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PORTLAND -- A local doctor wants women to know they're not alone if they feel especially fatigued this time of year and there are things that can be done to help.

It s a lack of energy the frustrating feeling that you just can t focus. We ve all felt like that before. But is it really because you are tired? Or is it something more serious?

Dr. Cindy Reuter with Providence St. Vincent Medical Center said this is the time of year she gets the most complaints from women about being tired.

She said much of that has to do with our weather and the post-holiday blues and women are particularly vulnerable.

Women are prone to fatigue for more biological reasons like child bearing, menstruation, and that kind of monthly cycle that they move through, Reuter said.

She also explained that people often ignore the signs of fatigue and go months without ever getting the proper rest they need.

A lot of people don t understand the difference between rest and sleep. And so I have a lot of patients that when they first come to see me, they re barely sleeping enough, but they re not resting at all, she said. The problem is, we have a battery, and when we run that battery down, there s nothing left, and you have to refill that battery in order to have a body that functions right.

It may sound like common sense advice, but Reuter said giving yourself a consistent bed time every night, eating right and exercise can all help cure fatigue.

If you ve tried all those things with no success, you may have an underlying medical condition, according to Reuter.

Her advice in that case: Make an appointment with your personal physician right away.

Part II:How to regain energy if you suffer from fatigue

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