Tired All The Time? 9 Shocking Reasons You’re Always Tired!

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Are you tired all the time? Well, today I'm going to give you 9 shocking reasons you're always tired. Even when you think you've had a good night's sleep, do you tend to wake up feeling fatigued? Are you someone who feels sleepy at work? Do you nod off while helping your kids with homework? Are you finding yourself to be too tired to exercise? Do you fall asleep during movie night? If so, you are not alone. There are many people who are always tired but what they don't know is that this fatigue is often due to an underlying medical reason.

Now, the term for always feeling tired is fatigue and fatigue is actually quite a common complaint but again, what many people don't know is that fatigue is not always just a simple fix. Many people decide that if they just get better rest then it should be cured but if your fatigue is due to an underlying medical cause, it may be deeper than that.


9 Reasons You're Always Tired


1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when you literally stop breathing at night. So if you are a person who snores, or if you've been told that you snore and that you stop breathing, you very well may have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea may cause you to be very sleepy in the daytime. You may be drowsy, grumpy, or you can have headaches. It can even cause you to have high blood pressure. So obstructive sleep apnea could be a reason why you may always be tired.


2. Anemia or Low Blood

There are many causes of anemia. For ladies, it could be if your cycles, if your menstrual cycles are very heavy, or if you have menorrhagia or you can also sometimes lose blood in your stool or through your GI system, and you don't even know it. If you have a bleeding ulcer or a bleeding polyp or even a colon cancer malignancy, you could be losing blood and it's not always obvious. Sometimes the stools don't look red. They don't look like you have blood and it's occult blood. Some other causes of anemia could be genetic or hereditary causes. At any rate, if you are anemic, that certainly could be a cause of always feeling tired. Also, having certain vitamin deficiencies like low folate or low vitamin B12 can cause anemia.




3. Thyroid Disease

If you have low thyroid function or if you have an overactive thyroid, both can cause you to have fatigue or to always feel tired. Now, low thyroid is called hypothyroidism and those symptoms may include feeling fatigued, having a slow heart rate,  and constipation. You may also experience weight gain, you can have some edema, and or loss of hair. And then there is hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. With an overactive thyroid, you can have some unexpected weight loss or you can have what we call hyperdefecation where you're having bowel movements frequently. You can also have a very rapid heart rate or tachycardia or even arrhythmias and yes, you can feel fatigued.


4. Congestive Heart Failure

If you have congestive heart failure, that means that your heart is not pumping blood adequately to the rest of your body. So what does that mean? You're not getting the proper blood flow, the proper circulation, and your tissues are not getting the proper oxygen supply. This can lead to fatigue and so yes, congestive heart failure can certainly be another cause of always feeling tired.


5. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can certainly be a cause of fatigue. Our kidneys are necessary for so many things. They filter out excess toxins in the body and excess water. Your kidneys also help to maintain electrolyte balance. They even help to prevent anemia. So kidneys do a whole lot of things for us and if you are having kidney failure, you may feel fatigued. Now, make sure you realize that kidney failure does not necessarily mean that you have stopped making urine. No, you can still make urine and think you feel normal, but you can actually have some acute kidney injury or you can actually have CKD, chronic kidney disease. So make sure you consult your doctor and you find out if you have any risk for kidney disease if you are feeling fatigued.


6. COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD can most certainly be a reason for you to always feel tired. So if you have this chronic lung disease which can be emphysema, and if you are a smoker or have been a smoker, you can certainly be at increased risk for emphysema. Also, if you have asthma or bronchitis, these illnesses can cause you to always feel tired. So make sure you consult your physician and consult a pulmonologist or a lung doctor if it's indicated.


7. Rheumatologic Disorders

Rheumatologic disorders can cause you to always feel tired and there are several rheumatologic disorders including lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's disease, sarcoidosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are someone who's been feeling tired and no matter how much sleep you get or what you're doing, you just can't seem to feel rejuvenated, make sure you ask your doctor to screen you for risk factors for rheumatologic disorders or to outright screen you for these illnesses because certainly rheumatologic disorders can be a cause of always feeling tired.


8. Medications

Sometimes the medications you are taking can cause you to always feel tired or fatigued. Certain medications like antihistamines. So if you're a person who has a lot of allergies and you tend to take antihistamines in order to get rid of those symptoms, those can make you feel tired. Certain blood pressure medicines specifically the beta-blockers, that class of medicines can cause certain people to feel tired and then, of course, pain medicines. Certain pain medicines can cause you to feel tired or fatigued all the time.


tired all the time


9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Yes, chronic fatigue syndrome. Now, that's a tricky one because chronic fatigue syndrome is not something that's easily diagnosed but rather it's a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that after your physician has ruled out many other common causes of fatigue then they may come to the conclusion that you have chronic fatigue syndrome.

Some of the symptoms include severe tiredness, extreme exhaustion, you might have some memory loss or loss of concentration, and you may have headaches and women tend to be more affected than men and we don't have the exact cause. There are some associations including a viral association is a possibility but just make sure especially if you're someone who's always tired and the doctors just tell you, ah, it's in your head or ah, you're just sad, make sure you ask them to screen you for chronic fatigue syndrome or at least tell you if you are at risk.



So these are just some of the many, many medical conditions that can cause you to feel tired all the time. There are others such as cancer if you have an underlying malignancy, diabetes and the list goes on and on. Make sure that if you are feeling tired and you've gotten enough sleep and it's something just more than that, and your gut tells you that it is, be sure to consult your physician to have a proper workup.

Some basic things to do if you're tired all the time is number one, make sure you're getting enough sleep, 7 hours at least, preferably each night of uninterrupted sleep. You want to make sure you have good sleep hygiene. In other words, make sure that your bedroom or the place where you're sleeping is reserved for bedroom activities. Don't have the lights on, don't have the TV on. Don't do all kinds of exercise and activity.

Try to keep it a place that is strictly reserved for sleep and other bedroom activities. You also want to make sure you're drinking enough water,  have a healthy diet, and very importantly, that you consult your physician.

Dr. Frita - Frita McRae Fisher, M.D.
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