As we get older, progressing from our young adulthood into our 30s, we start to notice that either suddenly or gradually we don’t have as much energy as we used to.
While this isn’t often any cause for alarm and is just the natural progression of development, fatigue can be a sign that something is wrong and if it’s starting to affect your natural day-to-day rhythm, it might be time to see a doctor.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is the name given to the feeling of being constantly tired. Sometimes referred to as TATT (tired all the time) or exhaustion, fatigue can hit anyone at any point during their lives and normally can be combatted by including healthier food and drink in your diet and getting a good night’s rest.
Fatigue can be a cause for concern if it comes on rapidly with additional symptoms including a fever, a loss of appetite, shortness of breath or if it continues to last even when changing up your lifestyle to a healthier one.
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Fatigue that lasts longer than a couple of weeks could be an indication of an underlying problem but can also be a side effect of earlier changes in your lifestyle, i.e. changing medications or diet. It’s important to consider any changes in your routine and habits and make a note of these before rushing off to the doctor.
What Causes Fatigue?
There are many reasons why women suffer fatigue.
It is a common side effect for patients receiving cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and proton beam therapy, can be the result of psychological changes when an individual is going through a stressful time or a bereavement and can be considered an indication of anxiety and depression.
Fatigue can also occur when you haven’t drunk enough water, have had a restless night of sleep or if there is something or someone in your life that is dominating the time you would normally use to rest and relax.
If you choose to speak to your doctor about unexpected or long-lasting fatigue, be prepared to answer questions regarding your
– psychological health
– physical changes and activities
– lifestyle habits
Even positive changes in your life can lead to fatigue as you overexert your physical, emotional and mental health and it’s important to take a break and get plenty of rest to ensure you don’t burn out.
How to Ease Fatigue?
If you are struggling with feeling tired all the time, the first thing to do is get more sleep and ensure you get plenty of rest away from screens and other devices that can cause your brain to be constantly alert. Swap out caffeinated drinks with more water and try to avoid drinks that have a large amount of sugar or alcohol.
Try to keep active but avoid overdoing it, breaking household chores into small tasks throughout the week and tracking to-do lists on paper rather than trying to keep your list of responsibilities cycling over in your mind.
Meals should be easy to prepare and simple but try to avoid relying on cheap junk food that can make feelings of fatigue worse. Where possible, cook bigger meals and freeze portions to reheat on a different day.
Keep track of what and when you eat and try to get plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet which can help provide energy.
If you’ve done everything you can to reduce your fatigue and still find that you are constantly exhausted or tired, talk to your local pharmacist or book an appointment to see your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to arrange for tests to check for anaemia or other conditions that cause fatigue and help you take back control over your life.