This article is intended for customers from all countries other than Germany*
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get a little run down every now and again. Most, if not all people feel tired at some point during the day, whether it’s right when they wake up, after a full day of work, or when they’re hitting the pillow after the day is done. But is feeling tired on a daily basis the same thing as fatigue?
The short answer is no. Tiredness is associated with daily activities and happens to everyone. Fatigue, on the other hand, is a chronic ailment that causes people to suffer an overall full-body feeling of exhaustion that doesn’t ease up, no matter how rested one may be.
It’s hard to pinpoint the direct cause of chronic or generalised fatigue; it can stem from many different problems, and the source is specific to each person who suffers from it. However, today we’ll be taking a look at some of the top causes of fatigue and how to treat them.
What are the causes of fatigue?
As mentioned above, there are many reasons why a person could suffer through chronic fatigue in their daily life. In fact, there are five main causes of fatigue:
- Sleep disorders
- Medical conditions
- Mental health conditions
Each different source can have a serious impact on quality of life, and each has different options for treatment.
There are many sleep disorders or other sleep disruptions that can cause fatigue. They include:
- Sleep apnoea
- Restless leg syndrome
- Shift work
- Jet lag
For people who suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea or insomnia, getting enough restful sleep can be a feat in and of itself. This is due to the brain’s inability to repair itself during the night caused by a lack of proper REM cycling. When the brain is not getting the rest it needs, it cannot restore itself, thus resulting in fatigue that can affect both the mind and body.
Treating a sleeping disorder can be difficult, but it can be done. If insomnia is the issue, creating a nightly routine and using a natural sleep aid such as melatonin may work wonders.
Certain medical conditions can also cause fatigue. They include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Addison’s disease
- Hyper- or hypothyroidism
These conditions cause fatigue for different reasons. In the case of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, it’s theorised that fatigue is the body’s way of handling or dealing with being in a constant state of physical turmoil. When the nerve signals in the body are overreacting to pain, it can lead to lethargy.
Anaemia causes fatigue for an entirely different reason. Anaemia affects the body’s ability to produce haemoglobin (reliant on having enough iron in the system). Haemoglobin is a protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. When the body doesn’t have enough haemoglobin, it can lead to fatigue on a cellular level.
The body needs a diet full of wholefoods, fruits and vegetables for it to run at its best. When the diet is overly processed or lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients, it can lead to deficiencies, which can in turn cause fatigue.
Specific nutritional deficiencies that can lead to chronic fatigue include:
- Vitamin B12
- Folic Acid
As mentioned above, a lack of iron leads to anaemia. Similarly for these other minerals and vitamins, when the body is deficient, fatigue doesn’t come far behind.
Mental health conditions
Some conditions that can lead to fatigue aren’t overly reliant on the amount of sleep one gets, or even how well they are taking care of their body. In the case of fatigue, mental health conditions can cause someone to feel overly exhausted on a day-to-day basis.
Mental health conditions that often lead to chronic fatigue include:
- Eating disorders
- Drug and alcohol abuse
A person can experience fatigue due to the mental and physical exhaustion of dealing with a mental illness. Mental health conditions can lead to poor diet, insomnia, lack of restful sleep, and other health issues – all things that prolong and worsen fatigue.
Not drinking enough water can be detrimental to more than your overall wellbeing. Being dehydrated can lead to chronic fatigue because when there isn’t enough fluid in the body, the heart has to pick up the extra slack to push the oxygen and nutrients where they need to go. This extra stress on the heart and body leads to a level of fatigue that can last for days on end.
How to treat fatigue
The first step in treating fatigue is finding the source. Since the cause of the ailment is unique to each person, it’s important to get to the bottom of your symptoms to determine whether a serious medical condition such as cancer could be causing the fatigue.
Treatment for fatigue will range significantly depending on the cause. For those who suffer from sleep disorders, paying a visit to a sleep clinic can be a great option. In the case of dehydration, increasing water intake could be a simple fix, but in the case of a mental health condition such as depression, the road to recovery may be longer and more complicated.
It’s best to see a mental health professional, but in general, you can begin a holistic approach by getting the proper amount of exercise, eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, and practising mindfulness and meditation – all of which been proven to lead to a lessened level of anxiety and depression in individuals who kept up a good routine regularly.
For those who suffer from a lack of nutrients, taking a multivitamin can be a great first step in ensuring that the body is getting what it needs, when it needs it. Make Well’s Energy Plus and MITO Plus are both great options when deciding what supplementation is right for you. The Make Well team is also working towards another fatigue-specific product to help in the fight against chronic fatigue.