Fatigue in muscles can be caused by numerous factors, ranging from overuse to stress to underlying diseases. In this article, we’ll go over the most common causes of fatigue in muscles and their treatments and prevention.
Our muscles need the energy to do their job, and that energy comes from carbohydrates in the body’s fuel source, glycogen. When your muscle runs out of glycogen, it becomes tired and fatigued, sometimes to the point where you can’t even lift your arm up to brush your teeth. The good news is that most cases of muscle fatigue are preventable or treatable! Here are the top five causes of fatigue in muscles.
While most people think of exhaustion in terms of mental fatigue, this kind of fatigue often has its roots in physical tiredness. In other words, people often become mentally fatigued because their bodies are physically tired. There are many possible causes of fatigue in muscles, including lack of sleep and low blood sugar levels, as well as more serious conditions like lupus and multiple sclerosis that can cause muscle weakness and pain throughout the body, including arms and legs. Here’s what you need to know about the different causes of fatigue in muscles.
1. Exercise can cause fatigue in muscles
Exercising is one of many causes of fatigue in muscles. Exercise can cause fatigue for a number of reasons, some more serious than others. Some people just find exercise more fatiguing than others, but if you feel an extreme loss of energy after exercising, or are unable to work out at all due to symptoms that may be a sign something is wrong. If you notice any lingering effects from exercise—soreness, extreme pain, or swelling—see your doctor as soon as possible.
If you experience muscle fatigue, you should focus on warming up before exercising and include proper recovery after. It’s also good to remember that muscle pain doesn’t always mean that something is wrong. Muscle soreness after exercise can be normal, especially if it’s your first time working out in a while or if you’re trying an intense new workout for which your body hasn’t prepared yet.
2. Dehydration causing fatigue in muscles
When your body loses water faster than it can replenish it, you experience dehydration. This most commonly occurs because you haven’t been drinking enough water and/or because you’re sweating more than usual. Regardless of how it happens, dehydration causes fatigue by draining your energy stores and causing fatigue-related chemicals to build up in your body. Drink plenty of water when you exercise or perform physical tasks for extended periods of time.
When you are dehydrated, your body’s cells and muscles begin to starve for water. As a result, they weaken and can no longer operate effectively at peak performance levels. Dehydration also causes your blood pressure to rise, which raises your pulse rate. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, particularly through dehydrated muscles that are already weakened by dehydration.
3. Mental health
Dealing with mental health issues doesn’t necessarily mean that you are crazy. Mental health is a term used to describe a person’s psychological and emotional well-being, and it involves far more than simply being stable. A healthy mind isn’t necessarily dependent on good moods or positive thinking; most individuals will experience some periods of difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, depression, or other disorders.
The causes of muscle fatigue and muscle pain can be found in our mental state. When we are mentally fatigued, stressed, or worried, our muscles will become weak and sore. Focus on reducing your stress levels by meditating or taking a walk outside. This will give your body time to repair itself after working out.
4. Lack of sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may experience muscle fatigue. When your body and mind are tired, they don’t function at their peak capacity. Getting more sleep will help avoid many causes of muscle fatigue, such as lack of rest or overuse. You should also try to get exercise during your waking hours to keep muscles strong and healthy. If you need to wake up early for work, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before so that you can wake up feeling refreshed
When we’re sleep-deprived, our bodies release more stress hormones and adrenaline, which triggers higher heart rates and blood pressure. This stress is hard on all organs in your body including muscles, which rely on healthy hearts to get oxygen-rich blood delivered to them. If you want a steady supply of energy throughout your day, make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of restful sleep each night.
5. Stress and anxiety
Whether it’s your first day at a new job or you’re simply about to give a presentation, stress and anxiety can cause your muscles to tense up. This tension causes fatigue and muscle weakness, which only causes more stress—leading to fatigue caused by stress. A vicious cycle! The best way to prevent that cycle from continuing is by learning relaxation techniques—you can even try meditation or deep breathing exercises.
Stress causes a flood of hormones to be released into your system that can lead to feelings of fatigue. When you’re under stress, these hormones interrupt normal processes, lowering your body’s ability to fend off viruses and bacteria, contributing to poor immune function. If you suspect stress is causing your chronic fatigue, consider taking steps to reduce or eliminate it from your life.
6. Medications may cause fatigue in muscles
Some medications and supplements can cause fatigue. Always consult your doctor about side effects that persist for several days or more, even after you’ve stopped taking a drug. If you’re on any kind of heart medicine, ask your doctor if it could be causing fatigue symptoms. Common culprits include beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers like verapamil, diltiazem, and nifedipine. These are particularly common among older adults who have hypertension or other heart conditions
There are many prescription medications that can cause fatigue as a side effect. Look for anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications such as Prozac, Celexa, or Zoloft. If you have any questions about your medications and how they might be affecting your energy levels, ask your doctor or pharmacist to review their effects with you. Also, it’s important to mention that some people who take stimulants for ADHD will experience unwanted side effects like fatigue when they first start taking these medicines
7. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) can cause fatigue in muscles
A common medical cause of fatigue is hypothyroidism, which stems from an underactive thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones for your body to function normally. Over time, hypothyroidism can negatively affect every system in your body—including your muscles. As a result, you may experience muscle weakness, as well as a host of other symptoms.
Low thyroid levels are a common cause of fatigue. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland is underactive, which means that it’s not producing enough hormones. This causes a drop in your metabolism and energy levels. If you think you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor about being tested for it. She can prescribe medication to get your thyroid levels back up to normal, which should reduce or eliminate fatigue symptoms.
8. Infections cause fatigue in muscles
Sometimes infections can lead to tiredness and sore muscles. This can be caused by a viral infection that affects your muscles, such as a cold or flu, or it can be caused by a bacterial infection that could come from cuts or bites on your skin. If you’re experiencing muscle fatigue and are worried it might be due to an infection, contact your doctor right away! They will likely prescribe antibiotics to help treat any infections quickly. The sooner you get treatment for an infection, the sooner you will start feeling better again.
When you’re working out, your body’s defense mechanisms fight off any infections or germs before they have a chance to attack and cause fatigue. If there are no infections present, muscle fatigue is usually caused by lactic acid buildup that causes your muscles to cramp. This can happen after running long distances, climbing stairs, or playing sports like football and basketball.
9. Other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Lupus, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
The causes of fatigue vary from case to case. Often, it is a combination of conditions that result in muscle aches and weakness. For example, people suffering from HIV/AIDS or Lupus experience symptoms like extreme fatigue because their body’s immune system does not function properly. These conditions are likely to damage muscles if you engage them for extended periods. IBD patients suffer from severe cramps and diarrhea that can cause muscle aches too.
Before you can understand how fatigue affects your body, it’s important to understand what causes it. Several diseases including HIV/AIDS, Lupus, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can cause muscle and joint aches and pain. Stress, depression, and anxiety all can lead to feelings of weakness and tiredness as well. It’s also common for people with these conditions to suffer from mental exhaustion that causes sleep issues resulting in fatigue or tiredness.