We’ve all probably experienced feeling tired or sleepy at some point. However, are you tired because you’re not getting enough rest or does fatigue have a more serious cause? Fatigue is often due to insufficient sleep, poor diet, stress or worry. However, less commonly it may be due to an underlying health problem.
Fatigue is characterised predominantly by tiredness or sleepiness that is not relieved by rest. It is accompanied by having low physical and physiological energy so daily activities feel difficult and you may have a decreased ability to perform physically (your muscles tire easily). As a consequence motivation may be low and you may have poor concentration and decision making. Fatigue can also be accompanied by symptoms of dizziness, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, and reduced resistance to infection.
Many cases of fatigue are related to lifestyle factors such as insufficient sleep, poor eating habits, and high stress levels. Psychological factors that may contribute to fatigue include depression, financial anxiety and bereavement. There are also a number of health problems that may be associated with fatigue such as iron deficiency anaemia, cold and flu, diabetes, sleep apnoea, chronic pain and heart problems. In many cases, a combination of these factors can contribute to fatigue.
A broad-spectrum multivitamin can help reduce the likelihood of dietary deficiency. Key nutrients involved in the body’s energy production process include B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Supplements available include Health Plus Multivitamin, Blackmores Sustained Release Multi+Antioxidants and The Good Vitamin Multivitamin.
Siberian ginseng is a commonly known herb that boosts energy levels and helps to reduce the effects of stress when under mental pressure and feeling fatigued. Korean ginseng has also been used to support energy levels and help fatigue. Supplements with these herbs include Ethical Nutrients Ginseng 5 Relief and Blackmores Korean Ginseng. Iron is an essential nutrient for learning, memory and concentration. Low levels of iron can lead to fatigue and an inability to concentrate. Supplementation with iron such as in Fab Iron Liquid may be needed.
Fatigue can also be relieved by lifestyle changes such as a nutritious diet, sleeping for around eight hours a day and taking regular scheduled breaks. It is important to remember that fatigue that is not improved with adequate sleep, a healthy diet and stress reduction may indicate an underlying physical or emotional health problem, and should be investigated by your healthcare professional so it can be treated appropriately.