This post is not for the person that stays up too late and works too hard because I have a feeling you know why you are tired. This post is for the person that despite getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night still feels exhausted, worn down, and ready for a nap. If this sounds like you, you have come to the right place.
Fatigue and low energy can be caused from a number of factors, but here are a few of the common causes I see in practice.
The two primary nutritional deficiencies I see with low energy are B12 and iron. If low B12 is causing your fatigue, typically you will have a couple of other symptoms including red cracks in the corner of your mouth or tingling (pins and needles sensations) in your hands and/or feet. B12 deficiencies are common in vegetarian and vegans because it is mainly found in animal products. If this sounds like you, I recommend starting a good methylated B complex supplement to see if your energy improves. If low iron is the cause for your fatigue, you may notice a paler tongue, weak and brittle nails, and hair loss. It is important to eat foods rich in iron including grassfed red meat, spinach, kale, black beans, and pumpkin seeds. Depending on how low your iron level is, you may need to supplement with iron glycinate 30-50 mg daily.
Chronic infections are likely to cause fatigue, brain fog, muscle exhaustion, and poor exercise tolerance. Researchers are starting to link chronic infections with chronic fatigue syndrome. The most common infections I see in practice are chronic Epstein-Barr virus (the virus that causes mono), candida overgrowth (yeast), mold toxicity, dysbiosis (imbalance of bacteria in the gut), or tick borne illnesses such as Lyme’s disease. It is important to partner with a Functional Medicine practitioner to help connect the dots through a detailed health history. If this is the cause for your fatigue, the primary goal is to improve your immune system and promote detoxification. You can start working on this with probiotics, colostrum, and olivirex.
Primarily related to thyroid imbalances, adrenal dysfunction, or blood sugar instability. Thyroid imbalances can cause other symptoms including weight gain, dry skin, constipation, cold intolerance, and hair loss. If this sounds like you, it may be time to have a comprehensive thyroid panel looked at that includes TSH, T3 free and total, and T4 free and total. In the meantime, there are good supplements that have iodine, selenium, tyrosine, and zinc to help the thyroid function optimally. Adrenal dysfunction often occurs after stressful events or just the chronic stressors associated with life in general. Check out one of my other blogs to learn more about adrenal dysfunction and how you can better manage your stress. Blood sugar instability typically causes alot of highs and lows in your energy during the day. Low blood sugar will cause fatigue, trouble focusing, slight hand tremors, and general weakness. Make sure you eat at regular intervals to help with blood sugar stability. If you tend to be very sensitive to blood sugar swings throughout the day, try adding a prebiotic to help stabilize blood sugar. If you want more information on blood sugar stability check out this blog.
It is amazing the power our minds have over our body. If are mentally and emotionally not doing well, your physical health will be impacted. First, it is important to do some self-reflection. How are you feeling emotionally? Are you truly happy? Are you practicing gratitude? I recommend starting a gratitude journal writing down at least one positive thing that happens each day. Also, schedule time each day to do something you enjoy whether its going for a walk, reading a positive book, or taking an epsom salt bath. If you are not on medication but feel like you may be depressed or sad, you may want to start 5-HTP 100-200 mg at night. This is an amino acid and the precursor of serotonin, our happy neurotransmitter.
Remember it is not “normal” to feel tired all the time. Let STAT Wellness help you find your energy again!