What your tiredness could mean

It's one thing to occasionally feel a bit worn out on some days or generally groggy in the mornings, but if you're feeling constantly tired then it could be an indication of a health issue. Here we look at some of the reasons for constant tiredness as outlined by the NHS. By no means is this a resource for self-diagnosis and if you are suffering from tiredness you should consult your doctor, but you may find some of the suggestions helpful.


One of the most common reasons for feeling constantly tired is iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms of anaemia include feeling tired and heavy muscles. Women with heavy periods and pregnant women are particularly prone to anaemia.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is intolerance to gluten, which is found in bread, cakes and cereals. Aside from tiredness, symptoms of coeliac disease include diarrhoea, anaemia and weight loss. A doctor can check if you have coeliac disease with a simple blood test.

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a severe tiredness that goes on for at least six months. Sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome also usually experience muscle or joint pain and headache.

Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a condition where your throat narrows or closes during sleep, which interrupts your breathing. This causes you to repeatedly wake up in the night, and so you feel tired the next day. Drinking alcohol, smoking and being overweight can make sleep apnoea worse.

Glandular fever

Glandular fever is a virus that causes fever, sore throat, swollen glands and fatigue. Most cases of glandular fever occur in young adults and teenagers. Usually, the main fever symptoms of the virus clear up within a few weeks, but the fatigue can last for several months longer.

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