I FEEL SO TIRED ALL THE TIME AT WORK AND AT HOME. I JUST HAVE NO ENERGY, PLEASE HELP
The problem of fatigue is a very real one indeed. It affects many people but there are many possible causes so it is really important that you do not take casual advice from someone who says something like “….well my problem was xxx and I’m sure if you do what I did…”. This might be very well meant but is likely to lead you astray. The trick is to understand that you are unique and you need to understand why YOU are so tired. Some of the most common causes include:
Lack of sleep. Now this might seem silly (obvious) but the reality is that many people just do not sleep enough. Adults need 7-8 hours a night every night. Get less and get tired.
Medical problems like anaemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, etc. Almost any medical condition can cause fatigue and many will only be detected by proper examinations and tests.
Psychological and emotional problems like anxiety, depression, excessive stress, etc. This is much more common than many people realise – for example, many depressed people find that fatigue and low-energy is the main initial symptom.
Drugs and Alcohol. Many drugs cause disturbed sleep patterns and alcohol is well known to cause initial sleepiness but poor sleep after a few hours. Over-the-counter medicines can cause these problems too sometimes so it is not just about illicit or illegal drugs.
Lifestyle. Not eating well and not exercising can cause or worsen fatigue although checking on the items listed above first is usually a good plan.
So as you can hopefully see this sort of tiredness problem should be taken seriously. A proper medical check up is the first step and during this you should have a good chat with your doctor about other possible causes. In this way you can find the cause and you can start to feel more energised!
NOTE: so-called energy drinks and tonics (including coffee and caffeine) can be helpful in the short-term (for a few hours) to get you through a crisis or a deadline but they do nothing to address the underlying problem and may even make things worse long-term (dependency can develop) so please do not see these as the answer.
Colin was a medical practitioner (GP) from 1988 to 2000. Since then he has worked in the wellness field, designing, developing and delivering various products and services. Out of clinical practice for many years now he no longer practices medicine formally but retains a keen interest in helping people become more-well versions of themselves. He acts as a wellness coach and not as a medical practitioner today.
Colin's approach and philosophy is based on empowerment: the notion that people only need a little help to make choices they usually already want to anyway - it's about respect and support rather than instruction or correction.
Colin lives at the Vaal Dam with his wife Cathy. He spends time walking mountains, cycling, motorbike riding, kayaking, sailing and always looking for better & better balance.