BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Health Tips

From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

12 Reasons You’re Always Tired and How to Fix It

Always tired? Though tiredness is common on a day-to-day basis, consistent and debilitating exhaustion may have an unsurfaced meaning. So if you feel exhausted all the time, bistroMD has your potential answers on how to fix it!

12 Reasons You’re Always Tired and How to Fix It


12 Reasons You're Always Tired

Exhaustion and fatigue likely stem from poor lifestyle choices and underlying health conditions. If you continually keep asking yourself "Why am I always tired?" you may be able to link exhaustion to the following:

1. Alcohol Abuse

Though alcohol can induce sleep initially, its overall effects may disrupt sleep cycles. Especially if consumed in excess, sleep disturbances can ultimately impede on sufficient energy levels the following day.

How to Fix It: Stick to the alcohol recommendations - with a limit of two drinks for men and one for women each day. Staying hydrated with water can further keep you hydrated and energized the next day.

2. Allergies

Though allergies are known to trigger congestion, runny noses and eyes, and sneezing, the unpleasant immune responses may also lead to fatigue. The associated allergy symptoms make it difficult to breathe with ease, especially when lying down, ultimately making it difficult to sleep.

How to Fix It: It is essential to verify what you are actually allergic to, whether it be indoor or outdoor dusts, molds, or pollens. Minimizing exposure to identified allergens and utilizing medications and nasal strips and sprays can lessen the symptoms, further encouraging a better night's rest.

3. Anemia

Anemia or iron deficiency is classified by low levels of iron, the mineral required for nourishing blood flow. Iron is critical for the hemoglobin production, the blood protein essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Insufficient oxygen compromises energy levels and creates feelings of exhaustion.

How to Fix It: A primary care physician can assist in determining if an iron deficiency or anemia exists, primarily by vialing blood labs. If low levels and a true diagnosis presents itself, you may be prescribed with an iron supplement. A dietitian can further education on iron-rich sources, including meat, poultry, and eggs.

4. Anxiety and Depression

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and may also cause exhaustion. Depression can lead to plummeted energy while anxiety is not only shown to cause sleeping problems, but research suggests sleep deprivation can even cause an anxiety disorder.

How to Fix It: Especially if depressive and anxiety-related symptoms start to impede on day-to-day functions and life quality, seeking out professional help is recommended. Treatment options may include cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques, and related medications.

5. Dehydration

According to CBS reports, up to 75 percent of the U.S. population fall short of water intake. Dehydration lessens blood volume, thus lessening oxygen-rich blood supply to vital organs needing functional energy. Inadequate hydration can also alter mood, further increasing feelings of tiredness.

How to Fix It: Drink up! And not on the sugary beverages, as too much sugar (and even caffeine!) can actually make you more tired. Stay hydrated with these four easy hacks to drink more water.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which the body cells are unable to utilize energy from food, primarily in the form of carbohydrates breaking down into glucose. When the cells are not able to uptake glucose, the cells become deprived from its much needed fuel, consequently causing fatigue.

How to Fix It: If also experiencing these prediabetes symptoms a healthy lifestyle change can detour from full-blown diabetes diagnosis. But if diagnosed, medications may be prescribed along with nutritional guidelines, often provided by a dietitian. Nutritious foods and implemented workouts can largely keep blood sugars within normal levels.

7. Fibromyalgia

Identified as a medical syndrome causing widespread pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, fibromyalgia can further initiate sleep disturbances. The National Sleep Foundation explains "the combination of pain and sleep disturbance is a double-edge sword: the pain makes sleep more difficult and sleep deprivation exacerbates pain."

How to Fix It: If diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a wide variety of treatment options are encouraged to manage the associated symptoms, including self-care, therapies, medications, and visiting specialists. Sleep aids are also widely used by individuals managing fibromyalgia.

8. Food Intolerances or Allergies

Especially if undiagnosed or unmanaged, food intolerances and allergies can cause fatigue. When the body is intolerant of a food, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract chiefly responds and mostly causes malabsorption. When foods are unabsorbed, valuable calories and nutrients are excreted quickly, ultimately compromising energy levels.

How to Fix It: If undiagnosed with a food intolerance or allergy, it is imperative to seek out professional help and guidance. Once a source or culprit is pinpointed, a treatment tailored to the diagnosis can reduce and eliminate unpleasant symptoms - for example, avoiding lactose-containing products to manage lactose intolerance and gluten if diagnosed with Celiac disease.

9. Hypothyroidism

Also meaning underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism can cause major fatigue. The thyroid hormones are predominantly responsible for all aspects of metabolism, with the potential to further disrupt heart rate and body temperature.

How to Fix It: A lab test is critical in diagnosing hypothyroidism, measuring thyroid levels. If related labs are low, a primary care provider endocrinologist will prescribe you to medications acting as hormone replacement.

10. Inadequate Sleep

Always tired? You may be apart of the 60 percent of the American population who do not get the recommended sleep each night. Adults should be getting an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, although the average number of hours slept each night falls short at 6.8. Quite understandably, inadequate sleep results to compromised energy levels, with further implications on health and weight gain.

How to Fix It: Although life can get busy, try establishing a sleep schedule. Additional tips considerations for a restful night's sleep include limiting caffeine consumption and minimizing screen time leading up to bedtime hours.

11. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also recognized as RA, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body essentially attacks its own joints, ultimately causing inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, up to 98 percent of people with RA report fatigue, associated to a wide variety of factors that include pain, depression, and medication side effects.

How to Fix It: Primarily, medications are used to treat and manage symptoms that may impede on life quality. Additionally, a rheumatoid arthritis diet may lower levels of inflammation and ease and lessen joint pain.

12. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by an obstructed airway, ultimately causing loud snoring. However, it has the potential to be quite serious, as breathing repeatedly starts and stops. Periods of shallow breathing and pauses during sleep can compromise both sleep quantity and quality.

How to Fix It: Lifestyle changes and modifications are largely encouraged to facilitate weight loss, as overweight and obesity are risk factors in developing sleep apnea. A breathing assistance device, also known as a continuous positive positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, may also be used to manage sleep apnea.

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