THERE’S no getting away from the connection between heart disease and fatigue. Studies of heart attack survivors show that up to 70 per cent of them reported an unusual fatigue in the weeks before the attack took place. This can be attributed to unusually clogged arteries which inhibit the circulation. While men who complain of tiredness are generally sent off to the cardiologist for tests, women’s complaints are typically ignored. Yet there is a stronger association between cardiac disease and tiredness in females than in men.


MIDDLE-AGED men and women are often struck by an under-active thyroid. Located at the base of the neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones T4 and T3, and in mid-life, may slow down the production. Consequently, the other processes in the body also slow down. Weight gain, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin and hair fall are other symptoms of a sluggish thyroid.


CHRONIC fatigue often results when the body’s supply of iron is depleted. This can happen if you are a vegetarian, work out too much or have a stomach bug that eats away at your nutritional stores. It can happen to women when they are menstruating or pregnant or even breast feeding. Other symptoms of anaemia include abnormally pale skin, a fast heartbeat and a feeling of irritability. Fluctuating sugar levels caused by diabetes or can also cause fatigue.


LIVER damage by a virus may be the reason for your persistent fatigue. So if you’ve ever had a blood transfusion, any history of cocaine use through a straw, or an abnormal liver function test, do consider the idea that you may be harbouring the hepatitis C virus. Other symptoms are a diminished appetite, fever, aches and other flu- like symptoms that occur soon after infection, though the tiredness can set in even twenty years later.

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