Feeling tired all the time is one of the commonest health issues that people face. Here Consultant in Family Medicine, Dr. Anjum Ishaque talks about some of the causes of this.

Anemia

This is one of the commonest causes of fatigue especially in women. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the organs, muscles and cells needed for normal function. Deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid will lead to low levels of red blood cells. This leads to not enough oxygen being carried to the cells when required. You may therefore feel short of breath when exercising, dizzy or light headed or get easily fatigued and lack energy.

Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck which produces an enzyme called thyroxine. Sometimes the body makes antibodies against this gland and it gets destroyed and stops making the hormone. Lack of thyroxine can lead to fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain etc.

Vitamin D Deficiency

This is one of the commonest vitamin deficiencies in the world. This important vitamin is mostly made when our skin is exposed to the sun and a small amount is absorbed through diet. Lack of sun exposure leads to low levels which can cause symptoms of fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. Recent research shows that lack of vitamin D may also decrease our immunity making us more prone to getting coughs and colds.

Diabetes

Type II Diabetes is associated with being overweight and sedentary lifestyles have led to a surge in this in recent years. For the first time in human history children are being diagnosed with this condition which has reached epidemic proportions. Increased thirst, passing urine frequently and fatigue can be common symptoms which are associated with this condition.

Stress

Hectic lifestyles with expectation to excel at every role that we perform can lead to burnout. It is important to have a work life balance and to take out some time to relax on a regular basis. Fatigue can sometimes be a symptom of anxiety or depression. It is the minds way of telling the body to take a break.

Most of the above conditions are very easily diagnosed and treated and it is important to see your doctor to discuss your symptoms.  Reassurance that all is well may be all that is required to get you on your way to feeling better.

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