While many of us accept droopy lids and constant yawning as a daily reality, your lagging daytime energy could be a bigger deal than you think. Whether you feel lethargic during the day or consistently have trouble falling and staying asleep at night, these symptoms of exhaustion could be indicators of a number of health problems, from over-exercising, to a chronic infection, to depression and many more.
“Fatigue is personal and individualized,” says Adam Rindfleisch, MD, University of Wisconsin, Department of Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine. “Since there are a number of reasons why someone could feel fatigued, it’s important your doctor tailors his or her diagnosis to your individual symptoms and needs.”
Not sure what’s causing your drowsiness? Here are some of the most common reasons you may be feeling tired all the time.
Whether you stepped up your workout routine to train for a long-distance race (or just swimsuit season) and you feel absolutely spent during the day — or you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep at night — it could be a sign that you’re overdoing it. “The longer you train, the more rest and recovery your body needs,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, CFT, RDN, CDN, coauthor of The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure. “If you don’t provide your body with adequate rest and nutrition, muscles and cells are continuously breaking down, eventually leading to exhaustion.”
The fix: Sleep at least eight hours a night and try to go to the bed at the same time to keep your internal clock in check, says Lakatos Shames. Also, consider having a 20-minute nap during the day to help you recover if you feel you need it. Make sure you’re providing your body with ample calories from quality carbohydrates and lean protein such as skinless chicken breasts, fish, fat-free Greek yogurt and nuts to charge your training, suggests Lakatos Shames.
You’ve got periodontal disease.
One in two adult Americans is likely to have periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bones supporting the teeth. “Any bleeding whatsoever in the gums when you floss or brush, or puffiness of the gum line isn’t normal and could be a sign that you have a chronic infection which could lead to chronic fatigue,” says Amy L. Doneen, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center. Gingivitis and the advanced stage of it, periodontitis, indicate there’s inflammation in the body, says Dr. Rindfleisch. “The immune system thinks it’s fighting off an infection and with that comes fatigue,” says Dr. Rindfleisch.
The fix: “I recommend getting fully assessed for the presence of bacteria in the gum line and mouth by going to the dentist every three months, flossing teeth twice a day, and using an electric sonic toothbrush,” says Doneen.
Those never-ending worries about your finances or job could be zapping your energy. One of the main symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder is feeling tired all the time, according to the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. Anxiety creates a sense of alarm in the body and ignites that high-adrenaline “fight or flight response,” which affects hormone levels, creates heart rate variability and blood pressure fluctuations, all of which can lead to fatigue, says Doneen. Your body releases hormones to prepare for that intense response and then the fall from that “high” can create fatigue, says Doneen.
The fix: Talk to your doctor to determine if you’re suffering from anxiety disorder or whether any medications you’re taking may be increasing your heart rate and uneasy feelings. Your doctor may recommend pills to help with anxiety and/or therapy to help you relax and think positive thoughts.
“It’s not OK to be tired all the time,” says Doneen. And it’s totally OK to schedule a doctor’s appointment with the complaint of, “I’m tired.” Be specific when you talk to your health professional though to help identify what’s causing your fatigue. Let them know if it’s muscle weakness, if it feels like sleepiness, general fatigue all day long, before or after meals or any other specific details that might help them diagnose the problem, says Dr. Rindfleisch. This will help them determine the cause and remedy the situation so you can get back to soaring energy and high-quality sleep in no time.
Read the full article about why you’re tired all the time on DailyBurn.com.
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