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What is Causing Your Fatigue?

Updated on August 18, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession, and I enjoy writing about medical issues. I'm also interested in history, genealogy, and travel.

Exhausted at Work

Exhaustion source Encardia
Exhaustion source Encardia

The Sleep Thieves

Fatigue has become a major problem for people in most countries. According to Dr. Stanley Coran, the author of "The Sleep Thieves", states people are becoming clumsy, stupid, unhappy and dead because they are sleep deprived.

While those words sound a little strong to me, I do think he has a point, because people generally do not get enough sleep. In 1900, Americans slept an average of nine hours per night, and now they sleep 6.9 hours on average.

Sleep Past the Alarm

source dozfans
source dozfans

Sleep Statistics

According to the American Sleep Association, the current sleep statistics are:

  • "50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.
  • 48.0% report snoring.
  • 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.
  • 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.
  • Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%.
  • 25 Million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • 9-21% of women have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • 24-31% of men have obstructive sleep apnea."


Exhaustion source daily Mail
Exhaustion source daily Mail

What is the normal amount of sleep?

Certainly, toddlers need a lot of sleep, somewhere between 14 and 16 hours a day. Slowly the need declines through childhood. Typically school children need at least 10 to 12 hours of sleep to be at their best during the day. Adults need 6 to 8 hours of sleep, but this can differ from one person to another. Many people are exhausted and really don’t know why.

Adrenal fatigue is a common problem that develops when an individual lives under chronic stress, plus they often have an acute or chronic illness. These illnesses are usually respiratory in nature, such as bronchitis, asthma or pneumonia. Another typical cause of fatigue is fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases.

Doctors have coined the term for this problem called TATT, which means tired all the time syndrome. Doctors see numerous patients with the complaint of fatigue, and they take a systemic approach to diagnosis, which focuses on physical, psychological and social issues to try to determine the true etiology and provide some treatment that is effective.

However, only 20% to 30% of the cases have a discernible physical disease causing the fatigue. Approximately 50% of the cases have some depression as a cause of fatigue. As many as 75% of the cases may be suffering from some form of psychological distress.

Hypothyroid and Chronic Fatigue


TATT means fatigue that comes from numerous symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling sleepy throughout the day.
  • Having a lack of energy.
  • Experiencing a loss of motivation.
  • Suffering from poor concentration.
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions.
  • Having difficulty carrying out your daily tasks.
  • Feeling depressed without any reason.

While it is normal to experience fatigue if you have a stressful job coupled with duties at home, but the exhaustion or fatigue should disappear after a good nights sleep. For unknown reasons, the fatigue turns into a chronic problem that greatly affects the quality of life. These symptoms are also the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Of the course, this is a cause for worry.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Clinical Nutrition

Possible Fatigue Causes

Certainly, there are many diseases that cause fatigue and exhaustion:

  • Anemia is due to a lack of iron and is seen more often in women who have prolonged or heavy periods, which means they need an iron supplement. Anemia can also occur with pregnancy, any type of bleeding from the stomach or intestines such as ulcers, a lack of fully tacit or vitamin B12. Gluten intolerance or Crohn's disease can also cause anemia, as the vitamins are not being absorbed.
  • Infections, like about with the flu, certainly causes fatigue and it may last two weeks. This is also true for Lyme disease and AIDS.
  • Cancers almost always cause fatigue.
  • Depression may cause you to become tired particularly if you are experiencing some emotional stress. There is a specific tendency towards fatigue during winter it can be a sign of winter depression.
  • A low metabolism rate will cause fatigue, which can be treated with medication.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and many others typically have fatigue is one of the symptoms. Adrenal insufficiency also causes exhaustion.
  • Physical causes like obesity can also lead to exhaustion.
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia, snoring, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea will prevent a person from getting a good night’s sleep as well.
  • Emotional anxiety and stress will add to exhaustion. Having the feeling that you have no control over situation easily leads to frustration, irritability and then tiredness. Many people feel that there is no time for me.

These are just a few of the diseases that might be causing fatigue. The contemporary life we live today is putting more strain on families, especially since both parents typically have to work to support the family. Then, when the parents get home the children want their undivided attention. We want to give our children attention, but it is exhausting sometimes. We have so much to do that we simply do not get enough sleep, and this ultimately can lead to TATT. Many people refer to life as the “rat race”, which certainly reflects the feeling of too much to do and too little time.

Treat Adrenal Fatigue / Adrenal Exhaustion / Adrenal Insufficiency with Natural Medicine

In Conclusion

If you are constantly feeling exhausted, without enough energy to complete your daily task, the first thing you should do is see a doctor to make sure you don't have some underlying disease. If diseases are ruled out, you may have to think about what you can do in your life to cut back on stress, which might mean asking for more help around the house. It could also mean that you need a less stressful job. Certainly, another important aspect is are you eating healthy? Are you exercising? Are you going to bed at an hour that will allow you to experience a good night’s sleep?

Exercise is a great stress reliever even if it's just a short walk around the block because it's a few minutes alone where you can unwind and get some exercise at the same time. Yoga is considered a wonderful exercise and a great stress reliever.

It's important not to skip meals and taking some extra vitamins certainly won't hurt. Taking a hot shower before going to bed will also relax you and maybe help you sleep better. Try not to watch anything on TV right before you go to bed that has a lot of action or drama. Sometimes lying down and reading a good book for a few minutes before turning the light off is helpful for relaxation. Sweet dreams.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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