Feeling the fatigue? Slow down, take a break for self care and diagnosis
Dr. Renuka Dangare

Dr. Renuka Dangare

Mar 06General wellness

Feeling the fatigue? Slow down, take a break for self care and diagnosis

This blog has been compiled by Alipta Jena. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alipta

We all know there are times all we want to do is lie in bed and not get up, no matter how long our to-do list for the day is. But that overwhelming feeling of tiredness makes us sluggish and sometimes cranky and irritable, affecting our energy levels as well as our behaviour towards loved ones.

So why does this sudden fatigue beset us and what can we do to prevent and cure it? For it is important to understand the underlying causes and find remedies accordingly. Of course it's best to consult your nearest trusted medical practitioner.

Probable causes of fatigue

  1. Poor Diet: Unhealthy eating habits can lead to low energy levels. Junk food, in particular, can cause your blood sugar to soar then quickly crash. This leaves you feeling sluggish and tired. In addition, eating too little can also cause a dip in blood sugar.Erratic eating patterns and behaviours promote a hormonal imbalance in your body which can leave you feeling irritable and tired. To sustain energy levels, we recommend you skip the junk food and eat smaller, healthy meals throughout the day.
  2. Dehydration: Limit caffeinated beverages as caffeine can have a detrimental impact on your adrenal glands, worsening possible adrenal fatigue. Excessive diarrhoea or throwing up may also deprive your body of fluids and cause dehydration and fatigue.
  3. Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep is another one of the causes of low energy levels.
  4. Thyroid issues: When thyroid produces too many hormones, also called hyperthyroidism, you can experience exhaustion. In addition, when the thyroid process has too few hormones, also called hypothyroidism, you can also experience exhaustion.
  5. Anaemia: If you are a menstruator who experiences really heavy periods, this could be the reason you're experiencing fatigue. Anaemic persons often experience palpitations and breathlessness as well as irritability along with fatigue. It's always a great idea to get a blood test done to find out if you have anaemia and what kind it is.
  6. Pregnancy: If you are one of the pregnant mommies who feels tired all the time, you're not alone. Studies say that almost 60% of all the new moms experience pregnancy in the first trimester. And it's completely normal too!! In fact, it's one of the earliest signs of pregnancy for some women. Pregnancy can be one of the causes of fatigue largely due to the hormone progesterone circulating in high concentration in your blood. Besides, progesterone, your body is amping up the metabolism and building up the placenta. This diversion of nutrients to your growing baby can often leave you feeling worn out. Eating every four hours and staying hydrated helps.
  7. Heart Disease: When the heart can’t pump enough blood, the blood is diverted from other organs to send to the heart and brain; this leads to a lack of energy. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, have a family history of heart problems or suffer from other health risks, it is important to report fatigue, or any other unusual symptoms, to your physician.
  8. Menopause: 90% of all perimenopausal and menopausal women report feeling fatigued. Fatigue in menopause is caused by the dip in estrogen and progesterone and fluctuations in the level of your steroid hormones. In addition 2 out of every 3 women experience sleep disruptions that also contribute to feeling drained out. The good news is these changes are only temporary and abate within 2-3 years naturally. Following some of the tips we've listed below will definitely help you feel energized.
  9. Workplace related concerns: Such as irregular shift hours in the work place, facing burnout at work, excess exposure to light or sound and these days, excess screen exposure. Financial or employment concerns may also be a cause of fatigue.
  10. Mental health disorders : Fatigue can be one of the earliest and most subtle signs of a larger mental health concern. The most common mental health disorder to cause fatigue is depression. If you're experiencing any other changes such as a lack of interest in any activities, persistently feeling low or prone to crying, seek help and take control of your mental health!
  11. Have smaller, more frequent meals: Eating every three to four hours will make it less likely that your energy crashes, and in turn you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy food. Regular meals instead of overeating at one or two meals also help.
  12. Quit smoking: Smoking can deplete your energy by reducing your oxygen levels.
  13. Over-the-counter and prescription medications are available that may help you quit. These medications are more effective when combined with counseling.
  14. Learn to relax: Take the time to completely unwind, relax, and let go. Deep breathing, gentle stretching, and meditation are excellent ways to unwind

Signs that tiredness could be something more serious include unexplained pain, fever, and headaches.

Fatigue may also be related to:

  • Recreational substance use or with specific medication
  • Excess or a lack of physical activity
  • Jet lag disorder

    It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact reason you’re feeling low in energy. If you’re feeling tired persistently or for reasons that aren’t apparent, make an appointment to see your doctor. It could be the sign of an underlying condition, especially if it’s interfering with your daily life. If it has been more than a year and you’re experiencing constant fatigue, you may want to talk to your doctor.

Ways to deal with fatigue

  • Balanced diet: Consume enough nutrients by eating whole, fresh foods from a variety of food groups. Pair unrefined carbs with protein for sustained energy levels. Include plenty of fiber and anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can reduce symptoms of fatigue. In a study, 36 sedentary young adults did either low-intensity or moderate-intensity exercise over a period of six weeks. Both groups saw improvements in energy levels.
  • Drink more water: People who drank less water were often found to get tired more easily and even be more irritable and prone to diseases. Stay hydrated!
  • Cut down on caffeine: Lowering your caffeine intake can give you more energy in the long run. Though caffeine may give you an initial boost of energy, after it wears off you may be left feeling depleted.
  • Get good sleep: Sticking to a sleep schedule, practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, and exercising daily. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that temporarily stops your breathing throughout the night and leads to fatigue.

Some tips for better sleep include:

  • Practice guided relaxation, meditation, or yoga.
  • Buy a comfortable mattress, pillow, and blanket.
  • Wear loose, natural fabrics.
  • Journal before bed to clear your mind.
  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Use earplugs and an eye mask.
  • Go slow on alcohol: Even though alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, you won’t sleep as deeply. When you do have alcohol, drink in moderation, and try to have as many alcohol-free days as possible.
  • Reduce stress: Stay mindful and calm and keep stress away,
  • Go to the spa and pamper yourself with some me time. Mindfulness practices such as tai chi, meditation, and yoga are great options. Or curl up on the couch with your favorite book or television show.
  • Address mental health: Anxiety can leave you irritable, and nervous, while depression can make you sad, restless, and hopeless. These can lead to unhealthy sleep patterns and cause tiredness. Consider seeing a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you to get to the root cause of issues.
  • Eat iron-rich foods: Anemia or iron deficiency can leave you tired and listless that can lead to tiredness. Some iron-rich foods to include in your diet are leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals and bread, meat, beans, peas, and lentils, liver, nuts and whole grains.

Slowly but steadily, make lifestyle changes on the route to a healthier, more relaxed you.

Above all, honour your body and how you’re feeling. Take a break and allow yourself time to rest when you need to.

Avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits, and commit to a healthy plan of action.

Above all, take care!


This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

Proactive is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalized, and confidential health-care solutions. We offer products and services for out-patient health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause. To know more on the sexual and reproductive health of women, visit https://www.proactiveforher.com/