Fatigue!!! Are you finding it really hard to get out of bed every morning? Do you stagger home after work pretty much ready to tuck yourself into bed straight away? Is this a regular occurrence, even if you’ve had a good night’s sleep? Yes, we all work hard and we have things to do before and after work; friends, family time, time with your partner or your kids. And many days being tired after a long day of work is pretty normal.
But being so tired that you really can’t stand up straight and feel your eyelids drooping constantly, that might be something to worry about. As women, we are always reluctant to speak up about things like this, thinking them to be too minor to be of importance. But there might be some underlying condition that is causing this exhaustion or fatigue.
Depression or Anxiety
This is a huge suspect when it comes to chronic fatigue. You might well be experiencing some kind of mental health issue, especially if your fatigue is accompanied by low self-worth, sadness, and generally feeling quite hopeless and miserable. Depression affects twice as many women as it does men. Women can also get postpartum depression after they’ve given birth.
You should also watch out for seasonal affective disorder, which can happen particularly in winter. You might also have a mental illness of which depression could be a symptom. On the other hand, if you’re constantly worrying, have trouble sleeping, and always feeling nervous, you might have some kind of anxiety. You should see a mental health professional about these problems immediately.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing keeps stopping and starting. You may have interrupted sleep and you may be snoring quite loudly, or making noises in your sleep. This would explain why you feel exhausted all the time, because you don’t get proper sleep. If you’re over the age of 40 and your family has a history of sleep apnea, you should definitely visit the doctor. If you have a partner, ask them to confirm if you make noises in your sleep. You will probably have to visit a sleep specialist to get your sleep apnea diagnosed.
Fibromyalgia commonly causes fatigue in women. It’s a disease that causes musculoskeletal pain and you can often have sleep and fatigue problems, and also issues with your memory and mood. You might wake up constantly at night but not remember in the morning, and you might also feel like you’re living in a haze of exhaustion. No matter how much you sleep, it’s not enough. Consistent exercise has been said to help relieve such exhaustion, however, you obviously need to see a doctor to determine whether you have fibromyalgia.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is very common in women particularly, especially in their 40s and 50s. It’s a feeling of extreme exhaustion which isn’t helped by resting. So far, an exact cause hasn’t been determined, but some suspects are weak immune systems, hormones, and viruses.
CFS can also be the symptom of other illnesses. You usually get a diagnosis like this when there is no other cause for your fatigue. Since it’s more common in women, it was dismissed earlier as a serious syndrome, but is now accepted as a medical problem.
This is something that’s easier to treat or manage. If you know you have allergies already, you can probably pinpoint this as a reason for your fatigue. If you don’t know, but you suspect it, you can see the doctor and have certain allergy tests done to determine whether you’re allergic to something. It could be anything from insects to pollen or animal fluff; often it can be controlled with the appropriate medications. You can also get allergy shots. Aside from causing exhaustion, allergies can also cause headaches, itches, and nasal congestion.
The biggest takeaway here is that you shouldn’t take your health for granted. If you suspect that there’s something wrong with your body, don’t keep postponing it, see a doctor. Fatigue might not be anything serious or out of the ordinary in your view, but if it starts getting out of hand, it’s time to make an appointment.