Everyone’s out celebrating and running around getting gifts, but you’re at home ready for a daytime nap. It’s the end of the year burn-out and we all tend to lose precious hours from our sleep schedules in order to celebrate and be around the people we love.
“Why do I always feel tired by this time of year?” It’s a common question we get asked here at AFC West Hartford and we’re here to help you find an answer.
A lack of sunlight
If the holidays are making you feel unusually tired, the first step is to rule out some of the most common causes to get your energy back! We often find that during the winter the days are getting shorter and were not getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is a nutrient and a hormone our body makes for our bone and muscle strength. It is also important for our body’s immune system to fight off infections. We often get vitamin D from sunlight, however because of Daylight Savings Time and winter being around the corner, the lack of sunshine and Vitamin D can cause a decrease in energy for some people. Muscle weakness may also be a result of not having enough vitamin D. So if you’re wondering why your body feels weak this might be a reason for you to get your vitamin D levels checked.
Holiday stress, alcohol, sugary treats and SAD
Stress from holiday planning may also cause your body to burn out and feel like you’re constantly tired. For some of us, we cope by drinking and binge eating holiday treats. Alcohol is a depressant that can make anyone feel tired after having one too many. Sugary treats before bed may also cause someone to have a hard time falling asleep. In addition to all of this, a combination of cold weather, a lack of sunlight, and stress can often lead to seasonal affective disorder, aka “SAD”, no pun intended. SAD, the seasonal blues, often presents during the holidays. Having this mental health disorder or any disorder can very much be a contributing factor to why you may be tired.
Blood work for tiredness
Sometimes it could be more than just a lack of sunlight or the seasonal blues. If you find that you’re still tired after reducing alcohol consumption and eating less sugary snacks before bed then it’s time to get a check up. Your doctor can perform a series of blood tests that can determine the root cause of your tiredness. In some cases it could be a deficiency in vitamins or nutrients that your body needs for energy. Common blood tests that can help determine tiredness are TSH with reflex FT4, CBC, and CMP.
Blood work to test TSH with reflex FT4 helps determine how your thyroid is functioning. Your thyroid creates thyroid hormones that help your body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. An imbalance of this hormone could result in hyper or hypothyroidism, which can lead to symptoms like tiredness.
A CBC test helps check for the numbers and kinds of cells in your blood. This is important especially in red blood cells because it could possibly lead to conditions like anemia or infections. Altogether a health professional could be able to determine if you have fatigue, weakness, or bruising if there is an imbalance in your blood count.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a test that measures 14 different substances in your blood. A CMP can provide information about your body’s chemical balance and metabolism. This is important because it will help rule out if you have kidney or liver disease, which can have a negative effect on other vital organs in the body to function normally.
AFC Urgent Care West Hartford can check your blood levels
At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford we can perform blood work to test TSH with reflex FT4, CBC and CMP levels. Our health professionals can then go over your blood work with you and then help point you in the right direction specific to your lifestyle needs. Come on in to AFC Urgent Care West Hartford at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and also 8am-5pm on the weekends. We accept most insurances!