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Often Feeling Drained? Explore the Root Causes of Your Ongoing Fatigue

  • , par SANUSq Research team
Factors that influence your fatigue levels

Often Feeling Drained? Explore the Root Causes of Your Ongoing Fatigue

Are you feeling exhausted all the time? Find it hard to get up in the morning even after a good night's sleep?  Struggle with extreme mid-afternoon slumps and can't stay alert? Do you often resort to drinking extra cups of coffee to drag yourself through the day?

Lingering tiredness with extreme physical and mental symptoms such as brain fog, excessive sleepiness, lack of motivation and sore muscles can be overwhelming and can impact your daily life. Most of the time this constant feeling of fatigue and lethargy is due to a combination of many factors such as stress, unhealthy diet, not getting enough sleep, lack of exercise, nutritional deficiencies or an underlying health condition. Fortunately, you can control and manage many of these factors to restore your energy levels. In this blog, let’s explore the common culprits that drain your energy levels and leave you tired and lethargic.

Identifying Factors That Influence Your Fatigue Levels

1. Poor sleep quality and quantity

Sleep is the time when your body rejuvenates and repairs itself from the daily wear and tear.  Inadequate sleep and staying up late affect your mental health and energy levels.

2. Sedentary lifestyle

There are a number of ways physical activity boosts energy levels. It improves blood flow, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your muscles, heart and other tissues. When you exercise, your body also boosts the production of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin that improves energy and mood. These neurotransmitters also help the body cope with pain and provide stress relief.

3. Unhealthy diet

Have you been snacking on fried foods and sugary delights? While these foods may provide you with a temporary energy boost, a diet loaded with sugar, fats and processed grains makes you tired and lethargic. An unhealthy diet lacks minerals, vitamins and protein that keep you healthy and energetic. An imbalanced diet also increases the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and nutritional deficiencies that put a further dent in your energy levels, and will eventually lead to serious health issues if consumed regularly.  

4. Dehydration

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. Even a mild case of dehydration is enough to drain your energy levels and make you feel lightheaded, sluggish and weak.  

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5. Chronic stress

Constant fatigue and poor energy levels can be a sign of long-term stress. Whether it is your immunity, heart or brain, every system in the body is affected when you are continuously living with stress. It disrupts your sleep, weakens the immunity, makes your digestive system weak and produces symptoms such as joint pain, sore muscles, headaches, brain fog and digestive issues, leaving you feeling irritable and exhausted all the time. Stress also increases the risk of depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease and other health conditions that clearly are energy vampires.

6. Medical Conditions

Underlying health conditions also deplete your energy levels. [1-2] Some common medical conditions that cause extreme fatigue and tiredness are diabetes, heart disease, sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, viral infection and allergic rhinitis. Sometimes, less common disorders such as adrenal insufficiency can also make you feel tired all the time. While most health conditions have fatigue as one of the common symptoms, not all fatigue is the same and it is best to get a diagnosis from a qualified health practitioner who can investigate associated symptoms and find the root cause of your ongoing fatigue.

7. Nutritional deficiencies

Extreme fatigue, low energy and widespread aches and pains are some common signs of nutritional deficiencies. It is because vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, play an important role in energy synthesis, energy metabolism, oxygen transport and muscle function. For example, your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein that binds and carries oxygen from lungs to all the other tissues. Iron deficiency causes anemia which produces symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and irregular heartbeat. Chronic vitamin D deficiency also causes fatigue, achy joints, muscle pain, muscle weakness and depression.

8.    Hormonal imbalances

Poor energy levels and extreme fatigue can also be warning signs of hormonal imbalance, especially in women. Imbalances in thyroid hormones, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol can affect your energy levels as well as your physical and mental wellbeing. Hormonal disruptions not only cause a lack of energy, fatigue, mood swings and weight issues, but these fluctuations can also lead to conditions such as diabetes, depression, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and irregular periods. Ageing, menopause, onset of puberty, pregnancy, auto-immune disorders (for example, Hashimoto’s and Addison’s disease), stress and use of certain medications mess with hormones and trigger hormonal imbalances.  

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Can supplements help boost energy?

Some supplements help boost energy levels and fight fatigue by correcting nutritional deficiencies, reducing stress and improving mental well-being. For example, ashwagandha is one of the best herbs to manage your stress and fatigue. It is an adaptogenic herb that boosts energy, rejuvenates the body and helps you sleep. Herbs such as moringa and shatavari also help you overcome fatigue. Vitamin C plays an important role in keeping adrenal glands healthy and functional. Taking vitamin C supplements helps to improve energy levels, relieve fatigue and symptoms of stress and anxiety. [3]

If you have been feeling too tired and drained out, taking magnesium supplements can help. Your body uses magnesium in trace amounts to produce energy, absorb vitamin D, maintain healthy calcium levels, and regulate stress hormones. [4] Magnesium also maintains your nervous system health. People with magnesium deficiency often experience fatigue, low energy levels, muscle cramps and increased feelings of stress and anxiety.

Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and keeps your bones and muscles strong and healthy. Low vitamin D levels are often associated with increased symptoms of fatigue, low energy levels and mood swings. Chronic vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of depression and anxiety, conditions that cause physical and mental fatigue and leave you feeling even more tired and lethargic. Taking vitamin D3 supplements improve energy, help combat joint pain and muscle weakness, and alleviate symptoms of depression. [5] Vitamin D deficiency is also linked with an increased risk of thyroid and other autoimmune disorders, which impact your energy levels and overall well-being. Taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement keeps the thyroid gland healthy and reduces the risk of autoimmune disorders.

We all experience energy slumps at some point in our lives. It is natural and normal to feel tired if there has been some change in your daily schedule, you have not been sleeping well for some time or you are recovering from flu or a viral infection. However, a constant feeling of tiredness is something that can interfere with your daily life and routine, impacting your social life, happiness and performance at work. If you are tired all the time, it is important to find and address the root cause.  

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FAQs

What are the most common causes of fatigue?

Nutritional deficiencies, lack of rest, inadequate sleep, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are the most common causes of fatigue. Medical conditions such as diabetes, anaemia, obesity and thyroid disorders also deplete energy levels, and make you feel tired and exhausted all the time.  

Can mental health issues cause fatigue?

Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, cause fatigue and related symptoms such as lack of energy, lack of motivation, muscle weakness, joint pain and sleep deprivation.

Are there any natural remedies for fatigue?

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, getting regular exercise and correcting nutritional deficiencies, are some natural ways to improving energy levels and vitality. Drink plenty of water, manage stress and get sufficient sleep to feel energetic and motivated throughout the day.

References:

  1. Bi et al. Contributing factors of fatigue in patients with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2021.
  2. Park et al. The relationship between stress and sleep quality: The mediating effect of fatigue and dizziness among patients with cardiovascular disease. Medicine, 2023.
  3. Sim et al. Vitamin C supplementation promotes mental vitality in healthy young adults: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition. 2022
  4. Şerife Akpınar and Makbule Gezmen Karadağ. Is Vitamin D Important in Anxiety or Depression? What Is the Truth? Curr Nutr Rep. 2022
  5. Pickering et al. Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited. Nutrients. 2020

 


Disclaimer

Information on our websites, in our blogs and our emails are provided for informational purposes only, and have not been evaluated by the EMA, EFSA or FDA. It is not meant to substitute medical advice provided by your healthcare professional and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Our products are intended for adults, 18 years of age and older. While the vitamins and supplements mentioned here have been shown to have various health benefits, it is important to remember that supplements and dietary changes should be considered as part of an overall health plan and not as a substitute for professional medical treatment. Only a qualified healthcare practitioner can provide personalized advice and treatment plans based on your individual health needs and medical history, and you should seek advice from your healthcare professional before taking product(s) if you are pregnant or nursing.

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