MANday: Male Fatigue Factors and How The Y Factor Can Help

As a productive adult male, do you find yourself feeling increasingly tired, especially at the end of the workday or even during the weekend? Do you feel less competitive with the guys at work and sports? Does this fatigue persist despite increased sleep, better nutrition, better hydration, and reducing alcohol and caffeine intake? If you are still tired after ruling out these issues, you may need to consult a medical professional at The Y Factor. 

The following are common health issues that we address as male fatigue factors:

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common, often undiagnosed condition affecting 25 Million adults and 24-31% of men in the United States. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway collapses repeatedly during sleep, reducing or completely stopping airflow temporarily. This signals your brain to wake you up to restart breathing again. Sleep apnea is often characterized by snoring and fatigue the next day. The Y Factor practitioners order sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea. Depending on the severity of the condition, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines and lifestyle changes are commonly prescribed treatments. Untreated sleep apnea can increase risk for heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and early dementia.

Urinary Problems

Also related to sleep disturbance, an overactive bladder or enlarged prostate causes repetitive urges to urinate at night. These can also disturb your sleep enough to cause fatigue the following day. After proper diagnosis by our urology providers, these conditions can be safely corrected with medication or a surgical procedure to restore normal urine flow. Untreated prostate urinary symptoms can lead to urinary retention (can’t empty bladder and infections) and can also be a sign of undiagnosed prostate disease.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in men’s testicles. Testosterone production typically decreases as men get older, especially after age 30. Chronic fatigue and erectile dysfunction is amongst the most common low Testosterone symptoms.  Recreational choices like alcohol use and weight gain can cause decreased circulating testosterone.  Our experienced health care providers can diagnose low Testosterone with a simple blood test and prescribe treatment that can safely boost your body’s ability to restore natural Testosterone production. This is important to preserve your fertility and testicle size.

Anemia

Another cause of chronic fatigue in males is anemia that results from a reduced red blood cell count or hemoglobin, a blood protein that transports oxygen. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you have inadequate iron in the body. Often asymptomatic in mild cases, more severe iron-deficiency may cause fatigue, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Anemia could be the first sign of intestinal blood loss and intestinal cancer.  Diagnosed by blood tests and depending on cause, treatments can range from oral iron supplements and referral to a colonoscopy physician. Pernicious anemia causes a reduction in healthy red blood cells and disruptions in the nervous system due to a lack of the nutrient vitamin B12. This can be caused by low dietary B12 intake, infections, surgery, medications, or intrinsic B12 malabsorption. Diagnosed with blood tests, this deficiency can be quickly and safely corrected by a series of weekly supplementation injections along with dietary changes.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble hormones, found in dietary sources or made in the skin after sunlight exposure. Beyond its effects on calcium metabolism and bone health, low Vitamin D levels in the body causes fatigue, lowered immune response, decreased muscle contraction, depression, poor stress adaptation, and cognitive decline. Diagnosed with a simple blood test, this condition is corrected over a few weeks with prescription oral supplementation.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver lose sensitivity to insulin impairing their use of blood glucose for energy. Your pancreas responds by making more insulin and your daily blood sugar level raises. Risk factors for insulin resistance include obesity, inactivity, high carb diet, smoking, fatty liver, sleep apnea, age >45, and diabetes family history. Insulin resistance, also known as metabolic syndrome, is diagnosed through physical exam and blood tests by your medical provider. Treatment includes daily exercise, a low sugar diet, and medication to control blood sugar. Untreated insulin resistance can cause erectile dysfunction, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid gland located in front of the neck produces hormones that control metabolism. When the thyroid has reduced activity, known as hypothyroidism, the thyroid hormones are reduced. This causes fatigue, hair loss, stress intolerance, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, decreased mental sharpness, and cold intolerance. Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed via physical exam and blood tests. Medications can be prescribed to restore thyroid balance.

Please note that other factors not mentioned above, such as certain medications and heart disease can also cause male fatigue.

Do you think you are suffering from male fatigue?

At the Y Factor, our team of trained providers routinely screen all patients for male fatigue factors. We will both prescribe therapy and coordinate treatment with other affiliated specialists to successfully and safely negate your male fatigue factors.

References

Antonio, L., Wu, F. C., O’Neill, T. W., Pye, S. R., Ahern, T. B., Laurent, M. R., Huhtaniemi, I. T., Lean, M. E., Keevil, B. G., Rastrelli, G., Forti, G., Bartfai, G., Casanueva, F. F., Kula, K., Punab, M., Giwercman, A., Claessens, F., Decallonne, B., Vanderschueren, D., & European Male Ageing Study Study Group (2016). Low Free Testosterone Is Associated with Hypogonadal Signs and Symptoms in Men with Normal Total Testosterone. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 101(7), 2647–2657. Doi:10.1210/jc.2015-4106

Gabrielson, A. T., Sartor, R. A., & Hellstrom, W. (2019). The Impact of Thyroid Disease on Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women. Sexual medicine reviews, 7(1), 57–70. Doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2018.05.002

https://www.facebook.com/WebMD. (2003, February 3). Insulin Resistance. WebMD; WebMD.https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/insulin-resistance-syndrome

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Iron-deficiency anemia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/iron-deficiency-anemia

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Pernicious anemia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pernicious-anemia

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Sleep apnea. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea

Andre Piliszek is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C) and brings to The Y Factor over 25 years of outpatient clinical experience as a certified DOT medical examiner, Nurse, Medical Assistant, and Radiographer.

In 1992, Andre graduated from Houston Baptist University earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. He then graduated with honors from Texas Chiropractic earning a Doctorate of Chiropractic (DC) degree in 2007. During this time, he was also inducted into the Omega Psi Honor Society. In 2011, Andre also graduated with honors from Hardin Simmons University earning an additional Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing (BSN). In 2020, he then graduated from Texas Woman’s University earning a Master of Science degree (MSN) with a specialization in the Family Nurse Practitioner tract. He was also recently inducted into the Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement honor society.

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