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Fatigue

 


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Condition
Fatigue
Class
Nutrition and metabolism
Description
Feeling tired all the time, also known as daily fatigue, is a common, medically recognised symptom estimated to affect almost two thirds of adults in the UK at some point in their lives. In many cases, daily fatigue can be so severe that it can affect people's lives. In surveys, more than one in ten people admit that they have taken time off work because they are too tired. Over one in four adults are too tired to tackle everyday jobs such as shopping and paying the bills. Over one in three are too tired to go out and socialise, while nearly one in five adults surveyed are too tired for a relationship.
Causes
Daily fatigue can be a form of exhaustion caused by stress while running a busy, hectic lifestyle.

A lack or deficiency of iron can cause iron-deficiency anaemia. This affects the blood's ability to carry oxygen, without which the tissues and organs of the body are unable to function efficiently, contributing to feelings of fatigue and weakness. Women are more likely to suffer from iron-deficiency anaemia than men because women lose blood during their period.
Symptoms
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but generally include feeling constantly weary, worn out, sluggish and exhausted. The person may lack energy, feel drained during a hectic day and unable to continue with a normal routine. The person may wake tired, even after a good night's sleep. Physical performance may be affected to such an extent that the person is unable to do her or his job properly.
Treatment
Health supplements containing vitamins and minerals can help restore the body's deficiency if these are missing from the diet. Natural plant-based products called phytomedicines containing extracts of ginseng have been shown to be effective. When taken regularly they can help to sustain energy levels, increase mental and physical performance, and relieve daily fatigue.
When to see your pharmacist
Your local pharmacist will be able to give you advice on treatments including natural-based products, vitamins and minerals. If your symptoms are not clearly associated with a busy hectic lifestyle, the pharmacist may suggest that you speak to your doctor.
When to see your doctor
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you are worried about your symptoms or if you have tried some of the life-style changes and treatments suggested and they have not worked. Your doctor will need to examine you to check if there are other medical conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
Living with fatigue
If you think you may be suffering from daily fatigue, do not worry as there are things that can be done to help control your symptoms.

Some simple life-style changes may reduce daily fatigue. Although it may seem the complete opposite of what you feel like doing, and it may be difficult to get started, but taking regular daily exercise will help. Exercise helps blood flow around your body, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain, organs and tissues. Take it steady at first and do not overdo things, but the more you exercise, you'll find the better you feel and the more that you are able to do.

Maintain a balanced diet with a good mix of protein, dairy products, carbohydrates, fruit and green vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Do not skip breakfast and eat at regular meal intervals. Avoid fast releasing carbohydrates such as sugar and refined foods, avoid stimulants such as tea, coffee, cigarettes, chocolate and alcohol. Although these things may give you a short term energy lift they can make you feel worse in the long run.

Take a supplement to restore lost iron if you have prolonged or heavy periods.

Try to get a good night's sleep of between seven and nine hours each night for the body to go through the vital regenerative process that allows us to wake feeling refreshed and full of energy. Develop the habit of going to bed at the same time and waking up early.

Learn to relax and cope with stress, try to organise and plan the things that you need to do so things do not get on top of you.
Useful Tips
  • Take regular daily exercise
  • Relaxing hobbies such as Yoga can help
  • Eat a balanced diet - see healthier eating section
  • Eat at regular meal intervals
  • Drink plenty of water - about 8 glasses a day is recommended
  • Avoid stimulant drinks such as tea, coffee, cola etc.
  • Stop smoking - see give up smoking section
  • Get a good night's sleep and try to relax first by reading a book for example
  • Relax and practise breathing techniques
  • Do not let things get on top of you, talk to someone if possible, a health professional can help


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