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Could there be more to blame for your tiredness and fatigue than 'just another busy day at the office'?
In our modern-day world, with work pressures, long working hours and the constant buzz of our phones, on top of juggling a busy family life, it is harder than ever to switch off and relax. For many, feeling drained and tired has become the norm and seems to be the expected result of a day where 24 hours is not enough time to complete the never-ending to-do list. However, not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to our health and cause a range of problems including a weakened immune system, weight gain and cognitive impairment, so it is very important to get enough sleep.
If you find yourself feeling exhausted even when you have had a good night's sleep, it can be difficult to know whether you are simply doing too much or if there is an underlying reason as to why you are constantly sleepy. That's why we designed our range of Tiredness and Fatigue Checks - excellent profiles to rule out some of the most common and treatable causes of fatigue.
Iron is an element that we require for many different bodily processes such as creating new red blood cells, carrying oxygen around our body and strengthening our immune system. Low iron levels can lead to a decrease in the amount of oxygen carried around the body which, eventually leads to iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms can include fatigue, dizziness and headaches. There are two different forms of dietary iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in meats and fish while non-heme iron can be found in plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found at the front of the neck, responsible for producing key hormones which affect almost every cell in the body and help convert nutrients into energy. The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, occurs when the gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones, ultimately slowing down the body’s metabolism. Fatigue is a symptom of hypothyroidism.
Vitamin D, which is commonly referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is important in maintaining healthy teeth, muscles and bones. When we are exposed to the sun, our body creates vitamin D using nutrients obtained from certain foods including oily fish. Many of us in the UK are vitamin D deficient - with symptoms including fatigue, muscle weakness and mood swings. By implementing a few easy lifestyle changes such as getting out more in the sunshine, eating more oily fish and taking a vitamin D supplement, vitamin D levels can be improved.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for keeping blood cells healthy and helping to make DNA - the important genetic material present in all our cells. Our bodies absorb this vitamin from our diet, and the best food sources include dairy products, meat and fish. Low B12 levels can lead to anaemia and symptoms including fatigue, feeling faint and constant headaches.
Don’t just assume feeling tired is part of a busy lifestyle and something you must put up with. Feeling tired all the time is one of the most common reasons why people visit their doctor, but sometimes finding out the reasons for your symptoms can be a journey of trial and error. Our Tiredness and Fatigue Checks help you to get to the cause of your low energy levels.