10. Check your iron levels
Many studies have found a link between a lack of iron and fatigue symptoms, which isn‘t surprising, as iron plays a crucial part in many bodily functions, as well as your overall health. Iron’s main role is to carry oxygen to your cells – and if you’re deficient, your body can’t make enough oxygen-rich red blood cells, which can lead you to experience fatigue and even develop anaemia – a chronic lack of iron.
Women are much more likely to suffer from anaemia than men, as they have lower levels of red blood cells (hematocrit) to start with and less haemoglobin, which is the protein needed to carry oxygen within blood cells. On top of this, because they have a menstrual cycle, they lose more blood, which decreases their levels of haemoglobin and hematocrit even further.
If you’re an adult woman, you should be getting 18 milligrams of iron daily – while adult men only need around 8mg. Pregnant women need the most iron of all – 27mg – as the body absorbs more iron during gestation.
Iron can greatly relieve symptoms of fatigue – so if you suspect your levels could be depleted and you’re experiencing persistent lethargy, you should definitely ask your doctor to check and see. If you are low in iron, you can take supplements, or add more iron-rich foods to your diet – brown rice, soybeans, beef, dark chocolate, lentils, mushrooms, and shellfish will all help boost your levels of this essential nutrient.