5 Overlooked Causes of Fatigue in Seniors

5 Overlooked Causes of Fatigue in Seniors

5 Overlooked Causes of Fatigue in Seniors

5 overlooked causes of Fatigue in Seniors

As we age, we may notice that our energy levels aren’t as high as they once were . Is It Normal? Are these changes part and parcel of the aging process? How exactly does the aging process affect fatigue?

According to a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2010, nearly a third of people aged 51 and up experience fatigue,  But if you feel tired for weeks at a time and don’t feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep, there might be an underlying cause. Endurance can decline as you age — and you can tire more quickly — but fatigue is not a natural part of aging.

Signs of fatigue can include:
         

·       Sleeping too many hours overnight

·     Napping throughout the day

·     Mood swings

·     Angry outbursts

·     Depression

·     A lack of motivation

Here are five root causes to explore.

1. Medical Issues

Some illnesses, from the common cold to rheumatoid arthritis and infections to cancer, can cause fatigue. Diseases like Anaemia, Heart Diseases, Lungs Issues like asthma can lowers the oxygen levels going to your heart and lungs, potentially causing fatigue.

Medications (antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications and more) can be a source of fatigue. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can cause significant fatigue.

Chronic pain is the major culprit in most of the cases. Therapy, support groups, and pain management tools can help your loved one with this difficult problem

2. Sleep Challenges

If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s natural to feel tired. Causes of sleep problems include apnea, in which the affected person has paused or shallow breathing while sleeping; this isn’t unusual with older adults. People with overactive bladders and enlarged prostates can wake multiple times a night to use the bathroom, which also disturbs sleep.

 

3. Emotional Issues

Spending a significant amount of time worrying can contribute to fatigue. Anxiety, depression, or grief  can affect sleep , which can lead to fatigue.

4. Lifestyle Habits

Energy drainers can include what you eat (with fried foods and sweets being common culprits) and what you drink (caffeine found in coffee, tea and some sodas) and alcohol. It’s also crucial to get enough rest; a consistent schedule is key.

5. Dehydration: This is a classic cause of fatigue that frequently also results in anger and mood swings. Some older adults can experience a reduced thirst response, kidney problems, or medication that affects how much water they retain. As a general rule, encourage your loved one to drink even when they’re not thirsty and eat water-rich foods like fruit and soups. Keeping a water bottle near the bed and next to them throughout the day can also help.

How to Reduce Fatigue

Strategies include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopping smoking
  • Engaging in productive, enjoyable activities
  • Socializing
  • Mindfulness & Yoga practice

It can also help to keep a fatigue diary to spot patterns. When do you have the most energy? Feel the most fatigued? This diary can be especially helpful if you ultimately decide to consult your doctor about the issue. He or she will want information about your daily activities, which is easier if you keep a diary, and your doctor will probably conduct a physical exam and lab tests, as well, to pinpoint the causes of your fatigue