“From iron deficiency to hidden depression”: doctors named 7 causes of chronic fatigue that covers Russians this fall

A common cause of loss of strength and deterioration of emotional mood is a reduction in daylight hours.

A common cause of loss of strength and deterioration of emotional mood is a reduction in daylight hours.

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Endless fatigue, weakness and fatigue, from which neither rest on the weekends, nor forays into the autumn forest or park can save you. Are you familiar with this? Doctors say that a record number of patients have recently complained of such a condition. And the transferred covid is by no means the main reason. Last year, the incidence was even higher. What’s the matter?

We talked about this with a cardiologist, somnologist, candidate of medical sciences, head of the Center for Sleep Medicine of the Medical Research and Education Center of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov Alexander Kalinkin.


– There can be dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons why people feel fatigue and lack of energy. But in the first place today, I would put iron deficiency, – says Alexander Leonidovich. – Foreign studies show that the lack of this element is observed in a huge number of modern people. In Russia, according to expert estimates, up to 50% of the population experiences a lack of iron to one degree or another.

However, most patients and their physicians are not aware of this. “The fact is that the traditional analysis for the level of hemoglobin in the blood does not always reveal a lack of iron. For reliable data, other laboratory studies are required. In particular, the determination of the level of ferritin,” the expert explains. As a rule, the direction for such an analysis is issued by an endocrinologist.

If the examination confirms the lack of iron, then the problem is solved by individual selection and prescription of the necessary drugs. After a course of treatment, not only weakness-fatigue usually goes away, but the patient’s emotional state often improves, doctors are pleased. As one of the psychiatrists told KP, the feeling of hopeless melancholy and despondency can also be caused precisely by iron deficiency.


– Another common cause of loss of strength and deterioration of emotional mood is a reduction in daylight hours, the doctor continues. – There is less sunlight. For people whose ability to adapt is reduced (due to lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, chronic diseases. – Ed.), This is fraught with the so-called seasonal affective disorder, SAD. Its signs are just fatigue, weakness, decreased mood, worsening sleep.

How do doctors treat this condition? We are still a long way from long sunny days.

– For starters, patients are advised to be sure to go outside during the daytime. Even on a cloudy day. If this does not help, special lamps that mimic sunlight can be used. These are not the daylight bulbs we are used to in schools and offices. Devices with a therapeutic effect have a certain wavelength of light and affect the production of melatonin (a hormone whose synthesis is associated with sunlight. – Ed.). The doctor explains to the patient the mode of use of such a lamp and the necessary characteristics that will help to navigate when choosing it. For many people, it is possible to achieve an improvement in well-being, quality of sleep, and an increase in energy.

Editor’s note: “solar” lamps are now sold both in medical equipment stores and on various online portals. Experts recommend that you always consult with your doctor before purchasing. Since the device has, among other things, contraindications.


Experts also highlight the following conditions among the most common causes of loss of strength:

– latent depression. Even if the mood does not seem so “killed” to you, it is the constant feeling of weakness and fatigue that can signal a depressive disorder, psychiatrists warn. Recently, the flow of patients with such diagnoses has increased dramatically, one of the practicing doctors noted in an interview with KP;

– sleep disorders (difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking up at night, etc.). Now the cause of such problems is often anxiety and stress, experts say. At the same time, people with the so-called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) often suffer because of inadequate night rest. His characteristic feature is snoring. For more information about this disease, see section “Health” on KP.RU;

– endocrine disorders. “First of all, these are disorders of the thyroid gland. They are easily diagnosed with the help of blood tests,” explains Alexander Kalinkin. Also, the reason for the decline in strength can be a decrease in the production of testosterone in men, the expert gives an example;

– cardiovascular diseases. Rapid fatigue is the most characteristic for chronic heart failure (CHF), the doctor specifies;

– pulmonary diseases. If the disease has reached such a stage that insufficient oxygen enters the blood, then the person will feel weakness and loss of strength, Dr. Kalinkin said. For diagnosis and treatment, you need to contact a pulmonologist.


What about post-Covid?

Coronavirus provokes a wide variety of disorders in the body. Therefore, post-COVID weakness and fatigue can be caused by various reasons, depending on the organs and systems affected by the virus, the doctors explain. In order to get to the bottom of the source of the problem in each case, patients are recommended to undergo a post-COVID medical examination. More about her in section “Health” on KP.RU.

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