Wednesday January 4, 2017
So, without further ado, here are our Top Medical Causes of Tiredness:
Anaemia is the condition whereby there are a lower than normal number of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, and one the most common causes of tiredness. There are various different types of anaemia, such as iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin B12 (folate) deficiency anaemia, and pernicious anaemia. Low red blood cell levels can also, more rarely, be the result of bleeding within the body, such as from a stomach ulcer.
Anaemia Blood Test:
Red blood cell levels can be measured as part of a full blood count blood test. This can be done by itself, or as part of a haematology and biochemistry profile, costing £78.40. All results are available from 4 hours.
Folate and iron can be measured as part of a well person profile, which also tests for many other tiredness-associated factors, including glucose levels, thyroid function and full blood count tests.
Anaemia can be diagnosed very easily from a simple full blood count
2) Thyroid Dysfunction
The thyroid gland produces essential hormones responsible for metabolism and the release of energy within cells. Underactive thyroid glands, seen in hypothyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease, result in low or deficient thyroid hormone production, leading to limited cell metabolism, and extreme tiredness.
Thyroid blood tests:
Our simplest blood test for thyroid function costs just £86.40, measuring levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and free T4.
A more thorough thyroid function profile measures levels of TSH, free T3 and free T4, costing £124.80. Results for both of these profiles take just 4 hours.
Our most comprehensive thyroid function test measures levels of TSH, T4, free T3 & T4, as well as thyroid antibodies - a positive result for which would indicate an autoimmune thyroid condition. Results for this test are available in 2 days, costing £211.20.
Thyroid function test can also be performed as part of a comprehensive biochemistry and haematology profile, costing just £78.40, or as part of our Wellness Screens.
Diabetes blood tests:
Testing glucose levels is the first step in investigating glucose levels. This is best performed when the patient has been fasting for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. A glucose blood test can be performed for just £5 in clinic, using our clinic Glucosemeters, or for £31.20 for a more detailed laboratory analysis of a random blood glucose level.
Levels of HbA1c are also commonly measured as part of diabetes investigation, with high levels of HbA1c indicating raised blood glucose levels over a long period. This blood test costs £61.60 with results available from 6 hours.
All of our clinics are kitted out with equipment for immediately measuring blood glucose levels, called a Glucosemeter
4) Coeliac disease
Malabsorption of essential nutrients can lead to various deficiencies, of substances necessary for proper body function. This can include nutrients essential for energy levels. Such malabsorption are commonly the result of Crohn’s disease, Coeliac disease or chronic pancreatitis, among many other gastrointestinal conditions.
Coeliac disease blood tests:
To investigate whether patients are indeed suffering from coeliac disease, your GP may recommend blood tests for Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies. These tests cost just £76 (IgA antibodies) and £88 (IgG antibodies), with results available from 2 and 5 working days, respectively.
Coeliac disease symptoms include diarrhoea, bloating, and abdominal pains
5) Glandular Fever | Mononucleosis | Epstein Barr Virus
A main symptom of glandular fever is extreme fatigue, along with symptoms of fever and sore throat.
Glandular Fever Blood Test | Paul-Bunnell Test:
Otherwise known as the Monospot blood test, this measures levels of antibodies to the Epstein Barr virus in the blood. Results are available in just 1 day, and the test costs £40.
Other Causes of Tiredness
Finally, there are several other common causes of tiredness, including lifestyle factors and mental health conditions.
There is a very strong link between mental health and physical health, with conditions such as depression and anxiety also responsible for excess tiredness. Of course, there is no blood test available to diagnose depression or anxiety, therefore if the GP suspects this may be the case from your presentation, it will instead be investigated by taking a thorough medical and social history.
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can impact physical health, often leading to excess tiredness
Of course, the exact tests necessary for you are best decided by you and your doctor together, after a thorough discussion of your symptoms and medical history during a GP consultation. Please note, the cost of all blood tests are in addition to our £55 GP consultation fee, and all blood samples are taken by the GP during that same consultation. Test results are then reported back to patients with relevant advice from a doctor, who will be happy to answer any further queries you may have regarding these results.
So don't take let undue fatigue leave you downtrodden this 2017.