Do you struggle to get through the day without a cup of coffee? Two cups? Three!? Do you feel like you’re trudging through mud all day long? Low energy is one of the most common complaint I hear from readers…
The post “Why am I so tired?” Uncovering the Root Causes of Fatigue + How to Heal Them appeared first on The Organic Dietitian. …
Do you struggle to get through the day without a cup of coffee? Two cups? Three!?
Do you feel like you’re trudging through mud all day long?
Low energy is one of the most common complaint I hear from readers and clients.
This is something I dealt with myself when I was at the height of my health issues including adrenal fatigue. Instead of coffee for me I craved sugar because my body was searching for energy! But instead of excepting this as my destiny I knew I wanted to figure out why.
“Why am I always tired and have no energy?”
“Why do I have trouble sleeping? I wake up at 2 am, can’t go back to sleep, and then I’m exhausted all day.”
“Why am I so tired even when I get enough sleep? I’m talking 8 hours, every night!”
Sure, sometimes our hectic schedules are to blame (if you’re a new mother who’s getting just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, of course you’re going to be sleepy!).
But most often, fatigue and tiredness go beyond our busy schedules. They can also be a symptom of something deeper at play.
So if you feel something is wrong — including being tired all the time — then you need to investigate the root cause. You don’t have to “just deal with it” or “push through it.” You definitely don’t need to rely on coffee or sugar to get through the day! You can FIX it.
Let’s start the process right here, so you can reclaim your energy, feel and be your best self.
COMMON CAUSES OF FATIGUE
Trouble falling or staying asleep
Your body may simply be tired because it needs sleep! The average adult requires 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Related blog post: 6 Ways to Improve Your Sleep…Naturally
But if you’re not sleeping, then why?
Sleep is the time your body rests, repairs, and rejuvenates. It is one of the most important needs of the human body. Without adequate sleep your body can’t properly function and then you develop even more symptoms.
Stress and “adrenal fatigue” (which is caused by chronic stress) are the most common causes of sleeplessness. We discuss these more below!
Exposure to blue light from electronic devices before bedtime can also disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle. Go screen-free for 1-2 hours before bedtime, or invest in a pair of blue-blocking glasses to sport while watching TV or using your computer!
Nutrient deficiencies and mineral imbalances
If you’re getting enough sleep but struggling with energy, the next best step is to investigate whether you may be deficient in these nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B9 / folic acid
Fatigue is considered a common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). And interestingly, research suggests that people with “chronic fatigue syndrome” may have abnormal levels of certain gut bacteria. (source)
Related blog post: You’ve Been Diagnosed with IBS…Now What?
It’s no secret that gut health impacts just about every other aspect of the body system, so it’s no wonder why digestive issues could contribute to fatigue. To go a bit deeper, it’s likely that the chronic inflammation and physical stress caused by chronic digestive distress zaps us of our energy.
Regardless of the reason, if you have any symptoms of digestive distress, it’s time to investigate further and set things right! Learn more about the functional diagnostic testing we offer to our VIP one-on-one clients.
Just as too little progesterone can make it difficult to sleep, too much progesterone can make you more tired. Low estrogen and low testosterone levels can also cause fatigue.
Another common hormonal imbalance that causes fatigue is low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism). Other symptoms include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness. or swelling in your joints
- An irregular menstrual cycle or heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
Serum blood tests ordered by your GP, gynecologist, or endocrinologist unfortunately don’t always give you the full picture of your hormonal health and balance. This is why we use the DUTCH test with clients. It’s the most comprehensive hormone test currently available as it doesn’t only tell us whether hormones are high or deplete, but also if it is due to poor enzyme function, methylation, nutrient deficiencies, or stress. In other words, it gives us all the clues that are missing if you have a blood test that is “normal” with symptoms that tell you otherwise.
Related blog post: Hormone Testing: Find Out Which Test Is Best
Chronic stress (including physical sources of stress!)
Chronic stress can result in adrenal fatigue, an imbalance in the body’s cortisol rhythm; cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone.
Related Blog Post: How to Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue: Signs and Symptoms
With adrenal fatigue, cortisol is high when it should be low, low when it should be high,always high, or always low. One telltale sign of adrenal fatigue is feeling “wired but tired,” or being physically exhausted while your mind races (and so may prevent you from falling asleep).
In addition to reducing mental stressors, it’s important to consider and address sources of chronic physical stress like digestive issues, blood sugar imbalances or heavy metal toxicity. These are just as likely to be contributing to adrenal fatigue or zapping you of your energy!
Fatigue is a very common symptom of food sensitivities.
It’s important to know that a food sensitivity is very different from a food allergy. They elicit different immune responses from the body, food allergies can be life-threatening whereas the symptoms of food intolerances can be much more nuanced, and food sensitivities can be overcome with a proper gut healing protocol whereas food allergies are typically lifelong.
Other symptoms of food intolerances include:
- Stomach pain
- Gas, cramps, or bloating
- Brain fog or lack of concentration
- Anxiety, irritability, or nervousness
Proper testing can help identify food sensitivities as well as “leaky gut,” a primary cause of food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are usually more of a symptom indicating the need to address your gut health.
We are all dealing with heavy metals to some extent due to our modern day society. We get exposed to these metals from our environment and they can negatively impact your health in many ways, including causing fatigue.
Heavy metal toxicity can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, or in other words, interfere with how the body produces energy on a cellular level.
Heavy metal toxicity can contribute to neurological disorders, a variety of degenerative diseases, inflammation, a compromised immune system, and auto-immune conditions.
In addition to chronic fatigue, symptoms can include:
- Memory loss
- Brian fog
- Unexplained tremors
- Anxiety and depression
- Joint pain
- Chronic migraines
- Hormone imbalances
We look into and address heavy metal toxicity with all of our clients since it’s so incredibly important for not just energy production, but also hormone balance and gut health.
Now we want to hear from you!
If you struggle with chronic fatigue and tiredness, what do you think? Did this help to shine light on anything in particular? Any questions?
Please let us know in the comments below so we can continue the conversation and help you regain your energy.
ARE YOU READY TO GET TESTED AND TURN YOUR HEALTH AROUND? CLICK THE BUTTOM BELOW TO REQUEST A FREE DISCOVERY CALL…
As a Registered Dietitian and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, my team and I help clients get proper testing, assist in the process of reading those results using clinical correlation (treating the patient and not just the test results), and give them the proper tools (diet, supplements, and lifestyle) to start the healing process.