8 Possible Causes for Unexplained Fatigue

by Peter Franks
tired and fatigued

Your body needs adequate rest and sleep for optimal functions. Work. Rest. Work. Rest. This process goes on and on. No matter how much energy you spend, as long as your body gets enough time to restore and recover, you will have no problem.

But since your body is a complex machine, at times, it can malfunction no matter how much rest you take. You feel tired all the time that gets complicated with mental fogginess and less productivity at work, which is not a good thing.

You may look at your sleep pattern because it’s the number one antidote to a tired body. A full eight-hour sleep is enough to make you more energetic upon waking up. Of course, it’s not only the quantity that matters but also the quality of sleep. Inadequate sleep can make you feel sluggish and low on energy.

However, too much fatigue can also affect your sleep quality. If this always happens despite not doing much physical exertion during the day, something might not be right within your system. You’re suffering from chronic fatigue when you have inexplicable feelings of tiredness and exhaustion. You wake up in the morning feeling not well-rested and too tired to manage your daily affairs.

Chronic fatigue has been linked to lots of health problems, lifestyle factors, and hormonal imbalances. A few of them include the following:


When you’re having allergies, it’s natural to feel tired and sleepy due to a stuffy nose or headaches. Aside from these discomforts, allergies can also release substances that make you feel tired.

Experts call the fatigue associated with allergies as brain fog. If this is the case, there’s not much to worry about. Your feelings of fatigue will go once the allergies stop.

Food sensitivities

Being a food intolerant can cause you lots of discomfort. You may find yourself dealing with rashes, runny nose, headaches, and digestive problems, which are common symptoms of food intolerance.

Fatigue could also be another symptom of food sensitivity. Whenever you feel tired after meals or munching on something, recall what you eat, the food might be the one accountable for what you’re feeling.

Most foods that can cause reactions include gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and soy. But try not to rely on a self-diagnosis. It’s safer to consult your doctor or dietitian to ensure your food intolerance is what’s causing you to feel tired.

Too much refined carbs consumption

kicking carbsWhile carbs are associated with energy production, too much refined carbs can work the other way around. When there’s too much sugar in your system, your blood sugar will rise. Your body’s immediate response would be to produce more insulin to transport sugar out of the blood into the cells. This rapid rise and fall of your sugar levels can cause you exhaustion. Ironically, this results in increased sugar cravings, which is likely to lead to a vicious cycle.

You can best manage your energy levels by minimizing refined carbs consumption and increasing whole foods and fiber intake.


Stress not only makes life difficult but can take its toll on your health too. It can zap your energy levels and make you feel tired. Small stresses can be manageable. But when they’re chronic, they can ruin even the quality of your life.

In a study, participants who tried to avoid dealing with stress were found to have higher levels of fatigue. Since stress is inevitable, the best thing you can do is find ways to manage your stress and prevent yourself to suffer from excessive fatigue.

Metabolic slowdown

Your metabolism will slow down when you don’t eat enough calories. Your body needs calories to regulate bodily functions such as breathing and maintaining body temperature. Calories are units of energy derived from the food you eat.

Eating calories less than your body’s needs can cause fatigue that may lead to anemia and extreme fatigue while excessive calories can lead to weight gain. This is why some dieters go to the extent of strictly restricting calories from their diet for rapid weight loss. The result may be fast, but the consequence of inadequate calorie consumption may be unhealthy. Without enough calories, your body may be unable to absorb other nutrients and vitamins.

Lack of exercise

A sedentary lifestyle can also cause low energy and fatigue. One of the most common reasons why some people refuse to exercise is that they’re too tired to move their bodies. They’re afraid they’ll pass out when they exercise due to lack of energy. Most of these people suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS where they often feel extreme fatigue. Interestingly, one study showed that exercise can lower the fatigue levels of people with CFS.

Exercise has been found to have many beneficial effects including increased energy levels and enhanced mood. You’re likely to move with energy when you’re in your best mood. Try to move your body if you think you’re not exercising enough to fight off the blues.


anemiaAs stated above, fatigue can be caused by anemia, a condition characterized by a deficiency in red blood cells due to insufficient production of red blood cells or blood loss. Deficiency in other nutrients can also cause anemia including a deficiency of vitamin B12, iron, or folic acid.

Consult your doctor if your fatigue doesn’t go away after getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating right. Also check these other symptoms of anemia that include pale skin, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, headaches, chest pain, and inflammation.

Adrenal fatigue

Some people mistake adrenal fatigue for chronic fatigue syndrome. The two only look the same because extreme fatigue is also one of the most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue while people with CFS also have lower production of the adrenal stress hormone, cortisol.

CFS is a condition that has no medical explanation yet. And it’s often preceded by physical or emotional stress.

Adrenal fatigue, on the other hand, is a condition caused by hormonal imbalances and is most common in women than in men, specifically the age group that ranges from 40 to 50.

Aside from chronic fatigue, other symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or getting up, digestive problems, increased cravings for salt and sugar, unexplained weight loss, muscle and joint pain, headaches, softness and tenderness, problems with concentration, and mental fogginess.

If these are your problems, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and prescription.

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