blood tests

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Testing for tiredness and fatigue with the Complete Blood Test

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We all know what it’s like to feel absolutely drained. Everyone’s had one of those days when they can barely keep their eyes open at work and have to desperately guzzle coffee in an attempt to revive themselves. For most people, the feelings of tiredness and fatigue can often be resolved with a few nights of good sleep. However, for others, they may persist for weeks or months - which can sometimes indicate an underlying health condition. 

What causes tiredness and fatigue?

Anaemia: iron-deficiency anaemia is a condition caused by a lack of iron in the body. Often, it arises from not getting enough iron in the diet and it can have a significant impact on your health (i.e. it can increase your risk of infection because it affects the immune system). 

Symptoms of iron-deficiency anaemia include tiredness and lack of energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and pale skin. If you’ve experienced symptoms of iron-deficiency anaemia, you should consider taking a Complete Blood Test to get a full blood count test and measure your ferritin (iron) level, as these tests can tell you if your red blood cell count and iron level are normal. 

Iron-deficiency anaemia is usually treated with iron tablets prescribed by your GP. Dietary changes, such as eating more iron-rich foods, are also recommended to maintain normal iron levels. This is particularly important for vegetarians and vegans, as they are more at risk of iron-deficiency anaemia than meat-eaters (as iron from vegetables, even those that are iron-rich, is not absorbed as well as iron from meat, poultry, and fish). 

Diabetes: diabetes is a disease that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high. It can cause extreme fatigue because high blood sugar levels affect the body’s ability to get glucose from the blood into cells to meet our energy requirements. A Complete Blood Test can tell you if you are at risk of (or currently have) diabetes by measuring your HbA1c level. Your HbA1c level tells you what your average blood sugar levels have been over the last 2-3 months. A high HbA1c level indicates whether you have, or are at risk of developing, diabetes - so it’s worth getting it checked if you’ve been experiencing persistent tiredness and fatigue. 

Low testosterone: one of the main symptoms of low testosterone is feeling tired all the time. There are many potential causes for low testosterone, including obesity, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, and alcohol abuse. Low testosterone can also lead to other complications, including erectile dysfunction (due to a reduced sex drive) and a reduction in lean muscle mass.

The only way to measure your testosterone level is with a blood test. This can be done in the comfort of your own home with a Complete Blood Test, which can tell you if you have normal testosterone levels. 

An unhealthy lifestyle: a lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits can contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue. Being overweight can also make you feel more exhausted, as carrying excess weight puts extra strain on your heart. Therefore, cleaning up your diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight can help to give you more energy. 

Test yourself at home for tiredness and fatigue

If you’re experiencing persistent tiredness and fatigue, it’s a good idea to take a Complete Blood Test. It’s a quick and convenient blood test that can tell you if there is an underlying cause for your fatigue (e.g. anaemia) so that you can take action to treat it. 

How does the test work?

The Complete Blood Test makes getting a health check-up from home easy. Simply collect a blood sample using the equipment provided with your kit, post it free of charge to our accredited partner lab, and you should receive your results within 3-5 working days.

When you get your blood test results, you'll also receive a free, personalised review from one of our clinicians explaining what your results mean. On top of this, you can also choose to have a phone consultation with one of our in-house GPs for expert guidance on how to improve your health based on your results.

What else can the test look for?

The Complete Blood Test does more than test for tiredness and fatigue. It also doubles up as a general health check that tests for a range of other key health indicators, including your: 

  • Vitamin levels

  • Hormone levels

  • Liver health

  • Kidney health

  • Thyroid health

  • Heart health

  • Diabetes risk

  • Anaemia risk

Each of these health indicators play a crucial part in maintaining your overall health. If just one of them is out of balance, it can have significant impacts on how well your body functions as a whole. Checking on them every now and then with a blood test (whether it be a home blood test or a blood test with your GP) is essential for keeping on top of your health effectively.

The numan take

Although most cases of tiredness can be resolved with a few good nights of sleep, extreme fatigue could be a sign of an underlying condition. If you’ve been experiencing ongoing tiredness and fatigue, it’s best to take a test to help you get to the bottom of why that might be.