A life where we wake up with energy that lasts all day seems like a fairytale, doesn’t it? It’s commonplace to accept being tired because we live in a society that glorifies being ‘busy’, but enough is enough!
You change your diet, you start to exercise, you practice meditation, you get to bed earlier, but you’re still tired – now what? Could it be your adrenals, your thyroid, diabetes or an autoimmune condition? Maybe, but there are many other causes.
Patients come in with the main concern of fatigue all the time and below I’ve outlined the top 5 overlooked causes of fatigue that I discuss with them daily.
When we eat, especially carbohydrates, insulin is released from our pancreas to help move glucose (what carbohydrates are made of) from our blood into our muscles and tissues that need it for energy. Sporadic patterns of eating can cause a constant fluctuation in our blood sugar levels. Glucose increases, insulin increases and then your glucose can drop quickly, especially when eating carbohydrate only foods.
When your blood glucose drops too low this triggers a stress response in the body and cortisol comes in to raise blood sugar. This stress response is energy draining and when it is happening throughout the day it can leave you feeling exhausted!
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know how obsessed I am with the health of our mitochondria. And when it comes to fatigue, it’s for a good reason. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell meaning they’re our energy-producers at the cellular level. If our mitochondria aren’t working properly then energy production can’t be optimal and we’ll feel constantly fatigued.
Inflammation is the sneaky underlying cause of many conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease, to diabetes, to pain and you guessed it – fatigue. Inflammation comes from our immune system and can affect our brain, nervous system, mitochondria, and our HPA-axis that mediates stress to name a few energy systems. By finding the root cause of the inflammation we can properly treat it and get you back on track.
Infections, even those we’re unaware of, can stay around for quite some time. It could be a short-term bug or something like Epstein-Barr Virus commonly known as mono. If our immune systems are constantly running we’re using a continuous source of energy, which will eventually lead to fatigue. If you constantly feel under the weather or have swollen lymph nodes then get into your naturopathic doctor today!
A perfectly balanced diet isn’t an easy thing to achieve. You may still have nutrient deficiencies either from something missing in your diet or your body may not be able to absorb certain nutrients efficiently. Two common deficiencies leading to tiredness are vitamin B12 and iron, which can lead to anemia and result in tiredness. A simple blood test for B12, iron and a CBC can be used to help isolate your nutrient sufficiency in these areas
You know me, I’m all about action, so what are you going to do about it? Luckily with simple lab work, lifestyle changes, key supplements, and some problem solving by yours truly we can get to the bottom of your fatigue.
You can have energy again!