A Definition of Fatigue
Fatigue is characterized by tiredness, lethargy, and exhaustion. When a woman feels as though she cannot continue at her normal level of physical or mental activity, she most likely is experiencing fatigue. It’s important to note that, while mental and physical fatigue are different, they often go hand-in-hand because if a woman is physically tired for too long, she will become mentally exhausted as well.
Because women feel fatigue rather than show signs of it, they must describe their feelings when visiting with their medical professional. Women with fatigue may find it difficult to climb stairs or carry their groceries or children. They may also have difficulty concentrating or going about their daily routine.
Chronic fatigue most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s. Studies show that four out of five people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are women. However, women with CFS typically do not have more severe symptoms than men with CFS. It is less common for children and adolescents to have CFS, though studies show that girls are more likely than boys to develop it.
Causes of Fatigue in Women
Fatigue is a non-specific symptom, meaning that has several possible causes. Medical professionals generally divide the causes of fatigue into three categories: lifestyle factors, medical issues, and mental health issues.
- Lifestyle factors affecting fatigue are plentiful and include lack of activity, lack of sleep, being bored, being overweight or obese, periods of emotional stress, using alcohol on a regular basis, not eating a proper diet, and consuming caffeine.
- Medical issues that can cause fatigue include anemia, pain, Addison’s disease, overactive or underactive thyroid, cancer, infection, diabetes, restless leg syndrome, congestive heart failure, and autoimmune disorders, among others.
- Mental health issues that lead to fatigue include anxiety and depression.
There are seven causes of fatigue that are specific to women.
- Thyroid issues – If your thyroid is overactive or underachieve, you will feel sleepy because your hormones will be out of whack.
- Heart disease – Heart disease is a serious threat to women, and when their hearts do not function properly they don’t have enough blood flow, which makes them tired.
- Vitamin D deficiency – Vitamin D is vital to several bodily functions, and studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and CFS.
- Iron deficiency (anemia) – Iron helps your blood oxygenate your body, so an iron deficiency can lead to fatigue.
- Sleep apnea – Without a restful sleep, women are at a greater risk of developing fatigue.
- Lack of sleep – Busy schedules and families lead to women getting an insufficient amount of sleep. This often results in fatigue.
- Depression – People who are depressed are more than four times as likely to be tired, and women with fatigue are nearly three times as likely to be depressed. Depression also negatively impacts sleep, which leads to fatigue.
Treating Fatigue in Women
Depending on the cause of your fatigue, you may not require medical treatment. In some cases, improving your diet, getting more sleep, and reducing stress levels helps women fight fatigue.
On the other hand, women with chronic fatigue syndrome should seek help from a doctor who understands CFS and how to treat it. Some studies show that ADHD medications can help improve the cognitive issues in women who suffer from CFS. Early research also shows that ADHD medication may help with the chronic pain associated with CFS. ADHD medication is an especially good option for women with CFS who have not responded to other treatment options. Through regular support, medical care, and natural approaches to treating fatigue, women with CFS can manage their fatigue in a healthy way.
How Immune Supplements Can Treat Fatigue in Women
In addition to reducing stress and getting more sleep, women with fatigue may also find relief and improve their energy via complementary and alternative therapies. For example, women with fatigue may find relief by avoiding refined foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and saturated fats. Eating fresh vegetables, whole grains, protein, and essential fatty acids such as those found in nuts, seeds, and certain types of fish may also help women with fatigue.
Additionally, immune supplements are recommended for combatting fatigue in women. Supplements such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, vitamin D, and melatonin are known to help reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. Other alternative treatments are to include more immune boosting herbs in the diet. Ginseng and echinacea are especially good herbs for treating fatigue in women.
Studies also show that the immune system plays a role in combatting fatigue. By boosting your immune system, you help it to combat infections and disease and give your body more energy to reduce the effects of fatigue. Top immune supplements offer immediate immune system support to combat fatigue in women that may be caused by the immune system. These immune supplements have been shown to reduce fatigue and boost energy.
Women do not have to live with fatigue. There are ways to determine the causes of fatigue and combat them naturally or with medical help if warranted.