For the majority of us, tiredness is a feeling we’re more than familiar with. If anything, it’s a feeling that has slowly become more normalised over the years. In fact, tiredness has become such a phenomenon that it now has its own acronym; TATT which is short for ‘tired all the time’.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, women are more likely than men to feel tired. As well as this, 1 in 5 people feel tired on a regular basis compared to the 1 in 10 people who experience extended bouts of fatigue.
It’s no wonder, what with careers, relationships, possibly children as well as making time for a healthy social life, that constantly being tired is seen as a normal thing. Surely, it is just a symptom of our busy lives, right? To an extent, that is true. Our busy lives and living within the digital age mean that we’re getting less and less sleep than ever before. However, when feeling tired becomes a regular occurrence and it affects our day to day life, then it’s worth taking time to consider the cause.
Reasons you feel tired
Thyroid issues – Women over 40 are more likely to be at risk of thyroid issues. Namely, an underactive thyroid as it’s called (hyperthyroidism). The thyroid is a gland in your neck which controls your metabolism. Although small, the thyroid is responsible for producing protein and normalising body temperature and heart rate. As it’s so important, it can have adverse effects when there is not enough of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, in the body. The result of this is tiredness, weight gain and aching muscles.
Anaemia – Affecting both women who are still menstruating and post-menopausal women, anaemia is the most common cause of being tired. This is caused by a lack of red blood cells and insufficient haemoglobin production. Anaemia is also been linked to low iron levels in the blood.
Stress – High levels of stress not only affect your emotional wellbeing but they also have a negative impact on your physical health. As a result of stress, your body begins to experience a loss of energy levels.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – If you have been experiencing extreme bouts of tiredness (to the point where you are unable to get on with your daily routine) for more than six months, it may be worth considering that you are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). According to studies, CFS affects more than one million people in the US each year whereas the NHS reports that 250,000 people in the UK suffer from this condition. Alongside tiredness, you are likely to experience one of the many symptoms including headache, muscle pain and a sore throat.
What you can do about it
For the majority of these causes, adopting better lifestyle habits can be enough to make a significant difference. Changes such as becoming more active (at least three times a week with dedicated exercise), limiting caffeine consumption and increasing intake of fresh, whole foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can do a world of good.
However, other causes such as hyperthyroidism may require a targeted approach. Some take the traditional route which favours synthetic thyroid hormones to regulate levels whereas others prefer a natural option such as ingredients such as maca powder, turmeric and milk thistle. As always, it’s important to assess which method works best for you by consulting your doctor or naturopath.
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