When feeling tired all the time it is important to consider the reasons why and address the core of the situation. Several factors can be the reason a person feels tired all the time. It is important to be upfront and honest with your medical provider and discuss how you feel and what your symptoms are presenting as to make you feel fatigue. Here is a list of some ideas to address when talking to your provider.
• Labs such as thyroid levels and red blood cell counts for anemia, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels. When any of these are too low fatigue can result. The good news is these are not very difficult to fix.
• Long standing blood pressure issues either too high or too low can make a person feel just plain exhausted and have no energy to do anything. Get a home BP cuff and check your blood pressure in the morning before taking any medications and in the evening when you are ready for bed. Keep a record of this and show your provider at the next appointment.
• Chronic illness just by having kidney disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, etc., can make a person feel more tired than usual. Make sure you have routine care and monitoring to keep your body in the best condition you can with help from your provider and possibly a specialist to monitor your condition.
• Difficulty sleeping and insomnia. Well, if a person is not sleeping more than 6 hours a night it is important to address this issue. Having a bedtime routine involving sleep hygiene is the first step to combating insomnia. Make yourself power down electronics an hour prior to bedtime, have a cup of sleepy time tea, use melatonin just after dinner and make sure you’re fitting in some physical activity during the day to make it easier to sleep at night. Some people enjoy reading a book or listening to relaxing sounds to wind down the thoughts in your mind that can make it hard to rest.
• Physical activity, exercise or daily walks can help the body fight fatigue. Usually not enough activity can make a person feel fatigue but then when it is time to go to sleep it is hard to shut the brain off and rest. Having a healthy exercise routine can make it easier to get into a good sleep cycle and provide circulation to the vital organs and brain to assist in sleeping well.
These are just a few ideas to help fight fatigue. If insomnia is severe, it is important to have your provider recommend a sleep study and provide a diagnosis to confirm any other conditions that may inhibit rest. Talk to a counselor or psychiatrist to assist with emotional issues that you may have. Take care of yourself and have sweet dreams!
By: Bethany Strickland, FNP-C