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Feeling Tired

Reasons why you may be feeling tired all of the time


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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We all go through stages of feeling a bit wrecked. Sometimes it’s totally normal to be exhausted and it’s a natural thing. Maybe we are dealing with a demanding school/college/work schedule or partying that bit too much.

Really, tiredness (or ‘fatigue’ as the medical profession call it) only becomes a problem when it goes on for more than a few weeks, persists throughout the day and limits your activities.

There are as many causes of fatigue as there are colours in the rainbow, but here are a few common ones.

1. Anaemia

Anaemia is the technical term for not having enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body, so if you don’t have enough of these you may feel wrecked. There are a few causes of anaemia, but the most common causes are low iron, low folic acid and low B12. If you don’t have enough of these key nutrients your red blood cells will not work properly and your whole system will slow. This won’t feel good! You can ask your doctor to check your levels of these nutrients. If the blood tests come back normal, some people find that talking a B complex or a good quality multi vitamin helps them. Too much iron can be dangerous though, so it’s best to consult your doctor before trying to take iron. You could also consult a dietician, nutritionist or alternative practitioner for help with your diet.

2. Low thyroid function

This is very common and basically means that your thyroid gland isn't working properly. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from unexplained weight gain to period problems to fatigue. You can get blood tests done at your local GPs, but diagnosing thyroid problems can be difficult and may take a while.

3. Other vitamin/mineral deficiencies

The body needs many vitamins and minerals to function at its best, so being low in any of them can cause issues. Many Irish people are deficient in Vitamin D for example and this can cause fatigue. Ask your GP to check all your vitamin and minerals levels.

4. Sleeping problems

Sometimes people have issues with getting to, or staying asleep, even if their life is a stress free zone. It’s awful being sleep deprived so click here to check out these sleeping tips. If you have no joy, a trip to your doc may be worth a try.

5. Sleep apnoea

This is a condition where the throat closes during sleep. When your throat closes, you won’t be able to breathe properly, will wake up constantly throughout the night, and get poor quality sleep. Many people don’t know they have it, but if you are always wrecked and feel that you never sleep well, it may be worth getting tested. For more information on sleep apnoea, click here.

6. Big changes or upheavals

Sometimes change is good, but it can still be exhausting! Maybe you have started a new job, moved house (or even country) or entered into a new relationship. All these can be positive changes, but everything is new and different and this can be exhausting! In such cases, time is often your best friend.

7. Depression

Depression is exhausting. Sometimes people with depression find that tiredness is their main symptom. Sometimes this is caused by the depression itself, but many people with depression have problems sleeping, which can be a direct cause of the tiredness. If you are depressed it's really important to talk about it and seek help. For more informatoin on depression, click here.

8. Relationship stuff

Break ups can be both mentally and physically exhausting. The whole thing is so emotionally draining and exhausting. It’s not just break ups that can make you tired too. Sometimes when you are in a new relationship, you may not sleep very well from the excitement of it all and end up wrecked.

9. Burning the candle at both ends

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of studying/working all day and then staying up late socialising. It’s also easy to burn the candle at both ends when exams lurk. It’s normal to have to do this sometimes, but if you do it for long periods of time, you’ll be exhausted and may get very run-down. Check out these top tips for avoiding all-nighters at exam time.

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Published December 12th, 2012
Last updated March 21st, 2017
Tags wellbeing tired seasonal affective disorder
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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