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Why am I tired all the time or does fatigue always mean anemia?

Why am I always tired or does fatigue always mean anemia?

We can all feel tired from time to time, and it’s perfectly normal; it just means our bodies need rest. You can spend the whole day on your feet and be tired by the evening. You can also spend an entire day sitting with your books and end up even more tired than from physical exertion because our brain is the most energy-consuming organ in the body. Stress can also make you tired; it consumes a lot of your energy.

Other examples of normal tiredness include:

  • Going to bed too late regularly.
  • Spending too much time at work.
  • Having a small child who doesn’t let you sleep.

So, tiredness is not a disease; it’s a normal state. In such cases, you just need to rest or get a good night’s sleep, and you’ll feel better.

When tiredness becomes a symptom of an illness

You’ve probably encountered people like that. They always seem full of energy, and it appears as though they never experience fatigue. They excel at work, are outstanding homemakers, and successful entrepreneurs. However, at some point, something happens in their lives, and everything changes in an instant. It could be an illness, the loss of a loved one, intense work-related stress, or even a job loss. It could even be recovering from a COVID-19 infection. It could be the successful completion of a significant project.

It could be anything that causes a person to start feeling constantly tired, drained, and disinterested in things that used to bring them joy. They might stop finding pleasure in activities they once enjoyed and often express a desire for retirement, claiming to be very tired of life.

The example provided is illustrative, but the onset of unrelenting fatigue can happen to anyone. Fatigue often doesn’t appear suddenly; it accumulates gradually over time. A person becomes so accustomed to this constant fatigue that they begin to accept it as the norm.

In summary, if fatigue persists even after resting, if you wake up feeling unrested, it’s a symptom of an underlying issue, not just normal tiredness. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult a doctor to address the problem.

Why can you be constantly tired?

In the age of the internet, people often try to find answers for themselves online before going to the doctor. It may also be helpful for them to think about:

  • Parts of your life, such as work and family, that may be particularly draining for you;
  • Any events that could have caused your tiredness, such as a significant loss or relationship breakup;
  • How your lifestyle may be wearing you out.

If you are experiencing constant overload in any of the areas listed above, this could be enough to make you feel unwell. This doesn’t rule out other causes that should be checked by a doctor. A doctor should investigate the following causes of tiredness:

  • Psychological reasons;
  • Lifestyle;
  • Physical reasons.

Psychological Causes of Tiredness

Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical ones. Psychological causes include:

  • Stress. The demands of everyday life can bother most of us at some point. It’s also worth remembering that even positive events, such as moving or getting married, can cause stress.
  • Emotional shock. It could be the loss of loved ones, a war in your hometown where your loved ones live, or a breakup with someone dear to you. All of this can make you feel tired and exhausted.
  • Depression. Fatigue is often a common symptom of depression.
  • Anxiety. Increased anxiety can take a lot of energy and cause a constant feeling of tiredness.

It should be noted that anxiety and depression can only be diagnosed when other physical causes have been ruled out.

Physical Causes of Tiredness

There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired and, as a result, lead to anxiety or depression. These reasons include a whole range of problems.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most popular diagnosis that people give themselves when experiencing chronic fatigue. But even if you actually have iron-deficiency anemia, there is no need to immediately take iron supplements or try to get more iron in some other way. It is much more important to find out the cause of your problem and solve it than to endlessly take the most powerful oxidant – iron.

This type of anemia can be caused by blood loss, sometimes hidden from you. I’m talking about cancer, which you can miss if you take iron to compensate for blood loss. Or a parasitic infection. Or a problem with iron absorption, such as celiac disease.

But not only iron-deficiency anemia can lead to fatigue. This can also happen for other reasons:

  • Excess iron in the body (Hemochromatosis);
  • Low vitamin D levels;
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency;
  • “Various autoimmune issues, such as reduced thyroid gland activity (Hypothyroidism);”
  • Sleep apnea;
  • Polycythemia vera;
  • Chronic infections (e.g., mononucleosis or Lyme disease).

In addition, tiredness can also be the result of:

  • Pregnancy – especially in the first 12 weeks;
  • Excess weight – expends more energy to perform daily tasks;
  • Insufficient weight – because of weak muscle strength, you get tired faster;
  • Cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy;
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning – especially if your gas boiler hasn’t been serviced regularly;
  • Side effects of medications and some herbal remedies.

The cause of your fatigue can be your lifestyle.

Often, you try to accomplish an unrealistically large amount of work within 24 hours. Your body is trying to tell you that it needs a break, and you feel tired as a result. However, instead of resting, you begin to use various stimulants. These can be sweets or fatty foods, all consumed on the go to save time and complete even more tasks.

But your body is not designed for such demands. Additionally, for proper digestion, you need a calm state of the nervous system. Thus, snacking on the go, you cannot fully assimilate even a good, fully balanced meal, let alone the fact that fast food, which you usually consume on the run, is high in calories but lacks essential nutrients.

Another type of stimulant is alcohol. Other stimulants can include coffee and various beverages containing caffeine. Such drinks can be more dangerous than you think. For instance, energy drinks, but we will discuss that separately.

Another reason could be a lack of physical activity or excessive physical activity.

And finally, one of the main causes of fatigue is insufficient or poor-quality sleep. This can be due to shift work, a lack of oxygen during sleep, or the habit of taking naps during the day. In fact, most psychological reasons lead to poor sleep or insomnia, which result in daytime fatigue.

If you think there’s nothing wrong with this, you’re mistaken. Daytime drowsiness while driving annually leads to thousands of fatal accidents in the country.


As you can see, there are many reasons, and they are all very different. That’s why in each specific case, it’s necessary to thoroughly investigate the causes before prescribing treatment. There is no universal solution to this problem.