Being overweight leads to a wide range of medical conditions, many of which cause fatigue. Mayo Clinic says that if your body mass index, or BMI, is between 25.0 and 29.9, you are overweight. A BMI above 30 is considered obese. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. If you are overweight, a healthy diet and regular exercise will reduce your fatigue.
Atherosclerosis, or a clogging of the arteries, reduces blood flow to the heart. This condition leads to coronary artery disease, which is especially prominent in overweight people. In women, a symptom of coronary artery disease is fatigue. If you are a woman, measure your waist just above your belly button. If the measurement is over 35 inches, your risk of heart disease is higher. To feel less tired and reduce your heart disease risk, make healthy lifestyle changes like reducing cholesterol and exercising regularly.
Extra weight can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes the muscles of your throat to relax during sleep. As a result, your airway is narrowed and less air is taken in as you breathe. This causes less oxygen to be in your blood, which causes a feeling of tiredness. Obstructive sleep apnea also results in being briefly awakened multiple times during sleep, creating a less restful sleep experience. If you are overweight, you may experience fatigue without realizing sleep apnea is the cause. Your physician can help you determine if you have sleep apnea.
Being overweight is one of the leading risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. This condition causes fatigue, among other symptoms. If you are over 45 years old and overweight or obese, you should be tested by your doctor for diabetes. To help lower your risk for this condition, be physically active every day and maintain a healthy diet and weight.
The liver disease nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH, occurs most frequently in people who do not drink alcohol and are overweight or obese. This condition can lead to cirrhosis, which permanently damages the liver. Fatigue is an early symptom, but can be present at any stage of the disease. There are no specific treatments for NASH. However, you can reduce your risk by following the standard precautions of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet. Avoiding unnecessary medications is also recommended.