What kind of tired are you?

Publication Date22 Dec 2020
You feel: Tired, blue and anxious It could be: Depression "TIREDNESS is a big symptom of depression and, unsurprisingly, we have seen a massive rise because of the pandemic," explains London GP Dr Nisa Aslam. "It's important that people contact their GP for a formal diagnosis and management."

" But exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your mood, she says. It increases bloodflow to the brain, releases endorphins - the body's own natural antidepressant - and other neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which lifts mood.

"I also recommend self-help resources," says Dr Aslam. "Apps such as Headspace and Calm are useful. Counselling and, if necessary, medication can also help."

You feel: Tired, tearful and suffer cravings It could be: Excess caffeine and sugar MAny of us rely on coffee breaks to get us through the day. But, while caffeine acts as a stimulant to give us an energy boost, too much of it can actually have the opposite effect, making us feel tired and lethargic, warns Dr Dan Bunstone, chief medical officer at Push Doctor (pushdoctor.co.uk).

"Caffeine blocks a naturally occurring substance called adenosine, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When the effects of caffeine wear off, there's more adenosine circulating in our brains, which makes us feel more tired.

""his can create a vicious cycle - the more caffeine you consume, the more your brain tries to increase its sensitivity to adenosine as it thinks there's not enough of it around."

" And if you add sugar to your cofee, or have sugary snacks with your hot drink, you risk fatigue due to the sugar crash. Try to limit your coffee intake to three cups a day, consider switching to decaf or green tea in the afternoon and snack on fruit, nuts or oatcakes instead of biscuits or crisps.

You feel: Tired, sluggish and are gaining weight It could be: Underactive thyroid OUR thyroid glands produce a hormone called thyroxine that controls our metabolism and the rate at which we produce energy from food, explains Dr Bunstone.

"Low thyroid levels, known as hypothyroidism, can lead to feelings of fatigue, muscle aches, constipation and weight gain. If you have a combination of these symptoms, it could be that your thyroid is not working correctly and that you need a blood test from your doctor."

Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets to raise your thyroxine levels.

You feel: Tired, lethargic and pale It could be: Anaemia "OUR red blood cells...

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