Do you feel tired ALL the time? Do you find it hard to wake up in the morning? Do you get an energy slump in the early afternoon? Do you feel like hanging out on the couch all day long? Do you feel tired after your period? Do you “crash” right when you get home from work? Do you get that “second wind” of energy at night? Do you have less energy than the people around you?
Here are the top 3 reasons why you may be experiencing FATIGUE:
1. Vitamin-Mineral Deficiencies
Vitamin & mineral deficiencies can cause a reduction in energy. It is integral to have 6-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily! You may also require supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals. Contact your doctor before taking any supplements, as testing is often required before beginning to dose correctly and is also needed to track progression and effectiveness. Vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies commonly result in low energy. Best way to know – TEST & DON’T GUESS! It isn't safe for everyone to take B12 or iron, or ask your naturopathic doctor first!
2. Hormone imbalance – MEN, this one’s for YOU TOO!
CORTISOL. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) dysregulation is common in individuals who face chronic stress and/or frequent bouts of stress. HPA axis dysregulation can affect cortisol output from the adrenal glands. This can also be accompanied by central abdominal adiposity (fat deposition) and weight gain in other parts of the body as well, as a result of insulin dysregulation. Insulin is important in managing blood sugar. When there is chronic insulin dysregulation, diabetes is a possible outcome. Cortisol dysregulation can affect our circadian rhythms overtime, which can directly affect our sleep patterns as well. Getting that “second wind” of energy at night and/or not waking up rested in the morning or having that afternoon energy dip, are some common symptoms of hormone imbalance.
THYROID.Thyroid is another hormone that can potentially cause fatigue. Ensuring that ALL markers of thyroid are tested, is necessary! Thyroid stimulating hormone also known as TSH (from the brain) is not sufficient to help us determine how your thyroid is functioning. T3 and T4 are also very important as these are produced by the thyroid gland itself. Are you converting from T4 to T3? We won't know unless you test!
ESTROGEN & PROGESTERONE & TESTOSTERONE. All of these hormones can lend to hormone imbalance. An interesting point is that our reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), our thyroid hormones and our adrenal hormones (DHEA and cortisol) ALL affect one another. Our body tries to maintain equilibrium through feedback mechanisms. We often need to look at the WHOLE HORMONAL PICTURE to get a good idea of what is going on. Therefore, fatigue can be a result of some or ALL of our hormones being affected. Best way to know – TEST & DON’T GUESS!
3. Chronic infection
Chronic infection (viral, bacterial and/or fungal) has the ability to affect our energy levels. At times, these organisms do not bother us. Other times, they can. When we get a cold or flu acutely, we can definitely feel the effects of low energy on our body. Imagine if you are constantly fighting an infection? Infection from viruses can also affect our organs, our joints, nerves and muscles. Viruses also like to hang out in the body in their latent phase. They have the ability to flare up during times of stress and cause issues, intermittently. We are also learning now that viruses hold a close association with autoimmune conditions as well, which also affect our immune system and can cause issues long term if left uncontrolled. If you have a history of chronic infection (HPV, shingles/VZV, cold sores/HSV), find the root cause for why you feel so tired!
All 3 of the above factors these can be accompanied by a lack of desire to exercise – WHICH CAN FURTHER EXACERBATE REDUCED ENERGY LEVELS.
Not sure what’s causing your fatigue? ...TEST, DON’T GUESS!
Let’s find out WHY you feel the way you do. Let's help you get moving and feeling great again!
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