Many women don’t suspect that their feelings of exhaustion, tiredness, fatigue, and just plain feeling “blah” might be related to their hormones and their period. They may not notice that these symptoms recur most months at about the same time each month. But what seems like a random pattern of feeling good one day and feeling thoroughly “beat” the next may actually be a regular, monthly occurrence of PMS, or possibly it’s more severe cousin, PMDD.
Many of the symptoms of PMS and PMDD are accompanied by malaise and feeling tired and out of it. PMDD especially can cause women to feel sad and depressed, and who doesn’t feel fatigued when they’re depressed? Plus, when it’s hard to get out of bed because it feels like your body won’t obey you, that’s depressing. Women with severe PMS experience a host of symptoms—any one of which could make it necessary to spend the day in bed with a hot water bottle or the shades drawn: headaches, migraines, cramps, bloating, crying spells, irritability, withdrawing from social contact, anxiety, and confusion. The list goes on, but the point is, how could you have these symptoms and not be exhausted?
Of course, feeling tired and wiped out isn’t necessarily the result of other symptoms. Sometimes, it’s the only PMS or PMDD symptom.
If you’ve read this far, and your fatigue isn’t premenstrual—maybe you’re not even a reproductive-aged woman—you are probably wondering what else might be making you tired. So, a list of some of the most common reasons for fatigue follows. But remember: feeling tired can be caused by something as simple as the common cold or as serious as cancer, not to mention that often it is a result of lack of sleep. If your fatigue persists or worsens, and especially if you have other unexplained symptoms, see your doctor to have your symptoms medically evaluated.
The most common causes of fatigue we’ve seen:
You can learn more about each of these subjects by following the links to the related articles. Keep checking back, as we are going to explore each of these topics, and how they relate to fatigue and depression, more in coming blog posts.