Feeling tired is a complaint we hear often from people who work long hours, don’t sleep enough, or lead stressful and busy lives. However, many of us sleep for the recommended 8 hours per night and still complain of feeling tired and lacking energy or concentration. It is important to remember that just because something is common, it doesn’t mean it is normal, and fatigue can be a symptom of other issues that you might not be aware of.
If fatigue is interfering with your everyday life, speak to your GP about some of the common causes of extreme or constant tiredness:
This condition is caused by a hormone (Thyroxine) imbalance. If your thyroid gland produces too little of this, you will find yourself feeling run down and lethargic. You might also notice you feel achy, and gain weight or fail to lose it as easily. A blood test can determine whether you have too little (or too much) Thyroxine, and this can be remedied.
Depression & Anxiety
Depression can come in many shapes and sizes, for some it can mean early morning waking, for others it can mean sleeping much more than usual, but for many a symptom is exhaustion and lethargy. If you believe you may suffer from depression, your GP can provide you with a number of options including medication or therapy. Similarly, anxiety disorders can severely affect restful sleep and cause tiredness.
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Sleep apnoea is caused by the narrowing of the airway during sleep. This can interrupt, restrict or stop your breathing. Although many people are unaware that they suffer from sleep apnoea, bad snoring is usually a telltale sign. The oxygen levels in your blood are reduced and can leave you feeling exhausted the next day. Smokers, heavy drinkers, and overweight people, especially middle aged men, tend to suffer with sleep apnoea. You can visit your GP or look into stop snoring aids such as anti-snoring mouthpieces to remedy the problem.
An Iron deficiency is a very common reason for people feeling run down or weak. Anemia can make you feel sluggish and make any physical exertion particularly hard as it affects the muscles. Pregnant women or those who have heavy periods are particularly at risk of anaemia, but it is easily remedied.
Glandular Fever is a viral infection that is common among young adults; while it usually presents with a sore throat, swollen glands, and a fever, the illness is known to cause severe fatigue for months after these symptoms clear.
Restless legs can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition that can lose you a lot of sleep. This could present as a pain or discomfort in the legs, simply being unable to keep them still, or jerking yourself awake in the night. Magnesium supplements can remedy this a little; however you should visit your GP
Gluten intolerance is a very common problem and can be diagnosed with a blood test, however up to 90% of sufferers are unaware of their condition. When your body has a bad reaction to gluten you can have bowel problems and weight loss as well as feeling extremely tired.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.)
Chronic fatigue syndrome or M.E. is a long period of extreme fatigue that can be disabling. It is usually accompanied by other common symptoms of being ‘run down’ such as a headache or sore throat. M.E. can mean extended periods of time off work and requires medical attention in order to get the sufferer back on their feet.
Robert J Hudson is a freelance writer, passionate nutritionist and personal trainer. Over the years he has gained experience writing for many different health and fitness magazines, blogs and product review websites like Evolution Slimming. Connect with him on Google+.