There are several reasons why your body could be so tired. Ponder these following points and let’s get to the bottom of this:*
- First, we need to rule out some underlying causes for the fatigue. How long has the fatigue been going on? If it is just a few weeks or has it been months? Can you connect a change in your medications, vitamins or herbs to the time the fatigue started? If you are female, does it only happen at a certain time of time of the month, or is there a possibility that you are pregnant?*
- Did you start a new routine, like a diet program or exercise? Often a change in diet (like a low-carb or low calorie diet) can cause some fatigue. Exercising, if you are not accustomed to it, can be fatiguing. I usually recommend starting with 25 minutes of exercise per day when beginning an exercise program and working up to 50 minutes. Working out for more than 50 minutes can cause fatigue all day long. If you exercise, and you feel better for a couple of hours, and then you are exhausted, then the workout was too much and it would be best to back off and work up to that level. If you have low thyroid function, you may not be able to increase your exercise threshold.*
- What about your sleep habits? Have your sleep hours changed or diminished? Are you not able to get to sleep? If so, read my sleep blog. A lack of sleep (less than 7.5 hours per night) over time can cause exhaustion. Sleep apnea can also cause lingering fatigue. Does the person who sleeps with you ever say that you stop breathing? It would be important to receive help from a healthcare professional for sleep apnea.*
- Do you use caffeine? Caffeine takes your storage of cortisol (the energy and stress hormone) and squeezes it like a sponge. So, when you don’t have the caffeine, you don’t have any energy. Caffeine consumption anytime during the day can alter sleep time and quality. 30 milligrams or less of caffeine can change self-reports of mood and affect behavior and 100 mg per day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms (headache, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and depression). Please make the right choice for your body and avoid caffeine. This is a big step, but you can do it!*
- Have you had a recent illness or did you recently travel outside the United States? Sometimes infections can cause lingering fatigue.*
- Have you been screened for congestive heart failure or diabetes? Do you ever have problems with low blood sugar? Have you experienced anemia (low red blood cells) or are you iron deficient? What about cancer or chemotherapy? All of these things can make a significant impact on fatigue.*
- Depression can cause fatigue. Read my page about depression for more information.*
- Food sensitivities can also cause fatigue along with a multitude of symptoms like foggy mind, inability to concentrate, depression and other emotional problems, sore joints and muscles, eczema and psoriasis, along with irritable bowel, cramping, diarrhea, heartburn and constipation. Want to know more about food sensitivities? Click here.
What about vitamin and hormone deficiencies?
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common source of fatigue. Other symptoms would include muscle weakness, shakiness, unsteady gait, incontinence, low blood pressure, depression and other mood disorders, and poor memory. Sublingual Methylcobalamin is the best source of vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin is the form of B12 you use in your body and has shown better clinical results than the traditional cyanocobalamin found in most multivitamins and B12 supplements.*
- Low Vitamin D can also cause fatigue. Read about this on my Vitamin D blog.*
- Low thyroid hormone can also cause fatigue. Other symptoms include brittle hair and nails, cold hands or feet, decreased stamina, foggy thinking, decreased sweating, hoarseness, and constipation. If you still have low thyroid symptoms and have been screened for thyroid problems, or are currently on thyroid medication, read my page about thyroid hormone for an explanation of why this happens.*
- Another reason for fatigue is adrenal dysfunction. The adrenal gland secretes cortisol, the stress hormone. When the body is overstressed, it can decrease the amount of cortisol is secretes. This causes symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, decreased libido, foggy thinking, insomnia, weight gain, and high blood pressure, hot flashes and night sweats, depression, diabetes, PMS, and irritable bowel. Read about Adrenal dysfunction for more information about this and how to help.
*disclaimer: RESULTS MAY VARY DEPENDING UPON STARTING POINT, GOALS, AND EFFORT.
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