Chronic Fatigue: A Deeper Look At Why You Could Be Tired All The Time
Is it common for you to experience a sense of tiredness, struggle to regain energy, or hit a wall in the afternoon?
Did you used to have more energy than you have now?
Are you blaming your tiredness on work, children, or being too busy, but suspect there may be something else going on?
Are you suffering from fatigue?
It is so important to get to the medical root cause of fatigue, because it is a signal that something is out of balance in your body. Left untreated, that something could cause damage to your health, systems, and well-being!
For example, an untreated thyroid could lead to having to remove the thyroid and having to recoop your metabolism after wearing your body down due to a lack of energy.
Fatigue can be caused by a number of different things in your body and mind, and it is important to isolate the root causes. It can be short term or long term, and can disrupt one’s daily routine. It is also one of the most common reasons people seek out a doctor.
Whether it is physical (weakness; extreme tiredness) or mental (lack of clarity; brain fog), the causes of fatigue may vary. Figuring out the true cause of your fatigue can be challenging, especially when traditional lab results from your primary doctor seem to be “within limits” and do not reveal the root cause. Progressive looks at fatigue differently… more in-depth and comprehensively.
Top 7 Potential Causes of Chronic Fatigue:
The thyroid gland can cause symptoms of weight gain, sluggishness, dry skin or constipation when it does not function normally. It is a silent culprit and difficult to identify unless you test thyroid levels at an integrative medical doctor like Progressive. We find that fixing the thyroid, when other doctors say it was “normal,” can have a profound impact on energy, alertness, memory, digestion speed, and health weight levels. In general, we suggest that anyone over 32 test their thyroid levels annually.
In addition to thyroid hormones, other hormonal imbalances such as estrogen and progesterone in women, or testosterone in men, can be significant pieces to the fatigue puzzle. People often do not check their hormones or are aren’t tested more regularly, and these imbalances go overlooked. We suggest that people test their horomone levels annually, or more frequently if there is an issue or they are looking to get pregnant.
3. Digestive/Gut-related Issues
Digestive issues can be numerous: consitpation, loose stools, gas/bloating, abdominal pain, colitis, crohns, etc. If you are suffering from any of these noticable gut issues, it may be affecting your mood, energy, and overall well-being. Digestion is one of the most relevant areas in functional medicine today. The brain-gut connection is better known now than ever before. General inflammation in the gut can cause you to be tired. It is important to assess the state of the digestive tract as a clue towards your own health. Even symptoms such as bloating, excessive gas or irritable bowel can contribute towards your general state of fatigue.
4. Blood Sugar/Diabetes
Healthy blood sugar regulation is a major culprit in causing fatigue in our society today. Diabetes is extremely common and regulating one’s blood sugar is crucial for a healthy metabolism and energy level. Diet and lifestyle are important things to address to get to the root cause of maintaining a healthy blood sugar level and preventing fatigue from happening before it starts.
5. Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune conditions, such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogrens, come about when the body attacks itself with antibodies, which normally fight off disease. These conditions can flare and cause debilitating fatigue along with pain. Supporting your immune system and make it function optimally can prevent autoimmune flares, and help address the cause of your fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is another potential culprit. We are constantly bombarded with stress, whether it is physical, emotional, or both. The body’s natural ability to respond to stress can deteriorate over time, therefore it is important to support these crucial metabolic glands. Often a focal point from the functional medicine approach, the adrenals become impaired over time from consistent stress. There is lab work that can be done to ensure that your adrenal glands are functioning properly.
Anemia can be caused a deficiency of iron or B12, and can be addressed by supplementing or oxygenating your body. Blood loss from an ulcer or an inflamed GI tract or even prescription drug usage over time can deplete certain nutrients over time, and finding out the cause of anemia can be challenging.
All of these previous examples are potential causes of your fatigue. Quite frankly, that’s just the tip of iceberg. There are a plethora of medical conditions that could be causing your fatigue, therefore seeking an expert opinion is important.
Once we understand the root of your fatigue, we can shift your focus to nutrient dense foods and quality supplementation to get you feeling balanced and energized again.
- Madison Blackmon