Are you feeling exhausted during the day? Do you drag yourself into the house and barely make it to bed at night? Maybe you don’t make it to bed, falling asleep on the couch or a comfortable chair. Even if you get enough sleep at night you still don’t have any energy.
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients, friends and family members. Many of us are tired of (excuse the pun) being fatigued but we just deal with because we don’t know what to do or what is making us tired.
There are so many common reasons why we could be fatigued -- we have a poor diet, we're over-stressed, depressed, or not getting enough sleep at night.
Oftentimes we may be dealing with one or more of these situations and don’t stop to think our fatigue could be due to a medical reason. Or we might think making an appointment to go to the doctor is just one more thing we have to put on our long to do list.
However there is a very simple medical reason that often makes us extremely tired that women overlook -- anemia. It is found with a very simple blood test called a complete blood test (CBC).
This is why it is important to get your blood drawn every year during your annual exam. If you have anemia the number of your red blood cells is less than the normal levels.
Why does the amount of red blood cells affect your energy level? One of the main functions of red blood cells is to carry oxygen to each cell in the body.
Oxygen is used by our cells to create energy. So if you do not have enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen you will not be able to get energy from your cells.
There can be several different types of anemia that require different nutritional support. Iron deficiency is the most common, but it is not the only type of anemia.
I will talk about iron deficiency because it is the one that I see the most often. Iron is one of the building blocks of our red blood cells. If you don’t have enough iron in your diet then you will not have enough to create your red blood cells.
The way to solve this issue is to add more iron containing foods to your diet.