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41 MIN READ TIME

WHY ARE WE ALL SO TIRED?

One third of Britons admit to feeling permanently worn out*, and as a GP, extreme tiredness is one of the common symptoms people see me about. When a patient describes how they feel, I’ll often jot down ‘TATT?’ (short for: tired all the time). But as fatigue can be caused by a host of various medical conditions and lifestyle factors, it often takes some detective work to get to the bottom of what’s causing it.

With extreme fatigue it’s always important to rule out a more serious illness such as cancer, so I’ll check for ‘red flag’ symptoms, including blood loss, sudden weight loss, unusual lumps or bumps and any changes in bowel habits. I’ll then ask about a patient’s lifestyle, as lack of exercise, poor diet, high stress levels and not getting enough sleep can all cause low energy. Plus, I’ll run a blood test to check for low iron levels that could indicate anaemia, impaired kidney and liver function, and also to check for high blood sugar to rule out diabetes, vitamin D or thyroid problems. If a patient has never been checked for the digestive disorder coeliac disease, I’ll often order a blood test for this, too – figures (from Coeliac UK) suggest up to one in 100 people have this condition (which can cause fatigue), but only a quarter have been diagnosed.

Here are some of the common, but more hidden, reasons you could be feeling tired all the time.

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About Healthy Magazine

It's almost Christmas! Get prepared with the December/January healthy magazine, featuring wellness bloggers Zanna Van Dijk, Natasha Corrett and Carly Rowena. Find 37 festive recipes – including clean, free-from, healthy and delicious options to please everyone. Plus, two women reveal their life-changing #bestgiftever – what's yours? Keep your mind and body on track this Christmas with the new digital edition of healthy.

Other Articles in this Issue


ON THE COVER
We’re celebrating the season of good cheer by bringing together our very favourite bloggers from the worlds of healthy eating, fitness and natural beauty. All hail Natasha Corrett, Zanna van Dijk and Carly Rowena – the new wellbeing stars
It’s not your usual stocking filler that changes your life forever. Two women unwrap memories of truly unforgettable presents
Essential oils can help you feel and look your best – whatever stresses Christmas throws at you
From the perfect free from mince pie to a superfood winter salad, healthy’s food guru Rebecca Seal shares her festive fare
Don’t tap out your nutrient reserves during the festive season. These goodness-packed meal ideas will help to keep you on top form
These simple yet stylish canapés achieve the impossible. Healthy and free from, they’re tasty, too
With one in five GP visits in the UK due to fatigue, Dr Louise Newson takes a look at some of the less obvious reasons we feel so exhausted – and how to reboot your energy levels…
OK, there's no magic cure for seasonal sniffles. But get on top of these 10 common mistakes, and you can help lessen their length and severity
Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga, says getting the best out of your practice means focusing on how your body really feels. Limber up for her eight-part sequence
HEALTHY START
Divorce, family illness… after a tough couple of years, sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, 40, is feeling healthier and happier than ever
A new wave of self-acceptance is sweeping the internet. But should you really feel good if you’ve lost 1lb when the plan was a stone, or run a mile instead of a marathon?
HEALTHY BALANCE
From a signature red lip to basic black eyeliner or perfect foundation – make-up can transform us both physically and mentally
It’s not about yearning wistfully for times long gone – celebrating the past can help you live more positively in the present
If you’re always stressed out from answering emails or ferrying kids around, you could benefit from some solo time. Being alone is firmly on trend – and could save your sanity
Former England women’s football coach, Hope Powell on what making it in a ‘man’s world’ has taught her
Former self-help junkie Katie Dalebout transformed her wellbeing by simply writing a diary. Here’s what happened
Annette Youngson, 51, didn’t know she had a sister until this year – and now she’s making up for lost time
The sale of beauty supplements – or nutricosmetics – is predicted to double in value by 2023. But are we informed enough to make the right choices? healthy investigates
Turns out it’s not so much what you order, but
HEALTHY FOOD
Good news! These deliciously sweet and sticky festive favourites provide important minerals for healthy bones, energy levels and blood pressure, reveals nutritionist Fiona Hunter
This tasty, versatile tuber is just the nutritious winter veg we’ve been after
Salad, croissants and indulgence in moderation, chef Rachel Khoo* has her diet analysed by healthy’s nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton
HEALTHY EXPERTS
Pharmacist Deborah Evans has the latest expert advice on these vital drugs, and what we can do to prevent common bugs becoming resistant to them
From dogs and cats to rabbits and horses, animals are increasingly being used in therapy for their ability to aid recovery and boost your health and wellbeing
Hooking up to a drip for a turbo nutrient boost is pretty extreme, so does it live up to the hype? healthy investigatesÉ
Everyone gets annoyed by noise from time to time, but for Beki Tams, 30, from Middlesbrough, this little understood condition – a strong dislike of specific sounds – has serious consequences for her everyday life
Worried that another Christmas tipple will affect your health? Here’s what you need to know
If your fingers turn white and numb in the cold, then you could have this common condition
It’s a busy month for this herbal remedy, thanks to its potent liver-saving antioxidants. Dietician Carrie Ruxton explains…
New studies and stats you need to know about
HEALTHY BODY
It may sound daunting, but 13.1 miles is completely achievable if you train right, says coach Greg Whyte GET STARTED
healthy’s Niki Rein advises on injury-proofing your workout, plus the healthiest evening eats
Paediatric nurse Zoe Lane, 30, from London, beat stress and dropped two dress sizes into the bargain
December doesn’t have to mean slogging around crowded shops to a Slade soundtrack. These soul-boosting breaks give a different kind of festive cheer
From nourished winter skin to sweet-tasting cold remedies, we’ve got you covered!
Who are the people behind your favourite stores? We meet store manager Katy, 28, from Wrexham
The nutritional therapist, 40, and best-selling author* reveals what keeps
IN EVERY ISSUE
Christmas and healthy – two words that, if I say
Our contributors reveal their best Christmas gifts ever
Write, email, tweet or Facebook us – get in touch, we love to hear from you!
You can forget hunkering down with a book; winter is
Charcoal has come a long way since Gwyneth Paltrow first
Christmas only happens once a year – meaning it’s more
Now’s the time to leave those fairweather cyclists for dust
At healthy HQ, we were delighted to hear of government
For your chance to win these fab wellbeing goodies, enter by 22 December
Don’t wait for Christmas Day to enjoy a family walk
If you want to demonstrate some willpower when the tin