Fatigue : causes et remèdes - Epycure

BIEN-ETRE Fatigue: causes and remedies

6min reading time

Fatigue is a very common complaint today. 10 to 25% of people who consult a general practitioner complain of always being tired. This fatigue can be temporary or lasting, and when it persists despite sleep and rest, that is when it becomes abnormal and worrying. Whether you experience sluggishness during the day or experience recurring drops in energy, follow our advice to regain tone and energy on a daily basis.

What do we call “abnormal fatigue”?

Fatigue is defined as a feeling of weakness , weariness or exhaustion caused by prolonged effort , intense physical or mental work. Signs of fatigue can vary from person to person and include: drowsiness, irritability, reduced concentration, productivity and motivation, headaches, loss of appetite or even digestive disorders.
We distinguish between normal fatigue , this temporary fatigue whose cause is often well known, and prolonged fatigue , which can be a sign of an underlying illness .
Indeed, feeling tired after physical exertion, intense intellectual activity or lack of sleep is normal, to the extent that this type of fatigue disappears more or less quickly with rest.
Conversely, abnormal fatigue, also called asthenia , often represents a symptom or illness in its own right that persists even after rest. This fatigue causes an unpleasant feeling of inefficiency and weariness in those affected, who very quickly feel an imbalance between what they must accomplish and what they feel capable of doing.

What are the causes of fatigue?

The causes of fatigue vary depending on the type of fatigue experienced. Fatigue can be triggered by a disrupted lifestyle , a physical health problem or a mental health problem . Here we list several factors which can be the cause:

  • Lack of sleep , caused both by late bedtimes, irregular sleep (jet lag, young children, etc.) but also by sleep disorders such as insomnia, episodes of sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
  • Overwork at work , where work overload, which is often accompanied by chronic stress, leads to professional burnout and impacts the physical and mental health of those affected.
  • Overtraining , an intense physical activity which corresponds to sports sessions that are too intense or too close together and which then leads to significant fatigue accompanied by a drop in performance.
  • An unbalanced diet , poor in macro and micronutrients (vitamin C, vitamin D, iodine, iron, etc.), or poor hydration, can be the cause of nutritional deficiencies and low energy levels.
  • Consumption of certain medications and addictive substances , such as antidepressants, sedatives, psychotropic drugs, diuretics, alcohol, narcotics, etc., can also lead to severe fatigue.

If fatigue is experienced outside of effort and lifestyle changes, it may be a sign of a physical or mental illness.

  • Diseases of bacterial or viral origin, such as flu, tonsillitis, infectious mononucleosis, covid-19, tuberculosis, etc., which then trigger intense fatigue, in reaction to the infection, which passes with recovery .
  • Chronic illnesses , such as anemia, hepatitis B or C, thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, an autoimmune condition such as Crohn's disease, a neurological disease such as Parkinson's or fibromyalgia, cancer undergoing treatment, etc.,
  • A depressive state, caused by depression or anxiety disorders, generally leads to a loss of vitality and demotivation, associated with intense fatigue and a lack of energy. In this scenario, those affected have great difficulty carrying out common everyday actions.

Added to this is the particular case of chronic fatigue syndrome , a disease whose causes still remain mysterious today, and which mainly affects women. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a disease about which we have relatively little information. Only certain symptoms make it possible to determine whether or not you suffer from this syndrome: permanent fatigue , discomfort , memory problems , muscle and joint pain , fever , enlargement of lymph nodes , etc. Many doctors still think that these symptoms are the consequence of psychological disorders in their patients.

Our advice to combat fatigue

To find restful sleep
  • Allow yourself some relaxation time to put your worries aside. It's a way to reduce your stress and make it easier to fall asleep. Indeed, stress causes the release of cortisol which has a direct impact on sleep since it is the cause of brain hyperactivity. You can choose a physical activity that frees you from your negative thoughts, but be careful not to do too intense a sport in the evening. This would stimulate the secretion of energizing substances such as cortisol and would therefore be counterproductive.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule because the body clock follows a circadian rhythm that controls the secretion of sleep/wake hormones. She has difficulty changing time and prefers regularity. During the week at least, and on weekends if possible, set your alarm to get up at the same time every day.
  • Go to bed as soon as you feel the need to sleep, i.e. at the first signs of fatigue (yawning, loss of attention, heavy eyelids, etc.). You can have superior sleep quality by falling asleep at the right time, with rest being highest between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
  • At night, sleep in the dark and in a cool room . When you go to bed, make your bedroom as dark as possible. The eyelids are translucent, and even a small amount of light can inhibit melatonin production. Furthermore, body temperature naturally drops at night, and is an important factor in falling asleep peacefully. This is why it is important to maintain a cool temperature in the room (17-20°).
To stock up on nutrients
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and cereals.
  • Drink at least one and a half liters of water per day : the main constituent of cells, tissues, organs, water is essential to the body to ensure its vital functions and ensure our good health.
  • Limit your caffeine intake : although it provides a boost when taken, excessive intake can cause insomnia, migraines, irritability and nervousness. 
To boost your energy with food supplements

Many rely on coffee, energy drinks and medications to regain some daily energy. Unfortunately, these products often only provide a short, intense burst of energy, followed by a feeling of exhaustion and fatigue. So why not turn to herbal medicine for lasting effectiveness?

Rhodiola is one of the adaptogenic plants that is particularly effective in times of fatigue and stress . Its roots give it toning , energizing and relaxing properties which make it an ideal natural treatment in times of stress and overwork. For all its benefits, rhodiola has been added to our Anti-Fatigue Essential , a treatment of 60 vegan and natural capsules which allows you to gain lasting energy by fighting long-term against physical and mental fatigue.

Vitamin C is also a particularly effective active ingredient against fatigue. It is known to instantly restore energy to the body and can be found naturally in certain fruits. Acerola is a tree whose fruit is 30 to 40 times more concentrated in vitamin C than the orange. Thus, thanks to its fabulous composition, this berry fights sluggishness and helps reduce fatigue and stress linked to overwork. You can find this superfruit combined with maca in our Energy Boost , a chewable tablet with a very good strawberry flavor. It allows both to boost energy immediately thanks to vitamin C and to regain tone and vitality in the long term thanks to maca.