ZocdocAnswersI've been very tired lately, could I be experiencing an electrolyte imbalance?

Question

I've been very tired lately, could I be experiencing an electrolyte imbalance?

It doesn't matter how much or little I sleep I'm tired. I don't drink caffeine very often but even that isn't perking me up. However, today after I drank a powerade I felt more awake. Could I be experiencing an electrolyte imbalance? I drink 2+ liters of fluid most days and am always thirsty.

Answer

Thank you for your question. Fatigue can stem from many different sources, so the best thing to do is to speak with your doctor. Your question does provide some clues, however, as you mention that you are drinking quite a lot of fluids and that sometimes sugary drinks can help you to feel better. Diabetes is often first noted in people who complain of fatigue and insatiable thirst. The fatigue stems from the body's inability to get the energy that it needs, and the thirst comes when the body loses large amounts of water due to the kidney's inability to filter all of the sugar that is present in the blood. Obviously, many other things can cause a feeling of being tired despite caffeine and adequate sleep, some of which include the condition of obstructive sleep apnea, chronic infections, etc. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft tissues of the upper airway obstruct the normal flow of air into the lungs during sleep, which causes repeated awakenings. It can be tested for, and then treated in most people. Speaking with your doctor will help you to get a diagnosis so that you can start being treated and feel better soon. Please speak with your doctor about your question.

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