Chronic Fatigue: Tired of Feeling Tired?
Learn what may be causing your chronic fatigue ... and 10 solutions.
Chronic Fatigue Cause No. 6: Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
If you are generally sluggish, run down, and even a little depressed, the
problem may be a slow thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is
a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck and helps
set the rate of metabolism, the rate at which
the body uses energy.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, by age 60 about 17% of all
women will have a thyroid disorder and most won't know it. The most common
cause, they say, is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Hashimoto's stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to
work the way it should. The result is hypothyroidism, or a slow metabolism.
Blood tests known as T3 and T4 will detect thyroid hormones. If these
hormones are low, synthetic hormones (medication) can bring you up to
Chronic Fatigue Cause No. 7: Food Allergies
While food is supposed to give us energy, some doctors believe hidden food
intolerances -- or allergies -- can do the
opposite. According to Rudy Rivera, MD, author of Your Hidden Food Allergies
Are Making You Fat, even mild food intolerance can leave you feeling
sleepy. Eat the offending food long enough and you could find yourself feeling
"Evidence indicates food intolerance as a cause of fatigue, and even
suggests that fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance,"
If you suspect that food may be behind all that yawning, Rivera says to
start with an elimination diet, cutting out foods that cause you to feel sleepy
within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them. You can also talk to your doctor about
a food allergy test.
Chronic Fatigue Cause No. 8: Sleep Apnea
If you're not getting enough sleep, it stands to reason you'll feel
fatigued. But what if you don't realize that your sleep is insufficient? This
happens to millions of people with a condition called sleep apnea, a sleep disorder
that causes you to momentarily stop breathing, often many times during the
night. Each time you stop breathing, you awaken just long enough to disrupt
your sleep cycle, usually without being aware of it.