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Are You Tired All the Time

Possible culprit: A vitamin or mineral deficiency

One possible reason for feeling tired, anxious, and weak is having low levels of iron, vitamin D, or B12. Many experts believe that a significant percentage of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D. Having low levels of vitamin D can cause muscle weakness and pain. An vitamin deficiency effects some groups far more than others. Women of reproductive age are also statistically at a greater risk for iron deficiency anemia.

A blood test is the only way for someone to know whether they are low in any vitamin or mineral. In the meantime, it is possible to boost the body’s stores by taking a multivitamin with at least 100 percent of your daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. Renewing your energy is possible, once you learn to combat common causes of fatigue.

Always feeling sleepy

Regular sleepiness could be a symptom of low iron. A blood test, again, is the only true way to know if you are iron deficient. You should not take iron supplements without the approval of your healthcare provider because excess iron can be toxic. Also, don’t discount the possibility of your sleepiness being connected to something else. For example, kidney and liver problems, chronic infections, and diabetes can all contribute to fatigue.

Anemia

A serious iron deficiency can cause anemia. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, fatigue is a very common symptom of anemia. Different people will experience fatigue in different ways. Some might be too tired to exercise, while others might experience mental fatigue. Many will feel sleepy during the day, even if they slept well the night before. Other symptoms of anemia include dizziness, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Causes

Low iron often occurs because of a dietary deficiency. Vegetarians are at risk for low iron unless they eat a variety of iron-rich foods, such as beans, iron-fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, and dry fruits. Blood loss, heavy menstrual periods, and certain health issues, such as celiac or Crohn’s disease, could affect your iron levels.

Treatment for low iron

Your doctor might recommend iron supplements to help normalize your iron levels. However, taking too much iron at once can be dangerous and can cause symptoms such as low blood pressure, chills, dizziness, and nausea. Liver damage and even coma are possible outcomes after very large doses of iron. This means you will need to take smaller amounts over a long period of time to normalize your iron levels. You can also eat foods that contain vitamin C since this vitamin improves the absorption of iron. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, red and orange fruits, and vegetables, especially the dark green kinds, such as broccoli.

Dealing with sleepiness

Because it will take some time for iron supplements to improve your energy, your sleepiness and fatigue might not go away immediately. To help you deal with this, try getting a consistent amount of sleep every night. Go to bed at about the same time and get eight to nine hours of sleep. If you’re still tired during the day, take a couple of ten minute naps to help you recharge. Lower your intake of caffeine, as this interferes with iron absorption. Skip alcohol and nicotine too as these can cause tiredness and interrupt sleep.

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