong gluten-free diet is necessary. A strict diet can help reduce tiredness, as well as your risk of osteoporosis and certain cancers that are more prevalent in people with celiac disease.
Anxiety and Depression
Low mood and anxious feelings often occur together. Besides making you feel intensely worried and sad, anxiety and depression can leave you feeling drained of energy. You become abnormally tired.
Lifestyle changes can help you feel more relaxed and boost your mood, as well as enhancing your energy levels. However, if you have moderate to severe anxiety or depression, you will usually need a course of psychiatric or psychological therapy and medication to manage your symptoms.
Improving your mental well-being reduces your risk of social problems, substance misuse, self-harm and physical health issues.
Don’t delay getting unexplained fatigue checked out by an expert such as a dentist who treats sleep and airway issues, or your doctor. With a timely diagnosis and treatment, you can feel more energized and reduce your risk of complications associated with any underlying condition.