Many people deal with an unusual amount of exhaustion, even with naps and trying to sleep more at night. You might believe you have caught the flu or another illness, but after days with no new symptoms, there might be other factors that need to be considered.
It is important for everyone to take a multivitamin, especially women who tend to be more susceptible to various forms of anemia. Most people only think of iron-deficiency anemia as a potential cause of exhaustion, but anemia associated with deficiencies in folic acid can also occur. Make sure you are taking a multivitamin that is appropriate for your sex and age. During their child-bearing years, women need more iron and folic acid. Women of all ages should be especially vigilant about their calcium and vitamin D intake, to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Your doctor can perform blood work to determine if anemia is the culprit for your exhaustion. After taking supplements for a while, the anemia should resolve. If not, it might be time to consider other causes of anemia, such as bleeding.
Many autoimmune diseases can start with significant exhaustion and may escalate to include other symptoms, depending on the specific disease. Joint pain, skin rashes, and hair loss are just a few symptoms that may be consistent with an autoimmune disease. For some people, their first symptom of an autoimmune disease might be more serious, such as heart or kidney problems. Most autoimmune diseases can be diagnosed with blood work, but less commonly, you might have negative blood work but continue to have symptoms consistent with an autoimmune disease. It is advisable to be seen by a rheumatologist if your blood work and/or symptoms cause your doctor to believe an autoimmune disease is the underlying problem.
Thyroid issues, especially hypothyroidism, can be associated with exhaustion. Hypothyroidism can also be caused by an autoimmune disease that is specifically attacking your thyroid, such as Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism. Generally, people with hypothyroidism have additional vague symptoms, such as weight gain, hair loss, and depression. When the thyroid hormone is low, it is typically supplemented with synthetic hormones to help the thyroid function optimally. Some people have seemingly normal thyroid hormones, but further, more in-depth testing may reveal hypothyroidism that does not show up on the most common tests.
There are many causes for unusual exhaustion beyond inadequate rest or impending illness. When it becomes obvious that sleeping more or taking naps is not enough, it is important to speak with your primary care physician for further testing.