Fatigue is more than feeling tired occasionally because you didn’t get enough sleep a couple of days in a row or overdid your bench press. Fatigue is feeling that you just don’t have the energy to get through your normal tasks or even participate in activities you used to look forward to. When you’re fatigued, you might feel as drained of energy as you do when you’re sick, and yet you’re perfectly healthy (as far as you know).
While it’s normal to feel fatigued from time to time, if tiredness persists for more than 1-2 weeks, you should seek medical advice. Long-term (chronic) fatigue has many physical causes, but can also be a sign of a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression.
At Men’s T Clinic®, with nine Texas locations (Dallas, Frisco, The Colony, Houston, Cypress, Pearland, Pasadena, Spring and Grapevine), our doctors get to the root of your fatigue by testing your hormones and thyroid levels and determining if you’re getting the nutrients you need to keep your body functioning at its peak. They also take time to learn about what’s going on in your life to find out if a mental health issue could be the cause or a contributor to your fatigue.
The signs and symptoms of depression
Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of the mental health disorder called depression. Depression is more than feeling sad or blue. If you’re clinically depressed, you may have symptoms in addition to fatigue, including:
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritable mood
- Feeling guilty or hopeless
- Feeling sad or empty
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep
- Aches and pains
- Weight loss or gain
If you have five or more symptoms on most days for more than two weeks, you could have a more serious form of depression called major depression. If you think depression may be behind your fatigue, contact a mental health specialist so you can feel better and get the treatment you need.
The signs and symptoms of anxiety
Another mental health disorder that’s accompanied by fatigue is anxiety. If you have a general anxiety disorder, fatigue may alternate with periods of feeling “wound up” or over-energized. Some symptoms of anxiety include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Getting tired quickly
- Feeling “on edge”
- Feeling tense
Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) help you learn to manage anxiety. As you become less anxious, your energy returns to normal levels.
Physical causes of fatigue
Fatigue can also be caused by a physical problem or disorder. Sometimes both the physical and mental aspects of fatigue feed into one another. If you’ve been battling fatigue, the doctors at Men’s T Clinic® test you for:
Low testosterone (T)
Though it’s normal for your T levels to drop as you age, you shouldn’t have to put up with fatigue and other symptoms of low T (aka hypogonadism). Your doctor may recommend testosterone therapy to boost your energy.
Your thyroid produces thyroid hormone to keep you warm, alert, and energized. If you have low thyroid levels (aka hypothyroidism), your doctor may recommend thyroid medication to resolve your fatigue.
Your doctor also tests your blood to determine if you’re getting the nutrients you need to nourish all of your organs so they can produce energy and keep you vital. If you have low iron levels, they may recommend dietary changes and supplementation.
Chronic fatigue can also be a sign that you have a serious disorder such as heart disease, kidney failure, or a sleep disorder called sleep apnea that can compromise your health. Don’t ignore fatigue or dismiss your lack of energy as being “lazy.”
Get an answer and get treatment for your fatigue by contacting the experts at Men’s T Clinic® today. Call the office nearest you or use the online appointment form.