It doesn’t seem like a serious complaint, being tired, but if you find that you are tired all the time, there could be an underlying medical problem. And when you consider that doctors actually abbreviate it as TATT, perhaps you should start to look at your symptoms more thoroughly and get to the bottom of your fatigue.
There are obvious answers to feeling tired all the time, for instance, a poor diet consisting of junk food, high in sugars and fats, with little nutritional value will not give your body enough energy to sustain you throughout the day. But this is easily remedied. Simply cut out the take-ways and add more fruit and vegetables to your daily meals and you should feel your energy levels gradually rising.
If you have a good diet, check out our five most common reasons for feeling tired all the time, but remember, if you are worried you should always see your doctor for medical advice.
1. Not enough sleep
It sounds obvious enough but if you are not getting around 8 hours of unbroken sleep then your waking hours are likely to be affected. Although your GP will not want to prescribe sleeping pills, as these are highly addictive, it may be that a simple weeks course could be just enough to get your sleeping pattern back on track. If there is a reason for your broken sleep, such as having to get up frequently to use the toilet, this could be done to an irritable bladder and you can get medication for this, so ask your GP.
2. Lack of iron
You need iron in the blood as it helps to transport oxygen around the body. If there is a lack of iron you will suffer from anaemia which leads to shortness of breath as your body tries to make up for the lack of oxygen, and this extra expenditure of energy will leave you feeling tired. Women are at risk of iron deficiencies if they have heavy periods or if they eat little red meat. Get your levels checked with a blood test and supplement your iron levels with ferrous sulphate.
3. Under-active thyroid gland
The thyroid gland affects our metabolism and low levels of the thyroid hormone can lead to tiredness, feeling cold, dry skin and hair and weight gain. You can have the symptoms of an under-active thyroid for years before it is diagnosed correctly, so if you suspect you are suffering then get tested. Treatment is with thyroid hormone tablets.
4. Type 2 diabetes
People that are overweight are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, caused by a lack of insulin which is needed to move sugar from the blood into tissues to provide energy. Symptoms are tiredness, lack of energy, attacks of thrush. Treatment includes changing your diet, losing weight and tablets to boost insulin levels.
5. Depression & Anxiety
People who are depressed tend to feel lethargic as commonly their sleep patterns are disturbed. They might not be able to sleep at night, and therefore be tired during the day. People who feel anxious are expending more energy than most, as they are constantly on edge. If you think you might be suffering from either depression or anxiety, see your GP, who has a variety of options to help you, from medication to counseling.