Fatigue & Low Energy
Many women, especially at midlife and beyond, have problems with low energy levels and fatigue. Although there are many causes of fatigue, low thyroid function is often the cause. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with your physician, and to have complete thyroid function testing done. Having test results that are in the “normal” range does not necessarily mean that your thyroid is functioning optimally for you as an individual. Many physicians prescribe thyroid medication only if the test results are clearly outside the “normal” range. Thyroid disease, though, can be very subtle, and some women have symptoms of low thyroid function if their test results are at the lower end of the “normal” range. In addition to fatigue, low thyroid function can also cause weight gain, inability to lose weight, hair loss, brittle nails, menstrual cycle irregularity, and infertility. These symptoms must be taken into consideration when determining whether thyroid medication is appropriate for you.
In addition to low thyroid function, there are other causes of fatigue such as a low vitamin D level, anemia (low blood count), and a low ferritin level. Many women have vitamin D deficiency unless they take a vitamin D supplement daily. Anemia often results from heavy menstrual periods if the iron that is lost every month by bleeding is not replenished by an iron-rich diet or an iron supplement.
Dr. Clark offers complete thyroid testing and interpretation in her office and can help you manage low thyroid function with the use of thyroid medication. Testing for vitamin D levels, low blood count, and ferritin levels can also be done through the on-site Quest Diagnostics lab at her office.