Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why has my energy level dropped?"
Last month or two months my energy level is way down. No idea why but I just don't have the energy to do anything other than work. Why would this have happened? Am I short on some kind of vitamin or do I have a glandular problem?
Decreased energy is a very non-specific symptom that can be caused by a variety of problems. One of the most often discounted causes is lack of healthy sleeping habits. People should get approximately 8 hours of sleep per night; less sleep simply equates to less energy the following day. Decreased energy is also a common symptom of depression. If you have been experiencing a depressed mood or find yourself not interested in activities that normally bring you happiness, then you should consider depression as the cause of your fatigue. Other symptoms that can go along with depression include feelings of worthlessness or guilt, weight gain/loss, change in eating habits, and lack of concentration. Other organic causes of fatigue include anemia and depressed thyroid function. Anemia (a decreased amount of red blood cells) has several causes on its own, including blood loss and Vitamin B12 deficiency. An underactive thyroid can lead to weight gain, constipation, and decreased ability to concentrate, in addition to fatigue. Electrolyte abnormalities such as a high calcium or low sodium can also lead to a sense of decreased energy. It is advisable that you see your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms, as a thorough history and physical may help lead to a diagnosis and effective treatment.
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