Tired All The Time (TATT)
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Tired all the Time (TATT) Syndrome
What is it?
This is an all too frequent complaint made to GPs and is a term used after examination and investigations can find no abnormality. It is one of a group of conditions termed a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’ having ruled out any recognisable conventional medical cause.
It differs from chronic fatigue syndrome because individuals are able to function and live predominantly normal lives but are just constantly exhausted and keep themselves within boundaries to keep their energy.
Problems associated with TATT
About 5% of those visiting their GP complain of Tatt and around half of all patients will be given a diagnosis of ‘stress’. Unfortunately, conventional medicine can generally only offer a long waiting time to see a counsellor or the GP might reluctantly have to recommend antianxiety or antidepression drugs.
Functional medicine focuses on why the body is not producing adequate energy rather than focusing on pathological causes of tiredness (anaemia, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes and other serious disease etc). These include:
- Nutritional deficiency
- Mitochondrial dysfunction (the parts of cells that turn oxygen and nutrition into energy)
- Environmental toxicity (pollution, contaminants and metal toxicity)
- Poor digestion
- Hormonal imbalance
- Chronic infections
- Chronic stress response
What it can lead to
If left untreated it can diminish the quality-of-life, lower immune resistance, reduce the ability to exercise which in turn diminishes most aspects of health and can lead to depression.
What symptoms are shown:
- Recurrent infections
- Worsening of other ailments
It is important that your GP or one of FHS’s doctors establishes no underlying serious pathology and once that is done then Functional medicine considers the following tests of benefit in helping establish cause and direct patients to treatment options.
- Comprehensive adrenal stress profile
This test measures cortisol, our stress coping hormone, DHEA, a useful marker of how stressed you are and secretory IgA, an immune component that drops the more stressed we are and advises us if you r immune system is suffering due to stress. Imbalances affect energy, mood and immune function. Stress influences many areas of health such as anxiety and depression, chronic inflammatory conditions, tummy aches and digestive symptoms, allergies, fatigue syndromes, sleep problems, headaches and migraines, recurrent infections, menstrual difficulties and infertility.
- Chronic fatigue Screen
This urine and saliva test measures areas of gastrointestinal function, neurotransmitters (of hormones in the nervous system associated with stress) essential proteins/amino acids and helps understand mitochondrial function to differentiate TATT from chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Urinary nutritional profile
This test can give a broad overview of common nutritional deficiencies associated with TATT. Broader investigations require blood tests, but this gives an indication of whether an individual’s diet is likely to be lacking in the necessary nutrients to enhance optimal energy.