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Tired all the time? You may have low iron.

Updated: May 1

There are a lot of potential reasons one might feel tired all the time. Sometimes it is simply a sleep issue, either not enough sleep or poor quality sleep. But if you feel your sleep is adequate and you still feel frequently tired, it might be time to look for a medical cause.

Sleepy cat who probably doesn't have low iron

When people come in with fatigue, I always test their iron or check their recent blood work if it's been done. Low iron seems to be the most common cause of fatigue for my patients. Testing iron requires a blood test. A CBC and a Ferritin reading are what I typically run to look for iron deficiency. Both these tests are relatively cheap. A CBC is useful for assessing other forms of anemia as well.

While low iron is a frequent cause of fatigue, there are a number of other conditions in which fatigue is a symptom. Sometimes it makes sense to look for a thyroid disorder, autoimmune condition, digestive issue, mental health condition or even a heart pathology. The list of potential causes is large.

Which testing we select (I say 'we' because you are absolutely part of this decision making process) is based on other symptoms or life circumstances. We don't want to waste money on useless tests but we should test enough to rule out anything big.

More often then not though, my fatigue patients test positive for iron deficiency anemia, supplement for a few months then they have more energy and feel better overall. Some people react poorly to high dose supplements. It may take a bit longer but low dose supplements and/or eating iron rich foods can help as well.

It's not a good idea to use high dose supplements without testing first as iron is the most common supplement to overdose on.

If you are curious about what is causing your fatigue and would like to book an appointment, click on the blue Book Now button at the top of the page to see available appointment times.


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