What to do if you constantly feel tired

Every person gets tired from time to time. But when this feeling persists for a long time, it interferes with an average life: it becomes difficult to get up and do any business, there is no strength to go to work, and it seems that it is simply impossible to survive until the end of the day.

Constant fatigue often comes more than once. Along with it, muscle pain and weakness, nervousness, anxiety and irritability, low levels of motivation, and desire to do what you once liked may occur.

It is essential to understand that sometimes fatigue can be a symptom of an illness that requires treatment, and Ukraine Lifehacker will help you with that.

Why constant fatigue occurs and what to do about it

To deal with the problem, evaluate the symptoms that appear, except for fatigue: write them all down, and then note the most pronounced ones. This will help determine the possible cause of the ailment – and based on this, contact the right specialist.

If you are in doubt about the cause, or there may be more than one cause, it is worth visiting your GP or GP. He will sort out your complaints, prescribe the necessary tests, and refer you to a specialist.

Here are a few factors that can lead to constant fatigue.

#1. Chronic fatigue syndrome

This syndrome is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis. The main symptom of this disease is fatigue, which lasts for more than six months and does not go away with rest.

Also, myalgic encephalomyelitis is accompanied by problems with sleep, thinking and concentration, muscle, joint and headache, sore throat, feeling of dizziness or nausea, rapid heartbeat, and some other manifestations.

What to do about it

You can contact a neurologist or endocrinologist with this condition. However, it’s better to start with a therapist.

There is no generally accepted method for diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome or a cure for it. Therefore, doctors make a diagnosis by ruling out other diseases that can cause the same symptoms.

Treatment is usually aimed at alleviating the person’s condition. The doctor may suggest:

· medications to control symptoms, including corticosteroids, antidepressants, medications to regulate blood pressure or heart rate;

· light intensity aerobic exercise;

· psychotherapy and supportive counseling.

#2. Mental health problems

Fatigue can be caused by depression or anxiety.

Typically, depression is also accompanied by a constant bad mood or sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, irritability, and outbursts of anger. Physiological symptoms include changes in appetite or weight, unexplained pain, insomnia, or, conversely, too much sleep and low libido.

With anxiety disorders, a person also constantly feels fear, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Dizziness, heart rhythm disturbances, trembling, excessive sweating, abdominal and head pain, and insomnia often occur.

What to do about it

These conditions are challenging to cope with on your own, so if you notice signs of them, it is essential to contact a psychotherapist or psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Typically, mental health problems are treated like this:

· relieve symptoms with medications – antidepressants, tranquilizers (anxiolytics) or antipsychotics;

· understand the causes of the disorder using various methods of psychotherapy – for example, cognitive-behavioral, conversational, or schema therapy.

In cases of severe depression, the doctor may suggest brain stimulation with electromagnetic currents.

The specialist will also tell you about effective self-help methods and how to implement them in your life, even if it is challenging. Thus, experts advise people with depression to communicate more with loved ones, eat healthy foods, keep a diary, and create rituals for themselves that will help them get out of bed or leave the house. For anxiety, they use relaxation techniques, exercise, making plans, and tracking anxiety triggers.

#3. Infection

Infectious diseases occur when pathogens enter the body: bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Most often, infection occurs through airborne droplets, through close contact with a sick person, as well as through contaminated food or water.

In addition to fatigue, the infection is usually accompanied by weakness, high fever, chills, cough and runny nose, muscle aches and headaches, diarrhea, and nausea.

Most often, when the infection goes away, the condition improves. But in some cases, fatigue can linger – for example, after coronavirus or flu.

What to do about it

If symptoms occur, you should make an appointment with a therapist. It will help in most cases, but if the situation is dire, you will be referred to an infectious disease specialist.

Often, with viral infections, doctors advise getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty, and no additional treatment is required.

But sometimes a second appointment is necessary; for example, if it becomes difficult to breathe, the cough persists for more than a week, a rash or swelling occurs, a severe headache is accompanied by fever, or changes in vision appear.

Most often, viral infections are treated by simply relieving the symptoms:

· For fever and pain, you can use drugs based on paracetamol and ibuprofen.

· When coughing, lollipops, honey, and warm broth help. However, the effectiveness of special sprays, tablets, and syrups is no higher than that of a placebo.

· Nasal sprays can help relieve a runny nose. But it is important not to overuse them – use them only as directed.

· For pain and swelling in the throat, you can gargle with a saline solution. The recipe is simple — stir half a teaspoon of salt in 200 ml of warm water.

If the infection is bacterial, antibiotics will be needed. A doctor must prescribe the drug since the choice of drug depends on which bacterium caused the disease. Moreover, it is essential to finish the course of medication to the end, even if it seems that it has become better. Otherwise, the infection may return.

For parasitic and fungal infections, the doctor may prescribe particular medications – antiparasitic and antifungal antibiotics. Since there are a lot of fungi and parasites, and medicines for them are not universal, a specialist must determine what exactly you are faced with. This may require tests and other studies.

#4. Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels become too high.

In addition to constant fatigue, diabetes may cause extreme thirst, dry mouth, weakness, frequent urination, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, and numbness or tingling in the extremities.

Diabetes can sometimes occur during pregnancy and is also called gestational diabetes. The good news is that for most women, this disorder goes away after childbirth.

What to do about it

Diabetes cannot be cured entirely, but the condition can be brought under control. To do this, you need to contact an endocrinologist. He will determine the type of diabetes and tell you how to control your blood sugar levels.

In addition, the doctor will prescribe medications that will help the body with the absorption and production of insulin and determine their dosage and schedule of administration or injections.

To prevent diabetes from causing complications, it is essential to maintain a healthy weight. Special nutrition will help with this: it will help control blood sugar levels. It would help if you chose a diet together with your doctor. Regular physical activity is also necessary.

#5. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which there is little glucose in the blood:

· For people with diabetes — less than 70 mg/dL or 3.9 mmol/L;

· For people without diabetes — less than 55 mg/dL or 3.1 mmol/L.

This condition can occur in any person, for example, due to fasting, severe stress, or a heavy workload.

In addition to fatigue, the following symptoms appear fast heartbeat, trembling, profuse sweating, dizziness and hunger, weakness, tingling or numbness of the lips and tongue, restlessness, irritability, or confusion.

Sometimes, attacks of glycemia can be severe: they cause convulsions and fainting, and sugar does not rise to normal levels after several meals.

What to do about it

If you are experiencing a hypoglycemia episode, the American Diabetes Association recommends the following:

  •   Eat or drink 15–20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates. Glucose tablets or gel, fruit juice, honey, and candy are suitable. This will increase your blood sugar levels.
  •   After 15 minutes, if it doesn’t feel better, take another 15 g of fast-acting carbohydrates.
  •   As soon as you feel better, eat.
  •   If the condition does not change, try to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible.

You can check your blood sugar levels yourself using unique test strips that are sold at pharmacies. You need to place a drop of blood on the strip and see what color it turns.

In cases of severe hypoglycemia, an injection of glucagon, a hormone that increases blood glucose levels, may be necessary.

If attacks of hypoglycemia return, you should consult an endocrinologist. To cope with the problem, a specialist may suggest revising your diet – it must contain enough carbohydrates to maintain normal sugar levels.

#6. Anemia

This is the name for a condition in which the blood does not deliver enough oxygen to the rest of the body. There are many types of anemia, but the most common is iron deficiency.

In addition to a constant feeling of fatigue, anemia may cause shortness of breath – even with light exertion such as walking, pallor or yellowness of the skin and mucous membranes (for example, on the inside of the eyelids), arrhythmia, dizziness, pulse sound and ringing in the ears, chest pain.

What to do about it

Treatment for anemia depends on its type. The doctor may prescribe medications with iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. It is essential to start taking it under the supervision of a doctor – he will determine the specific remedy and its dosage and tell you how to use it correctly so that it is absorbed.

In addition, in some cases, a specialist may suggest:

· blood transfusions to “add” healthy red blood cells;

· taking corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system, such as to treat aplastic anemia;

Taking erythropoietin is a medicine that helps the bone marrow produce more blood cells.

What you can do at home if you constantly feel tired

Serious health problems do not always cause fatigue. Lifestyle factors often cause it. These are, for example, stress, lack of sleep and physical activity, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Also, chronic fatigue can develop if a person is overworked, constantly forgets to have lunch, quarrels a lot and often with relatives or colleagues, gets burned out, or experiences changes in life.

Therefore, if other symptoms do not accompany fatigue, you can try to cope with it yourself. Here are some tips that will help you.

· Find out how much sleep you need. Obviously, lack of sleep leads to feelings of fatigue. But too much can be harmful. So try to find your ideal sleep time experimentally.

·  Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet and plenty of water will keep your body nourished and hydrated.

· Don’t skip meals. An excellent way to maintain energy throughout the day is to eat regularly and have healthy snacks every 3–4 hours.

· Drink water. Harvard doctors believe that it increases productivity in all types of activities (well, except for the most labor-intensive ones).

· Limit your caffeine intake. Yes, caffeine can invigorate you at the moment, but too much of it sometimes disrupts your normal sleep rhythms. This leads to sleep problems and then daytime fatigue.

· Avoid using alcohol and psychoactive substances. They can interfere with healthy sleep.

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