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Ron asked...

Tired and lethargic

Hi, I am 69 years of age and relatively fit, however I seem to be tired and lethargic most of the time. I have seen a doctor and had numerous blood tests, all of which have come back without problems. Although ferritin was a bit low. I had anaemia about 2-3 years ago and had a course of iron which sorted out the problem at the time. This does not answer my problem. Can you help me with this please?

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us, The symptoms you have been experiencing tiredness and lethargy, can have many root causes. Sometimes it is due to a lack of refreshing and sufficient sleep, adequate diet and nutrition and also stress. If you are happy that you have a healthy lifestyle with a good mix of exercise and rest, sleep well and enjoy a good balanced diet with little stress being experienced then we would look towards a more physical cause. You do not mention if you are taking any medications at the moment but occasionally some medications can cause this symptom as well. 

Given that you have a history of anaemia it is possible that the slightly low ferritin level may be contributing to your symptoms as this can cause lethargy in itself. Try and ensure that you are eating a diet balanced with a good amount of iron rich foods such as spinach watercress eggs and liver for example. If your Dr is satisfied he cannot find a cause based on your bloods other than your ferritin level that it might be worth asking for a blood pressure and cardiac check as problems with either can also cause symptoms of tiredness. You might also like to look at the following website which has plenty of useful information on tiredness and fatigue both its causes and treatment. 

If however you aren’t getting relief from your symptoms after looking at the areas suggested and making any modifications to your lifestyle you may feel will help then it would seem sensible to discuss this with your GP again for another assessment. 

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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