What Are the Causes of Fatigue & Lack of Energy in Men?
Fatigue (bodily or emotional weakness) and lack of energy typically go hand in hand. Though both symptoms are common and often mild, persistent or extreme cases may indicate a serious underlying condition, such as depression, testosterone deficiency or a sleep disorder. Since fatigue and energy shifts are symptoms of countless conditions, seek your doctor's guidance for best results.
Depression is a psychological illness characterized by lengthy bouts of negative emotions, such as sadness, purposelessness, anger, loneliness or frustration. Depression commonly causes fatigue and reduced energy. Additional symptoms may include changes in weight and appetite, body aches and sleep difficulties. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 6 million men in America experience depression annually 1. Men who have family history of depression, undergo excessive amounts of stress, have a serious illness or who've lost a loved one are more prone to the condition. Depression is treatable, often through individual counseling, medication or alternative therapies, such as meditation or massage. If you exhibit one or more symptoms of depression, seek guidance from your doctor.
Hypogonadism, or male hypgonadiam, is a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone---the hormone necessary for masculine growth and development during puberty. You may be born with hypgonadism or develop it later in life, in response to an injury or infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypogonadism can produce symptoms in men that are similar to women's menopausal symptoms 2. Common symptoms include fatigue, lack of energy, decreased sex drive and reduced ability to concentrate. If left untreated, hypogonadism can cause erectile dysfunction, infertility, decrease in body hair or muscle mass, growth of breast tissue or reduced bone density. Hypogonadism is treatable, typically through hormone replacement therapy. To prevent serious complications of the disorder, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Appropriate amounts of restful sleep allows your body and your energy to replenish. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), over 80 percent of Americans believe they don't get enough sleep 3. Reduced energy and lethargy are common symptoms of troubled sleep and insomnia (the inability to sleep). People who sleep too little are also prone to emotional irritability, reduced physical coordination and reduced ability to concentrate. When you're exhausted and fatigued, your motor skills and reaction times may be hindered, increasing your risk for vehicular accidents. Though people's sleep needs vary, most adults require 7 to 9 restful hours each night. To improve your sleep habits, aim for regularly scheduled sleep and waking times and use your bedroom only for sex and sleeping. If you continue to struggle with sleep, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
- sleeping man image by Natalia Pavlova from Fotolia.com