Chronic Fatigue negatively impacts quality of life and may be sign of serious diseases!
Fatigue is a temporary condition that everyone experiences from time to time. Tiredness, insomnia, travels, seasonal changes, past infections; may cause temporary fatigue. Chronic fatigue is mentioned when fatigue becomes permanent.
Detailed reading:Fatigue: An Overview
Fatigue in Healthy and Diseased Individuals
There are many causes of chronic fatigue,
- Extreme fatigue,
- Weight loss diets,
- Chronic stress and depression,
- Antidepressant drug use,
- Cholesterol lowering statin drugs,
- Unhealthy nutrition,
- Vitamin deficiency,
- Thyroid diseases,
- Immune system diseases,
- Insulin resistance and diabetes,
- Chronic infections,
- Heart failure,
- Liver diseases,
- Kidney diseases,
- Chronic lung diseases,
As you can see, fatigue can sometimes be something that can be handled with very simple precautions, but sometimes it can be an indicator of a very dangerous disease.
Let's examine the most common causes of fatigue:
1- Inadequate Sleep:
Sleep is a very important part of health. Sleep is not only a process in which we rest our body and brain, but also a very important biochemical process in which memory is formed and the brain is repaired. Insufficient and poor quality sleep
is a factor that directly affects general health and energy level.
Detailed reading:Tonight’s Sleep Predicts Tomorrow’s Fatigue: A Daily Diary Study of Long-Term Care Employees With Nonwork Caregiving Roles
Associations between fatigue, sleep disturbance and eating style in adults with type 2 diabetes: A correlational study
Anemia refers to the insufficiency of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the cells. When cells do not receive enough oxygen, their metabolism is disrupted, their ability to produce energy decreases, and it causes fatigue. The most common causes of anemia today are iron deficiency and anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Fortunately, these are easily treatable conditions.
Detailed reading:Anemia, fatigue and aging
3- Insulin Resistance and Diabetes:
Metabolism refers to the functioning of the body and organs as a whole. The body consists of trillions of cells, and the most important fuel in these cells is glucose. Insulin is needed for glucose to be used as energy by cells. In insulin resistance
, the sensitivity of cells to insulin decreases. Since insulin cannot do its job adequately, the ability of cells to take and use glucose is impaired. For example, consider a car with a solid engine and a full tank of high-quality gasoline, but if there are blockages and malfunctions in the pipes that take the gasoline to the engine, the engine cannot produce enough power and the car will not run, since the gasoline cannot reach the engine sufficiently and efficiently. The inability of the cells to use glucose
sufficiently causes the metabolism to slow down and the energy level to decrease.
Detailed reading:Fatigue in Patients with Diabetes: A Review
4- Chronic Stress and Depression:
The psychological state of the person is closely related to his general health and metabolism. Modern life is very stressful for everyone. Working conditions, traffic problems, economic concerns, family problems make life more stressful. In cases of chronic stress and depression, cortisol, a stress hormone, is secreted from the adrenal glands. The constant high level of cortisol hormone in the blood also upsets the metabolism. The unwillingness of bad psychology also adds to the troubles.
Detailed reading:Determinants of fatigue and stress
Human beings are designed to be in motion. Scientific studies show that the level of movement has decreased by 60% in the last century. Again, scientific studies show that a sedentary lifestyle is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and is a very important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Regular movement is the most important factor that keeps the metabolism
alive and directly affects health. Working iron shines or lying iron rusts, a sedentary lifestyle causes metabolism to slow down and become sluggish.
6- Thyroid Diseases:
Thyroid hormones are an extremely important group of hormones in terms of metabolism and they directly control energy metabolism. A condition that has been encountered very frequently in recent years is thyroid hormone deficiency, namely Hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's disease, especially seen in women, is an autoimmune disease and develops as a result of antibodies against the thyroid gland. One of the most important and first symptoms in Hashimoto's disease is fatigue. Thyroid hormone deficiency causes a slowdown in metabolism and a decrease in energy levels.
Detailed reading:Fatigue in patients with systemic sclerosis and hypothyroidism. A review of the literature and report of our experience
It is necessary to consider excess weight as an unnecessary burden carried 24 hours a day. Carrying two bags holding 5-6 kilos, even in grocery shopping, gets tiring in a short time, and carrying this load for 24 hours makes a person tired and sluggish. However, obesity
has a number of other very important effects. One of the most important effects of obesity is the deterioration of sleep quality. Another effect is that it causes insulin resistance and diabetes. Another important factor is the weakness caused by obesity, which reduces the level of movement thoroughly and puts people in a vicious circle and the situation becomes more serious. This vicious circle must be broken as soon as possible.
Detailed reading:Obesity-related sleepiness and fatigue: the role of the stress system and cytokines
8- Weight Loss Diets:
The common feature of weight loss diets is calorie restriction. If we take in fewer calories than we expend, it is thought to lose weight. This may sound logically true, but it is false. (Refer to Diet Facts
section) Weight-loss diets create a state of chronic hunger and the metabolism responds by slowing itself down, and the slowing down of metabolism causes a decrease in energy level and fatigue. Weight-loss diets also often worsen the state of fatigue by causing inadequate and unbalanced nutrition.
9- Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies:
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are not common in people who have a healthy diet. However, vitamin deficiencies can be seen in people who smoke, drink alcohol, have nutritional disorders after illness and surgery, have a slimming diet, eating excess meat and carbohydrates, malnourished from fruits, vegetables and salads, and people who have a vegan diet
The most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies are
- C vitamin,
- B complex vitamins (B12),
- Vitamin D,
- Vitamin E,
10- Chronic Infections:
Chronic infections often do not show themselves with classical disease symptoms, especially chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, and cystitis in women can often have an insidious course. Chronic infections can seriously impair our metabolism by causing inflammation
, and this chronic inflammatory state also causes fatigue.
There are much worse situations that cause fatigue,
- Kidney Diseases,
- Liver Diseases,
- Coronary Artery Disease,
- Heart Failure,
- Cancers may show themselves with weakness as the first symptom.
Fatigue is not something to be taken lightly. It can be an important underlying problem, especially in cases of weakness that last 5-6 days and in cases of fatigue that gradually gets worse. The best thing to do in this situation is to undergo a health check.
During the health check,
- Whether there is anemia,
- Whether the thyroid hormones are sufficient,
- Whether there is insulin resistance and diabetes,
- Vitamin deficiencies,
- Liver, kidney and heart functions should be investigated, and if necessary, the investigations should be deepened.
If there is no negative finding in the health check, what needs to be done to overcome the fatigue, is to make positive changes in the lifestyle,
- 7-8 hours of sleep a day,
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and salads,
- A diet rich in fiber, foods for a healthy intestinal flora
- Drinking 1-2 cups of tea and coffee a day,
- Weight control
, are the necessary measures to take.
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