Tired? 3 Causes of Fatigue You May Not Know

If you're getting enough sleep and still fatigued, the problem may be a medical condition, such as anemia, hypothyroidism, or sleep apnea.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Many women are used to juggling career and family life. Unfortunately, many are also used to feeling tired, stressed, and low on motivation. However, as much as stress may look like the culprit, feeling fatigued may not be solely due to a harried lifestyle.

If you are getting enough sleep (seven to eight hours a night) and are still tired, you should see your doctor for a check up.

Three reasons for fatigue could be:

Anemia
The leading cause of fatigue in women, anemia is diagnosed through a blood test. It is easily treated with iron supplements and by eating more iron-rich foods, such as spinach, broccoli, and red meat.

Underactive thyroid gland
If you’re feeling sluggish, run down, and even a little depressed, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, or a slow thyroid. Again, a simple blood test performed by your doctor will sort out whether or not your thyroid is functioning normally. Synthetic hormones can provide balance and you should begin to feel better fairly quickly.

Sleep apnea
If you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep but still waking up exhausted, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This disorder causes you to momentarily stop breathing many times during the night, disrupting your sleep and preventing your body from getting the rest it needs. Often a person with sleep apnea isn’t aware they have the disorder–snoring is a common sign.

The condition is most often diagnosed through a sleep study. Treatment consists of lifestyle changes, such as abstaining from alcohol close to bedtime or losing weight, and employing medical devices like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or a mouth guard.

Sources: WebMd, U.S. National Library of Medicine

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