ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Every day, Dr. Taz Bhatia sees women in her Atlanta practice, CentreSpring MD, complaining of one of 3 issues: they're fatigued, they're gaining weight, or they're feeling anxious or depressed.
"All of those can be precursors to having hormone imbalances, to having inflammation, to having signs of autoimmunity," Bhatia says.
She calls these "quiet" symptoms, hints that something is off.
And Bhatia encourages women to follow up on them with their physicians to get them checked.
"Let's not dismiss the symptoms, like, 'I'm tired, or my hair is falling out, or my energy is bad, or I used to be able to do this workout and now I can't,'" Dr. Bhatia says. "The more you can latch on to those quiet signs and ask for a workup for fatigue, the more proactive you're going to be, and you'll feel better much faster."
A blood workup can spot imbalances that might be causing you to feel rundown.
Bhatia says your physician can check your Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and iron levels to see if you have deficiencies or anemia.
"You want to screen for key hormones for women's health, which I would say are thyroid, TSH, or free T3 or T4," Dr. Bhatia says. "You want to look at circulating estrogen and progesterone levels, too, and cortisol and DHEA. All of these impact a woman's energy."
Bhatia encourages women to find out what their blood pressure, and blood sugar, and cholesterol levels are.
Then, she says, keep track of these biomarkers over time, to gauge how you're doing.
"When you see a shift downward, like your iron was always here and now it's here, or your thyroid is here, but now it's dropped, then you know there is a change for you," Bhatia explains. "You can help your doctor understand, 'This is where I usually am.' And you're making that conversation so much easier for you to be an advocate for your own health."