There are a couple of times throughout the year when I begin to feel—for some unexplained reason—quite draggy. I am not overworked or under-slept, and I haven’t been bingeing on low grade food. Even so, my energy tank feels half empty in the morning and by afternoon I am ready to lie down on the couch. My “draggy episode” can last upwards of a week. And then, just as it began, my body restores itself and am back to full throttle.

But what if your energy tank feels depleted and no matter what you do, it seems you can’t find your back to feeling like your old, more energetic self?

If your “get up and go” has gone up and went, do not chalk it up to getting older. This is rarely the case, especially in your third through sixth decades of life. What you need is a careful examination which must include a “look-see” blood panel.

So what should you (and your doctor) be on the lookout for? Primarily four things.

Thyroid hormone level: If it’s below normal you will have an energy shortage for sure. This is not solely a women’s issue, but a man’s as well, albeit not as common.

Vitamin D level: With all the indoor dwelling we do, and given all the sunblock we slather on when we do encounter the sun, we actually miss getting to make our own vitamin D (by way of the sun’s rays hitting our skin). If you happen to be lactose intolerant, and are therefore avoiding milk products, you may be low in this important, energy supplying nutrient.

Iron level: Iron molecules circulating within the blood transport oxygen molecules to all your body’s tissues. Low iron = decreased oxygen transport =yawns and fatigue.

Vitamin B12 level: Your body needs B12 to make red blood cells, red blood cells carry oxygen…you get the picture.

So be proactive if you are struggling with chronic, poor energy levels. Each of the above conditions comes with a real easy fix!