The Physical reasons for feeling tired are many and if addressed correctly, can subject an individual to a new leash of energy release.
Are you getting enough sleep? : It is recommended an individual gets up to eight hours of sleep a night. Stress, Alcohol, pain and digestive problems can all contribute to a disturbed sleep amongst many other conditions. Try to eat your evening meal at least two hours before you sleep. In the same way, taking pain relief on time and ensuring you eat light at night; will help to promote a good sleep pattern.
Are you drinking enough? Being dehydrated or not consuming enough fluid can give rise to headaches and fatigue. Other problems associated with this are constipation, urine infections Dry skin conditions. One should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. It’s easy to calculate and manage this by having two glasses of water after every five hours. Do remember that, caffeine based fluids like Coffee and Tea can cause you to pass urine more often and Aggravate dehydration!
Medical related problems: People who suffer from underlying Heart disease, Lung problems, Anemia, Kidney problems and Diabetes will more than often present to their GP, with tiredness as their initial presentation. Feeling short of breath, Dizziness, light headedness, can all be a sign of these underlying conditions. Many of the above are stabilized with adequate dosages of medications, with associated lifestyle advice. Moderate exercise in the above can all improve a person’s ability to feel more alert and reenergized. The more isolated medical problems associated with Tiredness are:
Lack of Iron – Not ingesting the recommended seven pieces of fruit and vegetables a day can lead to iron deficiency. Women who have heavy blood loss during their period, or bleeding from elsewhere can lead to a lack of Iron which is important in the production of Blood cells. A deficiency of Iron can lead to Anemia associated with shortness of breath, fatigue and tiredness, palpitations and dizziness, Iron is found in foods such as Red Meat, Dairy products , Green vegetables , Apples . You may find you are given a course of iron tablets to help bring your levels up to normal if your iron is found to be low in a blood test.
Thyroid Problems: The Thyroid Gland sits in the middle of the neck at the front and is responsible for overseeing every single chemical reaction in the body. It regulates our temperature, the rate of digestion, keeps energy levels up amongst the many other functions it has. The Thyroid gland secretes the Thyroid hormone that is involved in kick starting these various reactions in the body. If you feel colder more than normal, find yourself fatigued and tired, sleepy , gaining weight, having heavy periods in women , as well as hair loss and some memory loss, you may find it useful to ask your GP to perform blood tests for your Thyroid gland . If you have an underactive thyroid you will usually be placed on a medication for life, to reverse the symptoms you are suffering from. Some people, if diagnosed with an underactive Thyroid may be at risk of falling into a coma if they do not take medication properly, or take none at all.
Liver Conditions: Checking the Liver Enzymes for abnormalities can usually pick up any signs of alcohol abuse in a person who takes the exceeded recommended amount of alcohol and feels tired all the time . The recommended intake is 14 units a week for men and women both.
Vitamin D deficiency: On the rise now in the UK, people with vitamin D deficiency will complain of Fatigue and often aching limbs. It is usually women of child bearing age. This is most commonly due to a lack of Calcium in the body which is converted from Vitamin D to support healthy Bone strength . One natural source is sunlight, Oily fish, dairy products and Pulses also have high reserves of Vitamin D . In pregnancy, Women dilute their own calcium levels towards healthy bone formation in the fetus . They also become deficient whilst breastfeeding.
If you feel you may suffer from any of the above symptoms or signs, get going to see your GP today. It’s a very common problem feeling tired all the time. And most cases don’t need any intervention at all. Why wait? When you can make a difference to your health and life. Your new beginning should start now!
Dr Shabina is a practicing GP and hosts the Body, Health and Mind show on Salaam radio.