Why Does Being Sick Make You So Tired?

fatigue is a common symptom of most sicknesses.
fatigue is a common symptom of most sicknesses. (Image: sick woman image by forca from Fotolia.com)

Being sick naturally makes you want to sleep more, but once you understand the reasons for your fatigue, you may be able to restore the natural balance of your body quicker.

Cell Count

The white blood cells, which fight off infection, are depleted during your sickness, and your body naturally starts replacing them at a faster rate, which takes energy and causes significant fatigue.


Fighting off the flu or the common cold means that you may also experience some nutritional deficiencies and are likely not receiving enough iron. This causes anemia, and anemia leads to fatigue, so taking iron supplements with meals may help.

Digestion Problems

Being sick usually means that you don’t feel like eating, or can only eat small amounts at a time. If you’re not taking in nutrients, your body has to use the ones that are already inside, and these will run out quickly, causing you to become tired.


People that have diabetes are more prone to infection, and when the body is trying to rid itself of bacteria, it can be taxing on the internal organs, which makes more sleep necessary.

Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland tells your cells how quickly to work, and when you become ill, your cells don’t work fast enough, especially if you have already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Too much of the thyroid hormone can also cause fatigue, but a balanced diet and thyroid hormone therapy can make your cold or flu recovery time quicker.

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