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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why am i always tired?

    I have allergies to dust mites and am sensitive to sulphites. I also have asthma on top of this. I saw my GP recently to enquire about my excessive tiredness. Blood test results have come back "normal" so my GP suggested it could be a syndrome similar to sleep apnea. I couldn't understand what he called the syndrome and I was wondering if there was more information available. Thanks
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    The Sleep Health Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of ‘valuing sleep’ as part of a healthy lifestyle alongside regular exercise, a ... View Profile

    We would suggest that you ask your GP for a referral to a sleep specialist so that you can obtain a proper diagnosis of your condition.  Sleep is now recognised as one of the pillars of good health and medical sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are shown to contribute to other serious health problems. For more information visit the Sleep Health Foundation website here.

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    I don't know how extensive the clinical investigations that your GP organised for you were but it might be worthwhile getting your thyroid gland function checked out.

    The thyroid gland makes a hormone called thyroxine (it comes in two forms, T3 and T4) - a common sign of low levels of thyroxine ("hypothyroidism") is fatigue.

    Production of thyroxine is controlled by two other hormones (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - "TSH", made by the pituitary gland and Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone - "TRH", made by the hypothalamus).

    "Blood test" measurements of T3, T4, TSH and TRH levels are easy to do.

    If those tests reveal anything of concern your GP will be able to refer you to a specialist endocrinologist who will be able to carry out further investigations and then discuss treatment options with you.

    All the best.

  • 2

    Thanks

    Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been ... View Profile

    As mentioned above there could various reasons that could be resulting in fatigue. Given the information you have provided I suggest the following:

    • Assess lifestyle factors that may contribute to energy levels including diet,  activity and sleep
    • Investigate further pathology (including liver function, Thyroid function – TSH, T3 & T4, sec hormones,  and iron )
    • Seek referral to a gastroenterologists  as the gut (and intolerances) can contribute to absorption and vitamin/mineral issues
    • Ensure your asthma and allergies are well managed, taking medications as prescribed

    Wishing you all the best.

  • 1

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    Dr Kevin Lee

    Endocrinologist, Nuclear Medicine Physician

    Consultant Physician in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nuclear Medicine. I am on Twitter @dr_kevinlee. I am on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kevinleefracp/ I help patients with obesity, diabetes, thyroid, ... View Profile

    Very good posts above thank you.

     

    In addition to checking thyroid function, iron levels, it is also important to consider coeliac disease which is not uncommon if you are Caucasian.

     

    However it sounds like your GP would have covered these tests. It is prudent to continue seek medical attention if your symptoms persist, even if the intial tests are normal.

    Regards,


    Dr Kevin Lee.

    Consultant Physician Endocrinologist

    http://www.dr-kevinlee.com

    http://www.banyoclinic.com.au/dr-kevin-lee-endocrinologist/

    Regards,

    Kevin.

     

  • Shannon Moule

    Psychologist

    I'm a registered psychologist with experience working in both community and public health settings. I have experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with a ... View Profile

    I don't have an answer to your actual question, however I can't help but think that a thorough exploration of your state of tiredness hasn't been conducted as yet and urge you to click on the link below to investigate. 

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Fatigue_explained?open

    Tiredness/fatigue can be caused by a number of things including, medical (e.g., sleep apnea), lifestyle factors (e.g., poor diet, inactivity, work demands, sleeping difficulties) and emotional concerns and stress. What treatment is appropriate for you and what health professional you will need to see for this, will depend upon what the cause(s) are for your tiredness.

    If you treating health professional has explored all these aspects, great, but if not have a chat with him/her to start ruling in or ruling out these causes.

    Good luck 

  • 1

    Thanks

    Vivienne Savill

    Naturopath, Registered Nurse

    Specializing in the natural treatment of skin disorders, I get great satisfaction from treating clients with skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, scabies, tinea ... View Profile

    I agree with Shannon in that there are multiple causes of fatigue. The fact that you have asthma and sulphite sensitivity already indicates likely nutritional imbalances. Nutritional imbalances can trigger all sorts of disorders within the body (such as thyroid) and fatigue is often an early sign of this. Energy is produced in the body by powerhouses known as mitochondria and these need adequate nutrition to function. The greater the muscle mass the more mitochondria also. So exercise and healthy eating with highly nutritious food is often of benefit.

    Good luck in finding the cause of your fatigue and reaching optimal health again.

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