Life requires energy in order to power your cells and keep your body functioning, says Samuel Werner, D.O., founder of Family Osteopathy in West Hartford, Connecticut. Ideally, your body operates at an energy surplus, but if you have depleted energy stores due to stress, hormonal issues or lack of sleep, you may feel tired, explains Dr. Werner. “Tiredness is a sign that you are operating at an energy deficit,” he adds.
While it’s normal to feel tired occasionally, chronic tiredness can be attributed to a multitude of causes, says Dr. Werner.
Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function optimally, says Brooke Judd, M.D., section chief of Sleep Medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. , However, a third of adults routinely get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Insufficient sleep can cause symptoms like tiredness, excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability and difficulty concentrating, says Dr. Judd. What’s more, chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of mental health conditions, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, immune system impairment and increased pain sensitivity.
Many medical conditions can disrupt sleep and cause fatigue, says Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., a medical content expert at SleepingOcean.com. These conditions may include:
Obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by abrupt pauses in breathing that cause frequent awakenings during the night, says Dr. Hsu. This condition often leads to fragmented, nonrestorative sleep, according to research.
Hypothyroidism, or a decreased production of thyroid hormone, is linked with shorter sleep duration, sleep offset (the time it takes to wake up) and reduced overall sleep quality, says Dr. Hsu. In general, fatigue is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
Cancer and cancer treatment may cause chronic exhaustion due to surgery, infection, changes in hormone levels, low blood counts or low electrolyte levels. Furthermore, during chemotherapy or radiation, healthy cells are damaged alongside cancerous ones, and because the body uses energy to repair damaged cells, chronic exhaustion may occur, says Dr. Hsu.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by overwhelming fatigue. While the cause of the condition is unknown, common triggers include severe psychological stress and viral infections, says Dr. Hsu.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that can cause extreme fatigue. In fact, fatigue affects 75% of MS patients, according to an article in the journal Sleep. Potential causes of MS-related fatigue include damage to the brain and central nervous system, but this symptom is still poorly understood, according to research.
Chronic Kidney disease causes fatigue in about 70% of patients. This is likely caused by a buildup of toxins in the blood and/or anemia, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells resulting in a lack of oxygen being delivered to organs, a common complication of kidney disease.
Patients with Diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2 commonly experience fatigue due to a lack of insulin in the body. As a result, cells don’t get the glucose, or energy, they need to function normally, which can lead to exhaustion, …….