As seniors get older, some will experience weakness and fatigue. It can be felt in different parts of the body or all over. Even though you may lose some muscle mass with age, you do not need to lose energy or strength just because of getting older. There are ways to stay strong.
Fatigue can make people feel tired for long periods. You may have brain fog and fatigue. Sometimes, you may have severe fatigue and not even feel like getting out of bed. When this happens, there often is an underlying cause – and you should visit a doctor for help.
Here is a look at several causes of fatigue and how to fight it.
Possible Reasons for Fatigue
If you frequently feel tired with no energy, there are likely one or more reasons for it. Here are some of the most common:
- Medications – certain medications can make you feel tired and listless. The most common ones include medicines for pain, nausea, antihistamines, and antidepressants.
- Anemia – your body is not producing enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to every part of your body. It is one of the most frequent reasons for having low energy.
- Untreated pain – if you experience considerable pain much of the time, such as you might have with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, it will sap your energy.
- Sleep problems – sleep issues such as sleep apnea and other similar disorders can rob you of deeper sleep, when your body and mind normally get refreshed.
- Medical treatments – being treated for medical problems with chemotherapy or radiation, or recovering from medical treatments such as surgery, will often leave you feeling fatigued.
- Chronic illnesses – if you have heart disease, diabetes, A-fib, kidney or liver disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you will often feel tired.
- Emotional problems – stress, depression, grief, etc., can rob you of energy.
- Poor diet – not getting enough of the right kind of nutrients daily can also lead to fatigue. Smoking can also cause problems and prevent some nutrients from getting to the right places. Too many sugary foods with refined carbs, such as white bread or white rice, and sugary snacks and drinks will lead to an energy crash after a sugar spike.
Foods to Eat for More Energy
Reducing your carbs and increasing healthy foods can give you more and lasting energy. Certain types of foods should be included in most meals. They should have vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. You also need some foods with fiber, which will help you feel full longer.
You also want to eat oily fish and seafood at least twice a week. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart attacks and cognitive decline. They also help prevent the loss of muscle mass.
As you age, your body may have more difficulty absorbing some vitamins. Being low on some of these can cause low energy levels. Some that can help you have higher energy levels include foods that are iron-rich – such as eggs, spinach, and red meat. B-12 and magnesium are also essential to maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Before taking any supplements, if you have health problems or are taking certain medications, be sure to check with your doctor first.
Besides the above, you can also increase your energy levels by exercising in about half an hour on most days. You may also need a short nap in the afternoon – less than an hour – and a good night’s sleep each night.
If you continue having problems with fatigue after following these tips, be sure to visit a doctor to check for possible underlying issues.