According to historians, in ancient times people have complained of fatigue and thought that before life was easier. At different times, people thought that fatigue could be caused by the arrangement of planets in the sky, following not a devout lifestyle, and even a subconscious desire for one’s own death.
In the 19 century, a new diagnosis appeared which is called neurasthenia. The American doctor George Beard claimed that this condition occurs due to exhaustion of the nervous system and leads to physical and mental fatigue, and causes irritability, a feeling of hopelessness, toothache, and dry hair. Beard blamed the steam engine, female education, and telegraph for the onset of neurasthenia.
We used to think that fatigue is caused by a too active lifestyle and lack of sleep but in fact, fatigue is often connected with other things.
Adipose tissue cells secrete leptin. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of energy balance and body composition. Studies have confirmed that high levels of leptin are associated with fatigue. But dietary changes and starvation will help you get rid of chronic fatigue. Many people who fast on a regular basis note feel even more active than in those periods when they eat normally.
2. Adipose Tissue Inflammation
Overweight people have high levels of inflammation of adipose tissue. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. This reaction activates other body systems while hormone-like proteins (cytokines) get to the blood and cause energy decline. But when the body accumulates a lot of cytokines in fat tissue, they enter the bloodstream in large quantities which leads to chronic fatigue.
But even if you are not overweight, inflammation can still drain you. A sedentary lifestyle, constant stress, and poor nutrition are associated with chronic inflammation.
Moreover, according to one study, circadian rhythm disorder enhances inflammatory processes in the brain. Epidemiological studies indicate a link between fatigue and an increased level of the marker of inflammation – IL-6.
3. Dopamine Deficiency
Low motivation is one of the important aspects of fatigue. Therefore, some researchers began to study the role of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for our desire for pleasure. When our body stops producing dopamine for some reason, for example, in Parkinson’s disease, a person always experiences apathy and fatigue.
Low dopamine levels are also found in people with depression. And the presence of another neurotransmitter (serotonin) is reduced. And since the majority of people with clinical depression report increased fatigue, it’s not surprising that scientists consider dopamine levels to be one of the potential factors for fatigue.
4. Nutrient Deficiency
Iron deficiency can actually lead to extreme fatigue. Although only 3% of men and 8% of women are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, there is evidence that dietary supplements containing iron may be beneficial for others.
Some studies have confirmed that flavonoids found in dark chocolate, wine, and tea can slightly increase blood flow to the brain. Therefore, doctors suggest that their use can increase brain activity and concentration.
Many doctors think that dehydration is one of the possible causes of fatigue. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased concentration.