Monday, August 03, 2009

5 Reasons You May Be Tired

I was reading this article written by Dr. Mark Liponis in Parade magazine regarding reasons that might cause fatigue. So if you find yourself tired or yearning for some Zzzs, check out the overview of his suggestions below:

1. Sleep Disorders
Two common medical sleep disorders—obstructive
sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome— could be responsible for getting in the way of a good night's sleep.

Remedy: Talk about your concerns to your physician. From there, a series of tests will help you discover if you have either of these disruptive, yet treatable, sleep disorders.

2. Thyroid Conditions
thyroid regulates your mood, metabolism heart rate and energy levels - just to name a few. The thyroid is a tricky gland. You can experience sluggishness or fatigue with either an underactive or even an overactive thyroid.

Remedy: Makes sure your thyroid function has been properly tested. If it's been a while since you've had a full physical, stop reading this, get on the phone and make an appointment!

3. Diabetes
Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. and nearly 25 % of people with diabetes don’t even know they have it! Besides fatigue, it’s common for people with diabetes to experience weight gain, increased appetite, thirst, frequent urination, and blurred vision.

Remedy: The good news is that Type 2 diabetes can be helped and even prevented with proper diet, exercise, and weight loss. Diabetes can be detected with a simple blood test, so if you’re having symptoms or are at increased risk, don’t wait—get a checkup.

4. Depression
Depression, which often has symptoms of tiredness and fatigue, affects more than 20 million Americans and is a major cause of disability. Depression is a real illness, not a result of a flawed character or laziness.

Remedy: Make an appointment to see your physician or contact a mental health professional. Most depressive disorders can be effectively treated with medication, therapy or a combination of the two.

5. Anemia
This common medical condition occurs when there is a reduced number of red blood cells—the cells that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the rest of your body. Because less oxygen is delivered to the muscles and tissues, you feel tired. You also may experience shortness of breath or a faster pulse.

Remedy: Again, see your physician. A simple blood test will determine if you are anemic or iron deficient. It would be important to discover the reasons for your low iron counts. Treatment usually includes the taking of iron supplements.

I have restless legs, depression and iron poor blood. And though I sleep pretty well at night, I find myself tired from time to time during the day. With the help of health professionals, I take iron supplements, monitor my clinical depression with medication, moderate my restless legs with a multivitamin trio, and catnap nearly everyday. These interventions definitely help.
So, if your dragging or perpetually pounding the pillow, talk to your health professional.


~Just me again~ said...

Yep, those are all good reasons. Though I think there is one more to add to the list...the hussle and bussle of the busy go, go, go life.

Xmichra said...

I had neve heard of anemia affecting your sleep before, I will have to keep an eye on that (I am anemic).

I still think i have somethimg wrong with my thyroid, but I took a test a few months ago and it showed it was in the range of okay.

Kahless said...

I have depression and anemia.
I have an afternoon snooze at weekends - love it!

Wanda's Wings said...

I afraid I have at least a couple reasons.

Sandy,PhD said...

Would you mind sharing the multi-vitamin trio for restless leg?

(such a cute kitty photo .. I resisted commenting on the kitty, but I just couldn't help myself!)

Deb said...

Great info. Anytime I feel fatigued for too long I always head to the doctor, because basically, it could be anything really. *sigh*

Dr. Deb said...

Just me,
Yes, everyday life can be a huge stressor that fatigues!

I'm not an MD but how about getting a thyroid scan? Anemia can be fatiguing so you and I need to be watchful of our iron levels.

I catnap nearly every day. It is so refreshing and renewing for me too.

You are not alone, my friend.

I take Emergen C Multivitamin in Apricot which has good doses of folic acid and magnesium and I take potassium tabs. And yes, that kitten looks so cute!

You are, and always have been, a smartie!

srose said...

That kitten picture just kills cute but captures the exhaustion one can feel!

Yes, please share your vitamin trio since I also have restless leg and barely get by with ibuprofen.

I do love my naps when I can get them..Great list!

S'onnie said...

As a diabetic, I can always tell when I have strayed off the straight and narrow because I do tired and cranky and you don't want to be around me when I am cranky! Added to diabetes, I am anaemic and have iron injections every 4 to 6 weeks. It took a while to learn how to manage these two together but when I do get everything right I feel 100% better

Tracy said...

Great post, and very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Some excellent suggestions Dr. Deb. I also tend to agree with 'Just Me again' about the hustle and bustle and stresses of life leading to insomnia.

PTC said...

That is the cutest picture!!

Waking up in the middle of the night hungry also doesn't help when it comes to sleeping

Jade said...

Very relatable topic for me! Hope you are doing well Deb!

Anonymous said...

I got two of a kind in this poker hand. Sleep apnea and diabetes.

Damn, I fold.

:: jeremy::

The Lone Beader said...

I am tired because often get only 3-4 hours sleep per night due to my crazy work schedule! Thank goodness for naps!

Joseph j7uy5 said...

I'm glad to see that they put sleep disorders at the top of the list. One thing I've noticed, is that a lot of people who go to a physician, with a complaint of fatigue, do get checked for thyroid problems and anemia, but not for sleep disorders. Perhaps that is because it is simple to order a few lab studies. Just put check marks on a piece of paper. In contrast, assessment for sleep disorders requires a time-consuming interview. You know, the part where the doctor talks with the patient.

Iron deficiency often is associated with restless legs. But I would not encourage people to simply start taking iron to see if it helps. You want to find out if you are in fact deficient, and if so, why. Likewise for vitamin deficiencies. To illustrate why this is important, iron deficiency can be caused by blood loss in the intestine, which could be a sign of gastric or colon cancer. B12 deficiency could be caused by pernicious anemia, which often is associated with a variety of other problems. This was covered in the Parade article, but it doesn't hurt to emphasize it.

Kaye - @SandwichINK said...

I popped over from Boomers & Seniors: News You Can Use. Great article, terrific tips, and really adorable kitty pix! :) :) :)

James Breeze said...


I've just worked out I have Gluten Intolerance (by not eating it for 6 weeks!)

Boy I feel good! Unless I have wheat ;)

I was doing some reading an noticed that it has often been misdiagnosed as fibromialgia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue and narcolepsy.

Another reason for being tired.

Dr. Deb said...

Yes, good point!