May 31

Understanding Fatigue: When it Goes Beyond Tired

“I’m so tired.” We’ve all said it before. Sometimes, fatigue can be just a bit of weariness after a long day. But sometimes, fatigue can be something more – a sign that our body is trying to tell us something. If you’re feeling run down and like you can’t shake the fatigue no matter what you do, it might be time to take a closer look at what’s causing your exhaustion.

In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to write fatigue off as a simple case of being tired. However, when fatigue becomes an everyday occurrence and doesn’t go away no matter how much rest you get, it may be time to look at the bigger picture.

Fatigue can signify that something isn’t right in your life and ignoring it can have serious consequences. In this post, we’ll explore what causes fatigue and discuss steps you can take to address it head-on. So if you’re feeling run down more often than not, keep reading!

Symptoms of Fatigue

There are many symptoms of fatigue, and they can vary from person to person. Some common signs that you might be experiencing fatigue include:

– Feeling tired all the time, even after a full night’s sleep

– Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks

– Lack of motivation or energy to do things you normally enjoy

– Muscle aches and pain

– Headaches

– Difficulty sleeping (“Tired but Wired”)

– Slow reaction time

– Blurred Vision

– Irritability

– Hallucinations

– Loss of Appetite or food cravings

– Poor concentration and difficulty paying attention

There are many potential causes of fatigue. It can be the result of an underlying medical condition, a side effect of medication, or simply a sign that you’re not getting enough rest.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it’s important to take notice and explore what might be causing your fatigue.

What Causes Fatigue?

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that can be caused by many things, both physical and psychological. It can be short-term, lasting for a few days or weeks, or it can be long-term, lasting for months or even years.

Fatigue can be accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. When fatigue is constant and persistent, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

There are many possible causes of fatigue. Some common causes include:

– Not getting enough sleep

– Poor sleep quality

– Lifestyle factors

– Stress

– Poor Diet

– An underlying medical condition

– Medications or treatments you’re taking

– Depression or anxiety

– Hormonal Imbalances

– Anemia

– Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

– Fibromyalgia

– Cancer

– Heart Conditions

– Diabetes

Are You Getting Enough, Good Quality Sleep?

Not getting enough sleep is one of the most common causes of fatigue. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but many people only get 5-6 hours on a regular basis. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can take a toll on your energy levels and make you feel tired during the day.

Poor sleep quality can also lead to fatigue. If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you might not get enough restful sleep. This can make you feel tired during the day.


Stress Plays a Big Role in Fatigue

Stress is another common cause of fatigue. When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode and release stress hormones like cortisol. This can lead to feeling tired and run down. If you’re constantly feeling stressed, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels.

Medical Conditions Can Cause Fatigue

An underlying medical condition can also cause fatigue. Conditions like anemia, thyroid disorders, and diabetes can all lead to feeling tired and exhausted.

Working with a functional medicine doctor can help uncover medical conditions that a conventional medicine doctor might overlook.

If you have any chronic medical conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor about how they might be affecting your energy levels.

Some Medications Can Cause Fatigue

Fatigue is a common side effect of many medications. Drugs like antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and painkillers can all make you feel tired. If you’re taking any medications, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the potential side effects.

Steps You Can Take to Address Your Fatigue

Once any potential medical causes have been ruled out, there are a few things you can do to help address the fatigue.

Get Enough Sleep

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough rest. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

Improve Your Sleep Quality

In addition to quantity, the quality of your sleep is important. Make sure your sleeping environment is dark, quiet, and cool.

Ingesting caffeine, nicotine, or other substances that affect the nervous system before bed can make it hard to fall asleep. They can also lead to “excessive daytime sleepiness” the following day, which can lead to a bad cycle.

Establish a regular relaxation routine before bedtime. Avoid working or using electronic devices in bed. Good sleep habits can translate into better lifestyle habits all around.

Eat a Well Balanced Meal

Eating a healthy diet can give you the energy you need to get through the day. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine. Have your last meal several hours before bedtime. 


Regular exercise can help improve your energy levels and reduce fatigue. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, even moderate activity can be beneficial. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.

Reduce Stress

Stress can take a toll on your energy levels and make you feel fatigued. It’s important to find ways to reduce the stress you experience on a day-to-day basis.

Stress reduction can include modifying lifestyle factors, like what we eat, how often we exercise, and our work/home balance. Some helpful techniques include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

In addition to this, creating clear tasks for our day and being sure to not “overload” all of our tasks in one day can help to minimize stress levels.

Manage Your Stress

It’s impossible to eliminate all stress, so it’s important that we learn to manage our stress as well.

Stress can contribute to fatigue, so it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels. Exercise, meditation, and time management techniques can all help reduce stress.

In addition to this, plan your days out the night before and designate specific times throughout the week for certain tasks. This can help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the things we need to get done during the week.

See a Therapist

If you’re struggling with fatigue due to depression or anxiety, seeing a therapist can be extremely helpful. A therapist can help you identify and manage the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to your fatigue.

Fatigue can be a difficult symptom to deal with, but it’s important to take it seriously. If you’re struggling with fatigue, talk to your doctor and explore some tips listed above. With a little effort, you can improve your energy levels and start feeling like yourself again.

When Fatigue Might Be More Serious

If fatigue lasts for more than a day or two and isn’t improved by rest, it could be pointing to something more serious.

When fatigue is constant and persistent, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. For some people who experience severe fatigue, their actions might be similar to someone who is intoxicated.

For people who have fibromyalgia, it may feel like no matter how long they sleep, it is never restful, and they don’t wake up feeling refreshed.

Chronic Fatigue

Symptoms of chronic fatigue include extreme tiredness, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, nausea, and dizziness.

If you have chronic fatigue, it’s important to see your doctor. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to managing chronic fatigue, but treatments may include lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.

Lifestyle changes that may help manage chronic fatigue include getting enough sleep, improving sleep quality, managing stress, and exercising. If these lifestyle changes don’t help, your doctor may recommend medication or therapy.

Sleep Disorders

There are a variety of sleep disorders that can cause fatigue. These include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.

Many people who experience fatigue, also have a hard time falling asleep at night. If you find it hard to fall asleep even when you’re very tired, it might be a sign of a sleeping disorder or stress that hasn’t been addressed.

Mental Health Disorders

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that can be caused by many things, both physical and psychological. It can be short-term, lasting for a few days or weeks, or it can be long-term, lasting for months or even years.

Fatigue is also a common symptom of depression and anxiety. If you’re struggling with fatigue, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any other symptoms you might be experiencing.

A Sign of Chronic Illness

Medical conditions can cause fatigue, even if you’re unaware of the condition. If you have a chronic illness, such as cancer or heart disease, you may experience fatigue.

Viral infections that may lead to chronic fatigue include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and cytomegalovirus.

Other potential causes of fatigue include anemia, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.

Autoimmune diseases that can cause chronic fatigue include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, to just name a few. 

Treatment for Chronic Fatigue

Some of the chronic fatigue we’re feeling may be a result of our body not absorbing the proper nutrients to turn into energy.

This can be caused by a variety of things including stress, not getting enough sleep, or not having a balanced diet. If we’re feeling fatigued, it’s important to look at our lifestyle and make necessary changes.

Depending on the underlying cause, treatment for chronic fatigue may include medication, therapy, and changes to your lifestyle habits.

If you have a medical condition, such as cancer or heart disease, treatment will focus on the underlying condition.

For viral infections, there is no specific treatment, but symptoms can be treated. There is no cure for autoimmune diseases, but treatments can help manage the symptoms. For psychological problems, treatments may include medication and therapy.


How Can Functional Medicine Help?

Functional medicine is an approach to health care that focuses on identifying and treating the root cause of disease. It’s an individualized, science-based approach that looks at the whole person and not just the symptoms of a disease.

Functional medicine practitioners take a holistic approach to health and believe that the body is interconnected. They use a systems biology approach to understand how the different systems in the body naturally work together.

Getting to the Root Cause

If you’re struggling with fatigue, a functional medicine practitioner will work with you to identify the underlying causes of your fatigue and develop a treatment plan to help you feel your best.

Your doctor may have you take blood tests, perform a physical examination, and order any other medical tests that may help provide the full picture of what is causing you to feel fatigued.

At Thrive! Wellness, it’s our goal for our patients to be able to live their best quality of life. By looking at the whole picture of the patient’s health, we can treat the root cause instead of just the symptoms. This approach can lead to lasting results.

Talk to Thrive! Wellness Center Today

Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you feel your best. If you are experiencing fatigue that feels out of the ordinary, talk to our team today.

Call Thrive! at (727) 381-3456 or click here.



chronic illness, fatigue, functional medicine, stress

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