‘Why am I always feeling tired?’ It’s a question I’m often asked by my patients. There are many reasons why people have low energy, but quite often, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person who is constantly feeling tired will be diagnosed as ‘blood deficient’.
This may equate with a Western medical diagnosis of anaemia, in which case I would always recommend you see your GP. However, sometimes iron levels will just be on the ‘low’ side of normal on a blood test.
Besides tiredness, symptoms of blood deficiency can include dizziness, skin dryness, poor sleep, floaters in the vision, palpitations, light periods, breathlessness and brittle nails.
Acupuncture and herbal treatment can be very good at ‘nourishing’ the blood to help it become stronger, but there are also some things that you can do at home to combat blood deficiency:
- Take a nap for 20-30 minutes in the afternoons
- Make sure you get to bed early enough to get ample sleep in the night
- Take it easy when on your period
- Do everything in moderation – don’t overexert yourself
- Eat nourishing iron rich foods, such as dark leafy greens (broccoli, kale, pak choi, etc), liver, brown rice, bone broth, apricots, dates, beans and pulses. Casseroles and congees are particularly good.