Why Am I Always Tired?

Feeling tired or fatigued can be an incredibly frustrating symptom, and it is extremely common in our fast-paced world.

It can result from multiple factors, such as not sleeping well, not eating a nutrient-dense diet, not exercising regularly, or even an underlying medical condition.

In this article, we will analyse the main reasons we may feel fatigued, how it affects our gut health, and what we can do about it. 

Why Am I so tired All the time?

You could be stressed

Stress weakens our immunity and can make us susceptible to excess fatigue. Chronic stress wears us out and kills our good gut bacteria3.

Stress can also increase gut barrier permeability, resulting in a 'leaky gut,' where bacteria seep into the bloodstream, producing inflammation in the body. Chronic stress can, therefore, lead us into a heightened state of inflammation8.

For this reason, we should practice healthy stress management techniques daily.  Practices such as meditation, mindfulness, exercise, breathwork, hot baths, seeing friends, and getting a good night's sleep can all help us to cope with stress7.

These routines help to keep our levels in check and help support our immune system and gut bacteria throughout stressful periods. 

You may be sleeping poorly

We need a good 6-8+ hours of sleep each night to help us recharge and feel refreshed for the next day. It's not just about getting good sleep but also about how we prepare for sleep the night before. If we are chronically stressed, we tend to neglect self-care routines, and over time, this can wreck our sleep pattern and wreak havoc on our gut bacteria. 

To get the best night's sleep, we should practice good sleep hygiene techniques such as reducing screen time, keeping our room cool, and relaxing or trying to wind down at least 1 hour before bed. Hot baths are an excellent way to relax your body and mind, along with good eating habits and regular exercise throughout the day4

You may have a deficiency 

Nutrient deficiencies mean that our bodies are not gaining the required nutrients to function in an optimal state5 

Not having enough iron in your blood is a common cause of fatigue. This is also known as 'anaemia' or low haemoglobin.  It may be that you're not getting enough iron in your diet, or it could be genetic. If you have periods or are pregnant, you can have a higher chance of iron deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is another common deficiency and can result in fatigue, weakness, and low energy. B12 is a key element for red blood cell production, so low B12 levels are also linked to anaemia5 

Although the most common deficiency is iron, any deficiency can lead to fatigue in the long run.

You can boost your levels by either consuming more foods rich in the deficient vitamin or by supplementing. We recommended speaking with your GP to find out the optimal treatment for you. 

You could be lacking activity and movement

There is a reason why exercise is so important—it improves energy, sleep, and mood and keeps the immune system strong. It also reduces stress and excess cortisol (the body's main stress hormone).

When you exercise, your body produces more white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infections. Exercise also increases the body's production of antibodies and T cells, or 'natural killer cells', which help our bodies maintain strong immunity and fight diseases such as cancer8.

We should try to exercise at least 2-5 times per week for approximately 150 minutes p/w9

There may be medical reasons 

Underlying health conditions such as hypothyroidism, hormonal issues, iron deficiency, bowel disease, or most other health conditions can cause fatigue to some degree, especially if these are left untreated1. Poor digestive health, or 'leaky gut', can also make us feel tired1.

For this reason, if you are experiencing chronic fatigue, you should see your GP or medical professional as soon as you can, especially if the symptoms are long-lasting or are affecting your day-to-day life.

Many conditions can make you feel tired1 including:

  • Depression, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Anaemia or iron deficiency
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). 
  • Sleep Apnea  

Some medicines, such as beta-blockers, and certain painkillers can also have side effects such as tiredness.

You can also feel very tired during pregnancy – especially in the first 12 weeks.

Vitamin D deficiency is also a common cause of fatigue, and it's especially common in the autumn and winter months, as we don't get too much sun exposure! 

You can buy vitamin D supplements over the counter to help prevent this, or consider taking a multivitamin to reduce the risk of deficiencies.  

Time of year 

Time of the year also plays a part in how tired we feel - For example - Most people tend to feel more tired during the winter or colder months. They are darker, temperatures are lower and people tend to be less inclined to exercise or eat well. These months also demand more from our bodies, making us feel more drained5.  We also tend to be lower in vitamin D due to the reduction in sunlight, which can weaken our immunity5.

Small habits like consuming hearty meals, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, keeping warm, and moving regularly can make a huge difference to our well-being during winter. 

When to seek help for tiredness 

If tiredness is becoming a persistent problem, or you've been feeling tired for a few weeks and you're not sure why, we recommend seeing your GP or health professional as soon as possible, especially if it is affecting your day-to-day life2

You should also keep note of other symptoms, such as weight loss, mood changes, or shortness of breath.  

Take Home Message

In conclusion, fatigue and tiredness are very common symptoms and can be incredibly frustrating. There can be many reasons for it - but the good news is - there is almost always a solution to improve symptoms in most people. Taking probiotics, regular exercise, and eating a nutrient-dense diet is a good way to start and can help prevent fatigue in the long term.



If you enjoyed reading this, check out these related articles:

Supplements for Brain Fog

The Link Between Gut Health and Athletic Performance

Why Exercise is Good for Gut Health

What is Leaky Gut?


References → 1

Prev Article

What is Poop Made of?

We all know that we need to poop regularly, but have you ever wondered what was in your poop? Funnily enough, our bowel habits and how our stool looks can say a lot about the health of our gut, diet, hydration status, and general health.  In this article, we will...

Next Article

Gut Health & Creativity: Is There a Link?

Have you ever noticed that when you consume healthy, nutritious meals, stay well-hydrated, and ensure sufficient sleep, your brainpower seems to thrive? A productive workday filled with innovative ideas and increased focus may be attributed to a strong connection between our creative ideas and the health of our gut. This...

Related Articles…