Everyone feels tired sometimes, but everyone feels tired in different ways. When a person says they are tired, they may feel a range of different manifestations:
- Difficulty concentrating and paying attention.
- The desire to rest more playing on a TonyBet login website or watching movies.
- Low energy and motivation
- Nervousness and anxiety.
- Weakness and muscle pain.
- Depression and an unwillingness to do anything.
- Physical malaise.
All these sensations are quite subjective and difficult to measure. Therefore, it isn’t so easy to uniquely identify what causes fatigue and how to deal with it. The most common causes are:
- Unhealthy habits – excessive consumption of alcohol, unbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle.
- Various diseases, such as heart and lung disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases.
- Sleep disorders.
- Taking certain medications, particularly antihistamines and blood pressure medications.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially iron, vitamin D, and B12.
- Hormonal disorders and weight problems.
Normally, after elimination of the cause, a person feels energetic again, but in modern realities, this happens less and less often and chronic fatigue appears.
Biologically, there are many causes of chronic fatigue. They can include inflammation, disruption of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal hormones, oxidative stress and certain genes.
When inflammation develops in the body, the levels of special substances, pro-inflammatory cytokines, increase. They regulate the growth and activation of immune cells that fight inflammation. In this way, they stimulate the body’s recovery. During this process, cytokines affect the central nervous system, causing fatigue. In this case, the inflammation may not be acute, but chronic and mild, i.e. it can go on in the body for years and remain unnoticed.
The hormones that affect fatigue include corticotropin-releasing hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol. The first is produced in the hypothalamus, the second in the pituitary gland, and the third in the adrenal glands. These three organs make up the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system, which is responsible for the body’s response to stress. These three components are interrelated and must work in harmony. Therefore, when one of them fails, the work of the whole system is disturbed and depression, anxiety disorders and increased fatigue may develop.
There may be several reasons for the dysfunction of the HPA system:
- Childhood psychological trauma.
- Severe stress, especially at an early age.
- Oxidative stress and decreased activity of the body’s antioxidant system.
Oxidative stress (cell death due to oxidation) is a proven factor in chronic fatigue. However, the exact mechanism of this relationship is unknown. It’s assumed that it’s connected with special structures in cells – mitochondria. Their main function is to provide cells with energy. They are also both a source and a target for the action of reactive oxygen species (ROS). When the mitochondria malfunction, an imbalance of ROS and, consequently, oxidative stress occurs in the body. As a result, cells don’t get energy and a person feels tired.
Data on the effect of genes on fatigue are currently scarce. However, British scientists recently conducted a genetic study involving more than 108,000 people, looking for a relationship between the genome of the participants and the frequency of feeling tired. According to the results, the influence of heredity on low energy levels can be as high as 50%.
Mental and Physical Fatigue
Even the healthiest person without inflammatory diseases, with a perfect set of DNA and a HPA system running like clockwork is familiar with the feeling of fatigue. It’s important to distinguish between fatigue caused by changes in the muscles (physical) and fatigue due to changes in the brain (mental). In the first case, the ability of muscle fibers to contract is reduced, and in the second case, the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles is disrupted.
The causes of muscle fatigue are long and grueling physical exertion. At the same time, there are many more factors for the development of mental fatigue, and they have not yet been studied as thoroughly. One theory is an imbalance of serotonin and dopamine. These are the hormones of joy and good mood, but their concentrations in the body must be in balance. Because increased serotonin and decreased dopamine can lead to fatigue.
Another possible cause is long and tedious mental work. One study recently found that prolonged mental exertion accumulates a potentially toxic substance, glutamate, in the brain. Researchers divided participants into two groups and asked the first to perform an easy task and the second to perform a difficult task. The second group had higher levels of fatigue and glutamate concentrations. The researchers suggest that fatigue is due to the fact that the brain slows down its work to level out the accumulation of this substance.
How to Beat Fatigue
If the increased fatigue isn’t caused by an illness or taking medication, lifestyle changes will be helpful:
- Stick to a healthy and balanced diet to avoid deficiencies in essential micronutrients.
- Restore your sleep and rest patterns. Ideally, go to bed and get up at the same time. In this case, the duration of sleep can be different. There is no need to strive to “sleep” for exactly eight hours; it’s better to find your own comfortable time for sleeping.
- Avoid toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol.
- Regularly relieve stress. Yoga, meditation, talking to a psychologist, moderate exercise, or any other comfortable practices are good for this.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise.
If a change of lifestyle doesn’t help, and unreasonable fatigue persists for a long time and interferes with daily activities, it’s worth seeing a doctor.