Feeling fatigue 3 reasons why and how to fix it

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated – November 21, 2019 ✓ Evidence Based

If you find yourself feeling tired all the time, there are a number of possible physical, psychological or behavioral causes behind your exhaustion.

Being tired all the time may seem like a normal byproduct of a busy life and the hectic pace of modern life. However, perpetual exhaustion can cause inflammation in the body and may be a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome or other underlying conditions. Identifying the reasons why you feel this constant sense of tiredness is therefore very important. [1]

Physical Causes

The main physical causes for being tired all the time include anemia, diabetes, obesity, restless leg syndrome or heart disease, among others.


Anemia can be one of the major causes of feeling tired all the time. It is caused by an iron deficiency, and it reduces the flow of oxygen to the body. This results in the feeling of being dizzy, cold, and reduces headaches.

Watch Video: 8 Reasons Why You Feel Tired All The Time

Celiac Disease

If you suffer from celiac disease, you may be experiencing inflammation in the gut and improper nutrient absorption. By denying your body the essential nutrients that it needs, your metabolism and energy production centers can’t work properly, thus leaving you feeling tired. [3]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This syndrome affects millions of people, but the cause is unknown, suspected to be due to a compromised immune system or psychological stress. Regardless of the cause, consultation with a medical professional is essential.

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If you have high blood sugar levels, your body is less efficient in delivering nutrients and oxygen to the muscle tissues and organ systems. Without the resources they need, it can make you feel sluggish and generally slow down the speed of your life. [4]


If you are overweight , there are a number of reasons why you might experience excess tiredness, primarily because you need to carry around extra weight, thus exhausting your muscles. Furthermore, you are at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and corresponding conditions, such as diabetes. A study in the Diabetes Therapy journal found that diabetes fatigue syndrome is a state of tiredness occurring in people with diabetes caused due to lifestyle changes, nutritional , medical, psychological, glycemia/diabetes-related, and endocrinal factors. [5] [6]


A urinary tract infection can cause fatigue, pain, irritability, and may also result in a lack of sleep.

Heart Disease

When your cardiovascular health is compromised, you will be unable to fully catch your breath and physical exertion will seem much more difficult, which can be an exhausting context in which to live.

Glandular Fever

If you are ever infected with glandular fever, one of the main side effects is chronic fatigue, which can often last up to six months following the original diagnosis, even after treatment. [7]


Carrying around extra weight and experiencing the hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy can be extremely tiring. Even in the early stages of pregnancy, excess fatigue is to be expected.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This syndrome can prevent healthy and restful sleep, even if you don’t fully wake up during the night; this can lead to chronic fatigue in the mornings since your body hasn’t had time to recover and repair itself. [8]

Thyroid Disorder

The thyroid gland controls a great deal of hormonal distribution in the body, including those that affect energy and exhaustion. A disorder in this gland can easily lead to inexplicable bouts of tiredness. [9]

Psychological Causes

There can also be psychological causes of this chronic exhaustion, such as sleep apnea, anxiety or depression.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can affect people for many different reasons, but it is mainly caused when the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe. This can cause interrupted and non-restful sleep, resulting in morning fatigue.


If you have a high level of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol or adrenaline , it is more difficult for the body to relax and repair itself, leading to difficulties with sleeping and balancing energy levels. Anxiety and nervous disorders are some of the primary causes of feeling tired all the time. [10]


While depression may make it feel like all you want to do is sleep, insomnia can often manifest as a secondary symptom.

Lifestyle Causes

Choices in your lifestyle may also be the cause of your exhaustion, particularly if you abuse alcohol or if your diet is poor, among others.

Alcohol Abuse

If you regularly consume alcohol, your body will need more time to clear out the toxins and recover from the abuse of your liver. As a result, this can cause feelings of exhaustion and a lack of cognitive focus; in short, hangovers are terrible for energy levels. [11] [12]

Poor Diet

If you don’t eat properly, your body won’t have the resources it requires to function properly, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies or a basic lack of energy for normal tasks.

Bad Sleep Habits

If you are always tired, your sleep habits may be compromised. Be sure to set a sleep schedule, avoid technology before sleeping and only use your bedroom for sleeping!

Sudden onset of fatigue is associated with a number of lifestyle aspects and diseases. The causes of sudden fatigue are attributed to overworking, lack of sleep, sleep disorders, low blood sugar, iron-deficiency anemia, and other factors.

Sudden onset of fatigue is associated with a number of lifestyle aspects and diseases. The causes of sudden fatigue are attributed to overworking, lack of sleep, sleep disorders, low blood sugar, iron-deficiency anemia, and other factors.

With the kind of lifestyle we are leading today, fatigue and weakness seem to be common complaints for everyone. General weakness after a long tiring day is something that we can understand. But, what causes sudden fatigue? Is an underlying disease responsible for causing fatigue? Well, fatigue can be caused due to diseases, mental pressure, and many other reasons. The root causes of sudden and extreme fatigue are linked to physical and mental problems.

Possible Causes of Sudden Fatigue

Any type of medical condition is directly or indirectly linked to tiredness and fatigue. Most people confuse fatigue with drowsiness, and are often mistaken as the same condition. The fact is, drowsiness or an increased tendency to fall asleep is experienced with or without fatigue. Also, sudden fatigue causes may not always be serious. But, feeling tired all of a sudden may happen to healthy individuals too. Let’s look into what causes sudden fatigue and loss of stamina.

Overwork and Stress

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One of the probable reasons for experiencing sudden fatigue is excessive work, in terms of performing regular exercises, studying for exams, meeting deadlines at office, handling job pressure, organizing an event, and the like. Target oriented jobs are quite stressful, so are the other jobs. They put a lot of stress, which in turn contributes to increased exertion and fatigue. Avoiding the same helps in restoring normal stamina levels and addressing sudden fatigue.

Poor Sleeping Pattern

Not getting adequate sleep is a prime factor responsible for causing sudden loss of strength. A good night’s sleep is imperative for resting the body tissues and muscles, while recharging them for the next day. Without proper sleep, one gets tired very soon. In such a case, the person experiences drowsiness and lack of concentration. Fatigue is also an indicative symptom of sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, and other sleep related disorders.

Low Blood Sugar

The foods that we consume are converted to simple glucose during digestion, which then serves as an energy fuel. Too much or too less sugar are medical concerns, related to the stamina level of body. If the body doesn’t have sufficient glucose, then its cells are deprived of energy and they can no longer function normally. Thus, fatigue and tiredness are often observed in hypoglycemic and diabetic patients.

Being Anemic

Anemia is a health problem, characterized by the presence of abnormally low red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood. This anemia caused due to iron-deficiency results in a string of symptoms, of which weakness and fatigue are commonly exhibited by patients. Over here, lack of RBCs negatively affect the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body parts. As a consequence, the person gets tired very quickly.

Medication Side Effects

Getting exhausted very soon is not only due to diseases or ailments but also due to poor lifestyle habits. A number of medications cause fatigue symptoms in patients. Based on a patient’s health condition, prescription tranquilizers and sleep-inducing medications are recommended in specific doses. These treatment drugs cause drowsiness, and weakness, which last for some time.

Other Factors

People who are addicted to caffeine experience fatigue symptoms after this alkaloid leaves the body. Also, unexplained weakness is felt if caffeine containing beverages are eliminated totally. The same conditions are applicable to alcohol abusers. In addition to this factors, sudden fatigue can be caused due to anxiety, loss of a loved one, depression, and alike metal worries. Also, sudden and extreme fatigue causes are linked to influenza, low thyroid level (hypothyroidism), and serious ailments like liver failure, kidney disorders, and cancer.

Dealing with Sudden Fatigue

Fatigue, tiredness, lack of concentration, and intense feeling to take rest are all symptoms of some medical problems. As you have seen, the causes of sudden weakness are related to daily activities as well. The approaches for combating this condition depend on the causes of sudden fatigue. Simple lifestyle-related changes include getting sufficient sleep, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, performing exercises, and going for general medical checkups regularly to diagnose diseases (if any) in the early stages.

If sudden fatigue is related to short-term physical and mental activities, it will be relieved after refraining from those activities and taking complete rest for sometime. But, if it stems from nutrient deficiencies or psychological problems, a more serious treatment is necessary to address this problem and its accompanying symptoms.

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