Doctor, I’m Just Too Tired

tired yawning business woman

In London you can’t miss that poster advert of a woman yawning and below the solution: a tonic that supposedly will cure you of tiredness. I won’t mention the name.

But is this really the case?

We have all experienced tiredness at some point. Most of us generally know the cause. That busy lifestyle of work, work, work and poor sleep, makes it easy to understand the reason for yawning.

My issue with this advert is it does not state a very important question. Why are you tired?

Simply put, not everything related to tiredness can and will be dealt with by a tonic. How can you come up with a solution to a problem if you don’t know the reason. My worry as a doctor is a patient is unknowingly taking a risk and potentially making a grave mistake by relying on a tonic for their tiredness.

If you do feel tired, please don’t rush for a tonic or quick solution. Be honest with yourself and ask why? If you don’t physically or mentally know the reason then do not ignore.

Tiredness has numerous causes and these can be either isolated or multifactorial.

Common causes for tiredness could include:

Anaemia: a condition where you don’t have enough red blood cells or haemoglobin to meet your body’s needs.There are many causes but anaemia can be secondary to other medical problems which can be serious. Anaemia is very common in women due to their menstruation.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid): a particular condition where the thyroid gland does not function properly to produce enough hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine is needed for the regulation of many processes in the body.

Diabetes: As well as feeling thirsty and increased urination, tiredness is also a common symptom for diabetes. Therefore a blood test needs to be arranged.

Depression: Feeling low and sad can have a knock on effect regarding quality and sleep duration. Ultimately leading to tiredness.

But the main point of never ignoring tiredness is it could be a symptom for cancer.

Cancer can cause anaemia. Doctors are always looking out for anaemia so the cause can be investigated, diagnosed and treated quickly. So it’s important to see your doctor. Blood tests will likely be arranged as the first step. Any actions taken will be dependent on the results.

With lots of focus on cancer and it’s many symptoms, tiredness is one not to forget or ignore. WAFFL will always continue to support a healthy lifestyle but maintaining that requires good knowledge and understanding. By supplying that knowledge, decisions made about your health will be deep rooted by principles and not influenced by questionable marketing campaigns.

Dr Anthony Egboh

by Dr Anthony Egboh, WAFFL Doctor

Dr Anthony Egboh (MBBS, BSc, AICSM, MRCGP) is a London-born General Practitioner (GP) with interests in Health and Well-being for families.

At WAFFL he brings his medical insight and expertise to the team. He is a firm believer in striving for better health – ensuring that fitness is a lifestyle choice, not just a part-time habit.