Feeling Tired and Lack of Energy All the Time? Here's Why

When you feel tired and sluggish around afternoon, then usually it's the time for a cup of tea or coffee. However, when such a feeling continues all the time, then it can be due to an underlying medical condition.
Feeling exhausted and tired once in a while is all right, but if it becomes a part of our daily life, it becomes frustrating and depressing, and is certainly a cause of concern. In order to get over fatigue, a person has to make certain dietary and lifestyle changes.

Causes of Fatigue and Tiredness

Inadequate Sleep: If a person has not slept well the previous night, he may feel tired throughout the next day. Most adults need 6-8 hours of sleep to remain fresh and energetic throughout the day.

Sleep Disorder: A person suffering from sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep, experience disruption of the sleeping cycle, making the person feel fatigued all the time. To cope with sleep apnea, try to maintain a healthy weight, and quit smoking.

Anemia: A person who is anemic, often feels tired due to reduction in the number of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in blood. This may be the result of a deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 or impaired RBC production. Hemoglobin performs a very important function of carrying oxygen to the various parts of the body from the lungs. Due to its deficiency, the body does not get adequate oxygen, making the person feel exhausted all the time.

Poor Diet: A diet which lacks essential nutrients, makes a person feel as if he has no energy. People who opt for crash diets, low-fat diets or low-carbohydrate diets tend to feel sluggish and tired all the time. Also, one should watch how much they eat. Eating too little is also one of the reasons of tiredness.

Excess Sugar and Caffeine: One of the reasons for feeling tired after eating is excess intake of foods rich in sugar, such as desserts and confectioneries. When a person consumes such food products, his blood sugar levels rise. To balance this, the pancreas produce more insulin. When this insulin is released into the blood stream, tryptophan, a protein-building substance, moves into the brain, and gets converted into serotonin. It is due to the presence of excess serotonin in brain that a person feels tired after eating. Excess consumption of tea or coffee is another reason why people feel tired.

Hormonal Imbalance: In women, fatigue could be caused due to hormonal imbalance, especially when they approach menopause or are menstruating.

Stress and Anxiety: A person who is under mental stress may feel irritable, dizzy, and tired all the time.

How to Overcome Fatigue
  • Consuming a diet rich in vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals and essential fats is very important to get over the "no energy" feeling, and "always feeling tired" state. Include lots of green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and dairy products in your diet for sustained energy throughout the day. Refraining from high-caffeine food, and those that have excess sugar in them, is equally important.
  • For anemia-induced fatigue, including iron-rich food in the diet such as chicken liver, beef liver, oysters, mussels, pumpkin seeds, beans and lentils, along with iron supplements recommended by a doctor helps.
  • Dehydration can also be a cause of fatigue and tiredness. So make sure to drink sufficient water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Exercising every day helps in reducing stress, and thus, minimizes stress-induced tiredness. It helps improve and maintain stable energy levels throughout the day. A person who exercises regularly, can sleep better than people who do not. In addition, exercising helps in boosting your mood and energy levels, as it releases endorphins, feel-good hormones, in the body.
  • Do not skip meals. Being hungry for a long period of time can significantly reduce your blood sugar levels. But don't overeat, as it can drain your energy levels. Instead of having three large meals, have 5-6 small meals a day.
  • Practice various relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to feel calm and recharged.
  • Last but not the least, try to get 6-8 hours sleep every night to feel refreshed, alert, and energized the next day.
If the fatigue becomes chronic, and continues even after these lifestyle changes have been made, then it may be due to some underlying health conditions, such as sleep apnea, hormonal imbalance, or diabetes. In such a case, proper diagnosis and treatment by a doctor is recommended.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.