Certain lab tests can help you uncover the source of your fatigue and how to get your energy and life back on track.
Feeling lethargic? Here are 5 causes of chronic fatigue, helpful lab tests that can help you zero in on them
One of the most common complaints that people have is feeling fatigued. Fatigue is a way for our body to let us know that it needs to rest and recover. Fatigue can be caused by intense exercise or lack of sleep. But even when a good amount of sleep and rest doesn’t help you recover, that is when fatigue becomes chronic. With chronic fatigue, you don’t just feel physically tired and weak but you also struggle to complete daily tasks and feel slightly depressed. If you feel like you are always tired, fatigue is probably a symptom of some other condition.
If you are someone who experiences something like this, then it’s time to dig deeper to see what’s going on. Certain lab tests can help you uncover the source of your fatigue and how to get your energy and life back on track.
Anemia is a condition that is caused by a lack of red blood cells. Old red blood cells are not timely replaced by newer ones. This causes problems in oxygen transport, resulting in chronic fatigue. You may become anemic due to low iron, folate, or vitamin B12 intake. Increasing the intake of these vitamins and minerals in your diet usually helps deal with fatigue.
Treatment: Doctors can diagnose anemia by looking at the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and test results (red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin, and hematocrit).
The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of hormones that help regulate, the body’s metabolism. An underactive thyroid gland results in a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may be caused by other conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Treatment: If you have hypothyroidism, doctors will test your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) first. Doctors may also check the levels of free T3 and free T4.
Another possible reason for fatigue could be diabetes Type 2. Diabetes affects the body’s energy management capabilities by increasing insulin resistance.
Treatment: Your doctor will have you take one or more of the following blood tests to confirm the diagnosis – A1C Test, fasting blood sugar, m blood sugar test, glucose tolerance test, gestational diabetes test, glucose screening, and tolerance test, among others.
Poor liver function
The liver is important for the human body to maintain energy levels and fatigue is one of the most common complaints in people with chronic liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the buildup of fat in the liver, is by far the most common cause of poor liver function and liver disease.
Treatment: Doctors can advise you to get the following tests done – aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and bilirubin. These are all part of a comprehensive metabolic panel.
Decreased insulin activity means decreased glucose intake by the body’s cells. If you find yourself out of breath after regular activity, such as climbing the stairs, you might have a weak heart. Decreased heart function due to weakness in the organ can cause issues with stamina. You need to consult a heart specialist and work out the problem with your heart, and how you can restore its function.