Imagine this. You just reached your office and you’re on a full working mood but your body is just not ready to work like your brain wants it to. You are feeling constantly fatigued, with unexplained body aches. You neither have a cold nor you’re sick with some kind of disease, but still, you have aching joints and muscles and you have no idea what to do about it.
Erich Voigt, MD, an otolaryngologist at NYU Langone Health states that one of the major reason for body aches is inflammation. He states,
“There’s a process of inflammation that occurs when the body has an infection, and some of the inflammatory mediators that we use to fight the infection cause fever and body aches.”
But this is not only possible cause of body aches. Last month, I too was experiencing unexplained fatigue and body ache and I went on to research all the underlying causes of this discomfort and I unraveled these five surprising causes of unexplained body aches. Let’s begin!
1.You might have mono
Mononucleosis also commonly termed as ‘mono‘ is a type of infection caused by Epstein-Barr Virus which usually affects young children and adults. Transmitted through saliva, mono is characterized by body ache, sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. It’s a highly infectious disease like flu and pharyngitis, hence your immune system will exhibit an inflammatory response, eventually leading to body aches.
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2.You might be stressed
Psychological stress not only causes mental disorder but can also have physical manifestations, from headaches to jaw pain to lower back pain. When you start stressing, the level of cortisol hormones start to rise. While that’s not a problem in the short-term, a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association concludes that chronic stress can up inflammation, causing muscle breakdown, pain, and fatigue, among other symptoms. Plus, your body becomes more susceptible to infection when you can’t chill out.
Another less known cause for muscle ache and spasm is lack of sound sleep. According to a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology, scientists found that one of the triggers behind chronic body pain was non-restorative sleep or disruptive sleep or lack of sleep (insomnia). Our musculoskeletal system needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night for the proper functioning of the body. Hence, if you’re not sleeping enough, then you might feel drained out for the next few days.
4.You might have fibromyalgia
One of the most common disorders, fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by peculiar symptoms including deep muscular aches, a sensation of burning, constant exhaustion, depression, abnormal sweating, brain fog and so on. The CNS processes the pain signals which ultimately heightens your body’s experience of pain. Therefore, if you’re experiencing intense pain, then you might be suffering from fibromyalgia.
5.You might be fighting with lupus
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, at least 1.5 million people are living with lupus in the United States. For those who don’t know what lupus is, it’s a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by a hyperactive immune system that attacks healthy tissue. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, headaches, fever, a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, hair loss, and Raynaud’s phenomenon (a condition in which your fingers, and sometimes your toes, feel severely cold or even change color). Hence the next time you are facing any kind of unexplained fatigue or body ache, make sure you consult your doctor ASAP.