Knowing the main causes of fatigue can help you narrow down why you’re feeling sluggish and slow. While some of the causes of fatigue are possible to treat on your own, some require immediate medical attention.
How can you tell when you need to see a doctor? The first step is to see if your symptoms match any of the conditions listed below.
Dehydration: When Was Your Last Glass of Water?
Living in a constant state of dehydration isn’t good for your health, and it’s not good for your energy levels. One of the most common causes of fatigue is a lack of water, so drink up! You could start to see an immediate difference as you hydrate.
Medication: Did You Just Start a New Prescription?
If you recently switched medications or started taking a new prescription, check the side effects. Fatigue is a common side effect of many anti-anxiety medications and beta blockers. Your doctor may be able to find a substitute that doesn’t sap your energy quite as drastically.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Are You Taking the Right Supplements?
If you have an iron deficiency, it’s normal to feel worn out and tired. Have your doctor check your blood levels with a simple test — you may need iron supplements to get back on track.
Sleep Apnea: Do You Snore Loudly?
Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the main causes of fatigue — it affects approximately 18 million Americans. When tissues collapse at the back of your throat during sleep, you briefly stop breathing, which causes you to wake countless times per night even though you don’t come to full consciousness.
This condition can translate to constant drowsiness throughout the day and it can have serious negative health consequences.
Depression: Do You Feel Hopeless?
Depression is a mental health condition, but it has physical effects as well, and fatigue is a primary symptom. If you feel like life isn’t worth living, you need to talk to your doctor right away.
Thyroid Disorder: Are Your Hormone Levels Off?
The thyroid is a powerful gland that produces hormones that dictate how your body processes fuel for energy. Either an underactive and overactive thyroid can drastically affect your energy levels. Have your doctor run a thyroid check to see if this is the culprit.
Heart Disease: Do You Have a Family History?
If you’re out of breath and tired after simple activities like climbing a flight of stairs (and have a family history of heart problems), don’t hesitate to get your heart checked. High blood pressure and obesity increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Schedule an appointment with Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center to pinpoint any causes of fatigue that are affecting your health and well-being.