What diseases cause fatigue
Always tired? Possible medical causes
Sometimes it is not that easy to see whether the constant tiredness has a natural cause or a medical reason. Here you can find out how to get to the bottom of the cause and what you can do about it.
It is completely normal to feel tired every now and then. Maybe you've had a long night, lacked sleep due to an emotional challenge, or worked long hours. Fatigue is usually a signal from your body to rest. Certain medications, pregnancy or being overweight can also make you feel tired.
But normally this kind of tiredness disappears with the help of sufficiently restful sleep. However, if you are constantly tired for more than four weeks and no rest breaks help, there may be a medical reason for your tiredness.
We have listed some of the most common diseases that can cause fatigue for you.
Iron deficiency anemia
If you are often tired and lacking energy and even rest breaks do not lead to recovery, iron deficiency anemia could be the cause.
This is caused by an iron deficiency, which causes your body to run out of red blood cells. This is because your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Typical symptoms are Fatigue, shortness of breath, palpitations, and paleness - on the skin as well as on the nails and eyelids.
Less common symptoms include headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, brittle hair, painful tears in the corners of the mouth, spoon-shaped nails, and restless legs.
The reason for anemia can be one low iron diet be, but also Operations, certain Diseases (such as stomach ulcers or Crohn's disease), or blood loss, such as in women with heavy menstrual bleeding can be behind it. Also one pregnancy or the Childbirth can promote anemia.
What you can do about it
A blood test can quickly determine if you have an iron deficiency. Your doctor will then prescribe appropriate iron tablets for you.
Supporting, you can strengthen your iron balance with the help of the right diet. Foods particularly rich in iron are dark green leafy vegetables, legumes like beans and lentils, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, fish, and lean red meat. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you may also need iron supplements.
Constant fatigue can also be a sign of another nutrient deficiency. Here are some of the most common ones that can cause fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is also essential for the production of red blood cells. Deficiency can lead to anemia, but it can also cause symptoms beforehand. In addition to extreme fatigue, this also includes Visual disturbances, tingling sensation, muscle weakness, irritability, depression, memory and concentration problems. Here, too, a blood test can provide clarity.
Treatment is usually done with injections or vitamin B12 tablets. Foods that contain vitamin B12 include Meat (especially liver), herring, mackerel, cod, cheese and eggs. Those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet should possibly take a dietary supplement.
According to a 2015 study by the Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Iran, there is a strong link between vitamin D3 deficiency and fatigue. Sunlight on the skin is the best source of vitamin D, you can find out more about this in our article 5 ½ Facts About Skin. Foods that contain vitamin D3 include oily fish, mushrooms, egg yolks and fortified foods, like vitamin drinks.
We need magnesium to convert food into energy. Research shows that an early symptom of magnesium deficiency is fatigue. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, cramps, and abnormal heart rhythms. Foods rich in magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, broccoli and beans.
A lack of nutrients can be determined with the help of a blood test.
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Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
If you constantly feel exhausted and have other symptoms such as weight gain, depression, muscle pain, joint pain, dry skin, brittle nails, thinning hair, loss of libido, and irregular or heavy menstrual periods (in women), you may have an underactive thyroid. Your thyroid will then not produce enough thyroid hormones, which will slow down your entire system - and make you constantly tired.
A thyroid function test is necessary to determine an underactive thyroid. The level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and, if necessary, thyroxine (T4) in the blood is examined.
Hypothyroidism is usually treated by taking thyroid hormone replacement tablets every day. Certain foods can help support your thyroid function, including lean organic meat and organic fish. You can find out more about recognizing thyroid problems here.
Other medical causes of fatigue
The above list is by no means an all-encompassing enumeration of all possible medical causes of fatigue.
Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms that are accompanying your fatigue and may run tests. He / she can also look for diseases other than those mentioned above. This includes:
- inflammatory diseases like celiac disease, where your immune system reacts to a protein in gluten
- sleep disorders like sleep apnea, where you wake up several times at night because your breathing stops and starts again
- psychological illnessessuch as depression or general mental exhaustion - talk therapy may be recommended here
In some cases, the unexplained fatigue can be a symptom of something more serious. Therefore, it is better to talk to your doctor about it than to ignore the topic. That is why our doctors are always at your side with advice and action. Our doctors can give you an initial assessment of your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.
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