“Why am I so tired all the time?”

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - B+S MEDICAL -

ques­tion: I feel tired all the time. I wish I knew what was wrong with me and what I should do about it. an­swer: Tired­ness is of­ten a re­sult of sim­ple life­style fac­tors, such as lack of qual­ity sleep, ex­ces­sive phys­i­cal ex­er­tion, poor diet, emo­tional up­heaval or stress.

In some cases, how­ever, there may be an un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal ab­nor­mal­ity such as anaemia, a vi­ral ill­ness such as in­fluenza or glan­du­lar fever, a hor­monal im­bal­ance such as an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid, or di­a­betes, a heart prob­lem, low blood pres­sure, chronic fa­tigue or cancer.

It could even be a side ef­fect of cer­tain med­i­ca­tions.

If the prob­lem has been go­ing on for weeks and isn’t abat­ing, or is get­ting worse, it’s im­por­tant to seek med­i­cal ad­vice. Your doc­tor can ask about the du­ra­tion and pat­tern of your symp­toms, your fam­ily his­tory and re­cent life events.

They may ex­am­ine you phys­i­cally and, if nec­es­sary, or­der fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions such as blood and urine tests or X-rays.

In many cases, it’s dif­fi­cult to iden­tify any spe­cific un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal cause for fa­tigue. Sim­ple life­style changes or be­hav­iour mod­i­fi­ca­tion may im­prove en­ergy lev­els, though.

Keep­ing reg­u­lar hours and sim­ply get­ting suf­fi­cient sleep may be fac­tors. Check whether your diet is bal­anced and nu­tri­tion­ally sound, with suf­fi­cient pro­tein, vi­ta­mins, car­bo­hy­drates and min­er­als.

It may seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive to ex­pend en­ergy when you’re feel­ing ex­hausted, but reg­u­lar ex­er­cise can help your en­ergy lev­els enor­mously.

A graded ex­er­cise reg­i­men – start­ing slowly and build­ing up grad­u­ally with some­thing sim­ple such as reg­u­lar walk­ing – can build fit­ness, main­tain mus­cle mass and strength.

It can also im­prove mood, mo­ti­va­tion and over­all well­be­ing, as well as im­prov­ing sleep qual­ity, ap­petite, con­cen­tra­tion, alert­ness, im­mune func­tion and car­dio­vas­cu­lar health. + For ad­vice on how to boost en­ergy lev­els, visit bodyand­soul.com.au

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