Healthy Cane Column

Recently I have been feeling very tired and sluggish. I have difficulty waking up for my 8 a.m. classes, and when I do get up I can’t stay awake in my other classes. What’s wrong with me?

Well, you are a student waking up for 8 a.m. classes, and no college student should be put through that torture. Still, it must be done sometimes, especially if you’re a freshman.

If you are getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep, then your diet may be causing lethargy. Anemia, a deficiency of the iron-rich protein in blood cells called hemoglobin, can cause increased tiredness because it decreases the amount of oxygen to your lungs and other parts of your body.

Causes of anemia are a deficiency in iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid-all of which are found reliably in red meat. If you’re eating at Chartwells, then you’re probably not getting steak all that often, and Charties hamburgers don’t count as meat.

The Health Center can check for anemia with a simple blood test and may recommend an iron and B12 supplement.

Other causes of fatigue are depression, stress and chronic fatigue syndrome, but before you start worrying about illnesses, make sure you’re sleeping at least seven hours per night and eating right.

At this point in the semester it’s not unusual to be stressed out about school and social life, so it is possible that you feel tired from stress. Exercising or spending a relaxing night in the Grove may help relieve some stress.

If you do feel that you may have anemia, contact the Health Center (305-284-5927) for an evaluation.

All medical information mentioned in this article was derived from and is available to the general public.