Weakness: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
We can all experience physical weakness at times, perhaps after a serious illness, or when we’re tired, overworked or exhausted. Short-term weakness usually passes when the cause is rectified, whether it is lack of sleep, stress or fighting sickness.
If you are experiencing ongoing weakness that does not seem to improve, you need to take steps to discover the cause and treat it. There are many possible causes of weakness including:
- Poor diet
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Colds and flu
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Low blood sugar
It could also be caused by more serious medical conditions such as cancer, stroke or heart attack.
Related: Heart Health Benefits of Meditation
Let’s first eliminate some simple possible causes of weakness:
Poor Diet causes Weakness
If weakness is due to poor diet or intense weight-watching, analyze what you are eating. You should be enjoying a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fat. According to the Institute of Medicine, 45-65% of our daily calorie intake (2,000 calories total for men and 1800 for women) should come from carbohydrates, preferably multigrain bread, brown rice, beans and lentils. Ten to 25% should be derived from protein such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products, and around 30% of our daily calories should be from healthy fats which the body uses for energy or stores as glucose.
Colds and Sickness
In winter, colds and flu can weaken the body’s immune system. The after effects of any virus, sickness or surgical procedure can leave the body feeling drained and weak. Try eating well and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to boost vitamin intake and antioxidants. Consider taking a multivitamin or supplement to ensure your body is getting all the help it needs to restore itself to full health again. Another easy way to boost energy is with a green drink or smoothie to help boost immunity, provide antioxidant support and improve digestion.
Other Causes of Weakness
Try to analyze whether you are suffering from full body weakness or isolated weakness. Think back to when the weakness first began and to what it may be related. If you cannot find an obvious cause for general weakness and it does not improve, you may need to consult a doctor.
If at any time your weakness is accompanied by difficulty breathing, then you should call 911 immediately, as it could indicate a more serious medical condition. Your doctor will determine the underlying cause and treat accordingly.
In the meantime, make sure you enjoy a healthy balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, enjoy daily exercise and any weakness should soon be a thing of the past.