When you’re aging you may notice that your energy level starts to decline. You may even find yourself in need of an afternoon nap. In this, you’re not alone. In fact, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society says that about one-third of adults over the age of 51 experience fatigue. The real problem with seniors health happens when you don’t feel refreshed even after a good night’s sleep or if you feel tired for weeks on end.
Common Causes of Fatigue When Aging
While endurance does decline as you age, causing you to tire more easily, fatigue isn’t natural. There are a few different reasons why you may be feeling it.
There are some illnesses (e.g. flu, rheumatoid arthritis, infections, cancer, hypothyroidism) that can make you feel fatigued. One of the biggest seniors health issues here is that of heart disease. This will cause the blood throughout your body to be pumped less efficiently and fluid to accumulate in your lungs where it may result in shortness of breath. When this happens you’ll have less oxygen going to your heart and lungs – something that’ll result in fatigue.
It’s also possible for certain medications that you take for aging (e.g. antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications) may make you feel fatigued. If your doctor has prescribed a new medication or changed the dosage on one of your medications and you feel more fatigued than normal, talk to them about it. You may need to take this medication at night.
When you don’t get enough rest you’ll naturally feel tired. There are many sleep issues you may face with aging including sleep apnea (paused or shallow breathing while sleeping) and having an enlarged prostate or an overactive bladder that may cause you to need to use the restroom several times throughout the night.
You’re bound to feel more fatigued when you spend a lot of time worrying. You may not even realize that you’re suffering from anxiety or depression until you start feeling fatigued all the time.
What you eat (e.g. fried foods, sweets) and drink (e.g. caffeine, alcohol) can leave you feeling fatigued. These things aren’t good for seniors health.
Improving Seniors Health by Reducing Fatigue
There are many strategies you can use to improve seniors health and reduce fatigue, including:
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Stop smoking
- Eliminate the use of alcohol
- Engage in hobbies you enjoy
- Limit your napping although it’s tempting to nap more with aging
You may also want to keep a diary so you can notice if something specific is making you feel more fatigued than usual. This will be especially helpful if you plan to talk to your doctor about your fatigue since they’ll want you to provide them with information about your daily activities. Remembering these things is easier when you have them written down in front of you. It’s quite possible that your doctor may want to conduct some lab tests to get a better understanding of your fatigue.
Another issue that isn’t normal with aging is the loss of hearing. If you find that you’re having some issues where you’re not hearing as well as you once did, it’s time to get your hearing checked by Countryside Hearing Aid Services in Clearwater and Pinellas County.
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