Common Causes of Weakness

Weakness

Weakness is often attributed to things like the common cold or influenza, but did you know the medical definition of weakness actually refers to loss of muscle strength?

Below, Dr. Ali Ghahary looks at some of the most common conditions that are associated with weakness and what causes them.

Anemia
Anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells, resulting in feelings of fatigue and weakness. The most common type of anemia to be diagnosed with is iron-deficiency anemia, which usually occurs as a result of the body not getting enough iron through the diet. Dr. Ali Ghahary says the best way to increase red blood cells and reduce the risk of anemia is to eat iron-rich foods such as red meats, seafood, beans and dark, leafy green vegetables. You can also take an iron supplement, which can be found at any pharmacy, thought it is important to be aware that they come with side effects – the most prevalent being upset stomach and nausea. Women can also develop anemia as a result of their menstrual cycles due to heavy blood loss.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
As Dr. Ali Ghahary previously writes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as CFS) is a condition that results in extreme feelings of fatigue/exhaustion. Living with chronic fatigue can be debilitating and make everyday tasks – such as going to work, school, or having a social life – incredibly difficult. Diagnosing CFS can take some time, and treating it can also be complex, as it’s a matter of working around your limitations.

Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, occurs in individuals who are diabetic and results in many symptoms; weakness being one of them. Certain medications, high-impact exercise, and skipping meals can all result in low blood sugar and it can be a medical emergency. Along with weakness, signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, pale skin, sweating, shaking and dizziness. You can find more information on diabetes here.

Insomnia
Insomnia occurs when individuals have a hard time falling or staying asleep. Certain medications, work shifts, and emotional stress can all contribute to insomnia. Without a proper night’s rest, you will not only feel weak, but you also might have difficulty concentrating and may also notice changes in your mood.

To ensure the weakness you’re feeling isn’t a sign of a more severe medical condition, it’s recommended that you see your physician to address any concerns you might have.