Why Am I Always Tired No Matter How Much Sleep I Get?

Most people think they feel fatigued because of their busy lifestyle, and they are quite right in saying so. However, it is important to understand that there is something else going on if you are always tired no matter how much sleep you have. You can always make some lifestyle changes to see if things change. But if you still feel tired, talk to a doctor for further evaluation.

Why Am I Always Tired and What to Do?

Here are some of the most common medical conditions that can lead to extreme fatigue.

1. Anemia

About 3.5 million Americans are dealing with this blood disorder and experience symptoms such as dizziness, irritability, feeling cold, and fatigue. In this condition, you do not have enough red blood cells in your body, which could be due to a disease, such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or kidney disease, etc. Women experiencing heavy menstrual cycles, uterine polyps or uterine fibroid tumors are more likely to develop anemia.

Treatment

You need to take a blood test to confirm if you have anemia. Sometimes, iron deficiency is the reason why you feel tired all the time. In this case, you will have to take iron supplements and eat more of iron-rich foods such as broccoli, spinach, and red meat. Vitamin C supplements may help with the absorption of iron.

2. Allergic Rhinitis

Apart from being tired, some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include itchiness, headache, fatigue, drainage, and nasal congestion. Your doctor will make a diagnosis after considering what triggers your allergy – it could be due to insects, pollen, molds, animal dander, or weather changes.

Treatment

Avoid exposure to what causes the allergic reaction. Moreover, you may also consider using topical nasal steroids, leukotriene modifiers, antihistamines, and mast cell stabilizers. You may also get positive results from allergy shots.

3. Depression or Anxiety

Anxiety or depression may be the reason why you are always tired no matter how much sleep you get. You may have other symptoms, such as sadness, fatigue, and feeling helpless. Some women get depression after giving birth–it is called postpartum depression. When you are in depression, you lose interest in everything around you. You will feel tired and eat too little. Your tiredness could also be due to anxiety which will lead to symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, excessive worrying, difficulty sleeping, and feeling of impending doom.

Treatment

You should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. He or she will prescribe medications to fight depression or improve your sleep quality. You may also have to work with a psychiatrist to identify the underlying cause of depression. A combination of psychotherapy and medication may help control your symptoms.

4. Food Allergies or Intolerance

Some people develop allergic reactions when they eat certain foods. Food intolerance and allergies can cause symptoms such as sleepiness, fatigue, rash, and diarrhea, etc. If you feel tired after eating certain food, you may have hidden food intolerances.

Treatment

You may keep a food journal or work with your doctor to find out the trigger. You will have to cut out certain foods from your diet to see if your symptoms improve or not. It is also a good idea to have a food allergy test to determine what foods should be kept out of your diet.

5. Fibromyalgia

The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are muscle pain, chronic fatigue, sleep problems, painful tender joints, depression, and anxiety. You will always feel tired no matter how much sleep you get. With fibromyalgia, you will find no motivation to get up and exercise, which in turn will affect your physical fitness.

Treatment

You should push yourself to be active. You may try swimming or other exercises of moderate intensity. Just be sure to start slowly and increase the intensity once you become used to it.

6. Heart Disease

You may have heart disease if you are always tired no matter how much sleep you get, especially after some physical activity like walking up the steps. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you also notice changes to your heart rate, chest pain, short of breath and numbness.

Treatment

In order to diagnose the condition, your doctor may conduct several tests such as ECG and X rays. If the disease is confirmed, you will need to take medications to relieve your symptoms.

7. Sleep Apnea

If you snore and your breathing stops for a short time while you are in deep sleep, you may have a condition called sleep apnea. The most common symptoms include daytime sleepiness, exhaustion upon awakening, and snoring. The oxygen levels in the blood come down due to obstructive sleep apnea, leading to chronic fatigue.  

Treatment

Your doctor may recommend a sleep study to confirm if you really have sleep apnea. If you are obese, losing excessive weight may help keep things in control. You should also quit smoking and avoid sleeping on your back to prevent mild sleep apnea. The use of a medical device called CPAP may help people with severe sleep apnea.

8. Rheumatoid Arthritis

This type of inflammatory arthritis can cause symptoms such as inflamed joints, joint pain, morning stiffness, and excessive fatigue.

Treatment

Your doctor may give you non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to manage your condition. The anti-cytokine therapies may also help people with serious forms of rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Underactive Thyroid

Underactive thyroid may well be the underlying cause of being always tired no matter how much sleep you have. You may also feel sluggish and depressed. You may put on weight and have cold intolerance due to your underactive thyroid. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck, helps regulate metabolism and sets the rate at which your body utilizes energy. Any problem will affect how active you feel during the day.

Treatment

Your doctor will ask for blood tests known as T4 and T3, which will help detect any problem with thyroid hormones. You may have to take synthetic hormones to increase the levels of thyroid hormone in your body. 

10. Type 2 Diabetes

The most common symptoms of type-2 diabetes include increased hunger and thirst, unusual weight loss, increased urination, and extreme fatigue.

Treatment

It is important to work with your doctor to manage your diabetes. You also need to be more active, control your weight, and maintain strict blood sugar control. Your doctor will prescribe diabetes medications, including insulin which will help control your blood sugar level and resolve issues such as chronic fatigue and increased urination.

 
 
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