Tiredness, fatigue, malaise, exhaustion, are all different names for the same thing: a lack of energy to perform normal activities. It has, at some point, affected most of us and some of us experience it all the time. In fact as GP's, we see it so often that we even have an acronym: TATT – Tired All The Time. It’s an actual ‘thing’ and there are three general reasons for it:
These are the normal expected causes of tiredness. They include:
- Reduced nutrition following exercise
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor sleep (Article)
- Constant variation of work-shifts
The solution to TATT caused by any of the above is relatively simple. Don’t over train and make sure you’re fuelling your body in the right way. If you’re having trouble sleeping, look into why this might be and see a GP if needed. Otherwise try putting down your mobile phone an hour before bed and relaxing before you hit the sack. If your work schedule is sporadic, try and find a routine that fits around your shifts that enables you to have plenty of sleep, time for exercise and allows you to take time for yourself.
These are the pathological causes of tiredness, which are not very common, but need to be excluded as a potential cause of TATT. They include:
- Thyroid problems
Many of the above will come along with an additional slew of symptoms, so there are other markers as well as TATT that may be pointing to a larger issue. If you think any of the above may be causing you to be tired all the time, make an appointment with your GP to see how these can be managed.
This is by far the most common cause I see in the average population:
- Work Related Stress
- Financial Stress
- Problems at Home
- Relationship Problems
All of the above issues can have a severe impact on your mental health which can lead to you feeling tired all the time.
In all cases, if the answer isn't glaringly obvious, I would suggest you arrange to see your GP. That doesn't mean you have diabetes or depression, it's just that it sometimes requires a healthcare professional to ask the right questions. Your doctor may also need to do some basic blood tests in order to exclude any underlying physical causes.
So in short, think about your diet, your sleep and your common stresses. If you make some positive changes and are still feeling tired, or none of your symptoms fall into these categories, seek a second opinion.
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This blog is written by friend of Neat, Dr Nick Ambatzis MB BS, MSc (SEM), MRCGP.
Nick is a General Practitioner specialising in Sports and Exercise Medicine. He completed his medical degree at University College London Medical School in 2002. Nick worked for almost ten years as a junior surgeon and spent three years in Trauma & Orthopaedics. He attained a Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine and subsequently trained as a GP practising in Paddington.
From an early age, Nick has been both a keen cross-country runner and water-polo player, having competed at college level. Nick is also an accomplished ultra-marathon runner, having competed in many cross-country and cross-alpine races, ranging from 50-100 miles. He has also been a Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance coach.