A hectic lifestyle with a too-much-to-do list that keeps growing by the nanosecond.
Add various daily things vying for your attention.
When things go right, you’re happy. When they don’t – well, obviously you’re not.
When this happens once too many times, the fatigue hits you.
Of course I’ve got an app for that! Because, dear friends, I go through this sequence more often than I’d like and I am prepared to bet that most of you do, too. The good news is, there are simple ways to minimize or do away with this fatigue.
But first, let’s catch the culprits and then, follow up with the fix for each.
Here we go!
Culprit no.1 – Inadequate sleep
If you think you’re superman/superwoman who can go on forever with little or no sleep because you’re super-busy, forget it. You may not realize it yet, but insufficient sleep can mess up your health and your concentration. Try for at least seven or eight hours of sleep on a regular basis.
How to fix it: Got a priority list? If not, make one. Put sleep right on top. De-bug your bedroom. That means no laptop, no cellphone, no electronic stuff except maybe your alarm clock. If this does not work, maybe you need to see a doctor to find out if you have a sleep disorder.
There’s one more thing here. If you are under the illusion that you’re getting enough sleep, but experience disturbed sleep, you may not be getting what you need even though you’re in bed.
What to do: If you’re overweight, work towards a healthy weight. Quit smoking.
Culprit no.2 – Low on fuel
Picky eater?Not such a big problem, but if you’re picking the wrong stuff, it is a problem. A balanced and healthy diet is mandatory to keep your blood sugar balanced and avoids that lethargic feeling each time the blood sugar drops.
Fix it by ensuring you eat breakfast and including protein and complex carbohydrates with each meal. Eat small meals at frequent intervals to maintain energy levels.
Culprit no.3 – you’re anemic
Anemia is the no.1 cause for fatigue in women. Add to it blood loss during their periods, paving the way for an iron deficiency and you’ve got a cool case in favor of fatigue. Remember, no red blood cells means no oxygen to tissues and organs for survival. And survive, we must!
Tackle it now: If you have an iron deficiency, you’ll need iron supplements. Include foods rich in iron in your diet. Examples are beans, leafy greens, dried fruit, lean meat, shellfish etc.
Culprit no.4 – Depression
While depression is classified as an emotional health problem, it also shows up as physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches and a loss of appetite. If the feeling of exhaustion and listlessness lasts beyond a couple of weeks, you may need medical help.
Solution: Prescription medication and/or psychotherapy
Culprit no.5 – An out of whack thyroid
That little gland at the base of your neck called the “thyroid” controls your metabolism and decides the speed at which fuel is converted into energy in your body. Whether it is snailpace or Vettel’s speed, either way it can cause a problem. An underactive thyroid can play havoc with your metabolic rate making you feel dull and contributing to weight gain.
What to do: You’ll need to get a blood test done to check the status of your thyroid function and get the doc’s advice on what to do, based on your results.
Culprit no.6 – Caffeine overload
I can totally identify with this one. Caffeine is credited with improved alertness (yes!) and concentration (er…not really). Too much makes your heart go boom boom, raises your blood pressure and makes you fidgety. I am living proof of this. Too much equals fatigue. Ask me.
The Fix:Cut back on your coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks intake. Yes, all these contain caffeine. If you quit suddenly, you’ll have withdrawal and more fatigue.
Culprit no.7 – UTI in hiding
Urinary tract infection is common. It usually announces itself in a desperate urge to pee, followed by burning pain. But not always. Sometimes, it just happens that you feel fatigued. Sneaky thing.
Action: A urine test will tell you if it is UTI. You may need antibiotics, so see a doc. The fatigue will disappear in a few days if UTI is the cause.
Culprit no.8 – Diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by blood sugar imbalance where high levels of sugar are retained in the bloodstream instead of being sent on into the cells to be converted into energy. Result? Even if you are eating properly, you feel knocked out quickly. If this persists, you’ll need to get checked for diabetes.
Remedy: Diabetes is a sneaky and silent worker. Lifestyle changes, diet and exercise go a long way in making it better. Depending on the status of the disease, you may need further treatment prescribed by your doctor.
Culprit no.9 – Not drinking enough water
Fatigue can be a result of dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water your body cannot function well. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration, so make sure you get plenty of fluids.
Fix: Drink water at regular intervals. Before you go for a physical workout, drink water. If your urine is darker than pale yellow, you know you need more water.
Culprit no.10 – Heart Disease
Sometimes, even mild everyday activity can bring on fatigue. If it persists, see your doc to check for heart disease. Early diagnosis can make a big difference.
What to do: Get your heart under control with lifestyle changes, prescription medication and a proper diet. Get that energy back.
Okay. Now what if you feel fatigued, but have no idea why? Hey, maybe you just need some physical activity. Exercise. Take up a moderate workout program. Or just start going for a brisk walk every day. You’ll be surprised to find you’ve conquered fatigue.
Is there a topic you would like to read about? Please mail me at vidzword [at' gmail [dot] com
Vidya Sury gets her fatique fix as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who is yet to discover the true meaning of fatigue.