“I’m feeling so weighed down lately.”
“Why am I so weak and tired?”
“My body just feels so heavy.”
Fatigue, weakness, and a heavy feeling are common complaints among adults. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association showed that 44% of working adults feel chronically tired, an increase of 6 percentage points over the past two years.
These feelings are even more distressing when you don’t know what is causing them. Thousands of people struggle with not knowing why they feel heavy, weak, and tired. If you’re one of them, don’t despair. There are answers to what may be causing you to feel this way.
This article will answer the common question, “Why does my body feel heavy?”
Why Does My Body Feel Heavy and Weak? 10 Common Reasons
Google “Why does my body feel heavy?” and you’ll mostly find articles about obesity and weight loss. The longer you search for answers, the more frustrated you become. Ironically, searching for answers is so difficult partially because so many people struggle with feelings of weakness and heaviness. There are many different causes of these symptoms. The reason for you might be closer than you think. Here are 10 of the most common reasons why your body might feel heavy and weak.
See if you recognize yourself in any of them.
1. Sleep Deprivation
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in three adults gets less than seven hours, raising their risk of multiple health problems, including fatigue.
If you’re sleeping less than seven hours a night, work on adjusting your sleep schedule. If insomnia is the problem, consult a medical professional.
2. Lack of Exercise
Physical activity is essential for keeping your energy levels up. When you exercise, your body creates mitochondria, tiny structures inside your cells that transform food and oxygen into energy. The more mitochondria you have, the more energetic your body feels. Exercising also helps your body circulate oxygen, which plays a critical role in boosting your energy levels.
The CDC says healthy adults should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous, aerobic activity per week — or a blend of the two. Don’t worry if it sounds like a lot. You can break it up into small, manageable chunks as your schedule allows.
Fatigue and feelings of weakness are common symptoms of dehydration. Scientists think this might be due to a drop in your overall blood volume when you don’t drink enough water. When you don’t have enough blood, your blood pressure can drop, making it harder for nutrients and oxygen to reach the brain.
Scientists recommend a total daily water intake of 11.5 cups (just under three-quarters of a gallon) for women and 15.5 cups (nearly a gallon) for men. That includes plain water and water from other sources like beverages and food. About 20% is from food — the rest you have to drink.
4. Poor Diet
Your energy levels are directly related to what you eat. Eating excessive amounts of sugar and processed foods is likely to result in feeling heavy and tired.
Instead, opt for a balanced diet with plenty of produce, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats. Your body will have more of what is needed, including a steady stream of energy.
Everyday stress is on the rise, according to a recent study by the American Psychological Association. Worries about money, relationships, work, and other life challenges can zap your energy and make your body feel heavy.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage those stressors. Try meditation or speak with a therapist.
Anemia develops when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, which transport oxygen from the lungs to body tissues. Not enough oxygen travels to tissues and organs, so your body feels tired and heavy.
Anemia usually develops due to an iron deficiency, but other deficiencies and medical conditions can also cause anemias. Talk to a medical professional if you think you might be anemic. Iron supplements and other treatments can help.
7. Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone the body releases to convert sugar, in the form of glucose, into energy. It helps your cells take in the glucose and either transform it into energy or store it for later use.
If the cells become insulin resistant, glucose doesn’t enter cells and convert to energy as it should. That lack of energy causes you to feel sluggish, heavy, and weak.
Anyone can become insulin resistant, but people with sedentary lifestyles and those with more belly fat are at higher risk. Talk to a medical professional about any concerns.
8. Depression or Anxiety
Feelings of fatigue, weakness, and heaviness are common symptoms of depression and anxiety. People with depression often feel chronically weak and heavy because the neurotransmitters that regulate energy aren’t working correctly.
With anxiety, the heaviness and fatigue are usually after-effects of nervous arousal. Your body releases hormones to help you fight a perceived threat, after which you “crash” when those hormones fade. The more it happens, the harder it is for your body to cope.
If you feel depressed or nervous often, consult with a mental health professional to discuss treatment options.
9. Food Intolerances
Sometimes, heaviness feelings have more to do with digestive distress than energy. Approximately one in 10 adults and one in 13 children have allergies or intolerances that cause discomfort during or following eating.
Allergies and intolerances frequently trigger inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to bloating and a feeling of overall heaviness. Managing intolerance can help you take that heaviness away.
The thyroid gland produces essential hormones that regulate body processes like metabolism, digestion, and heart rate. People with hypothyroidism have an underactive thyroid, meaning it doesn’t produce enough hormones.
Without those hormones, body systems slow down. The digestive system doesn’t process nutrients and energy quickly enough, so the body feels heavy and weak.
If you think hypothyroidism might be causing your feelings of heaviness and weakness, ask a medical professional to order blood work. Medications are available, but you need a diagnosis first.
Most importantly, don’t lose hope. If one possibility doesn’t explain why your body feels heavy, there is another that will. There is help out there for you!
Contact Epigenetics Healing Center Today
Dr. Goodbinder helps people improve their health and well-being through personalized functional medicine. Dr. Goodbinder and his team at The Epigenetics Healing Center will talk to you to answer that nagging question, “Why does my body feel heavy?”
You’ll get a customized treatment plan that addresses your unique concerns and symptoms without unnecessary invasive procedures.
Get ready to start feeling like yourself again. Reach out to The Epigenetics Healing Center today.
Are you ready to restore your life?
Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Kansas City, MO who serves patients in the surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.