So many people are tired today. If tiredness is a part of your life it would be wise to investigate the cause and get rid of it. Living with fatigue is just not fun! Tiredness, or fatigue, is a warning flag that something is wrong. The problem is that it can indicate many things that are wrong, so investigative work is essential. Although it is common knowledge that many health issues cause fatigue, we sometimes forget that other things, such as diet and exercise, certain lifestyle activities, as well as medication usage, can be contributing factors.
Let’s talk about health issues first.
Hormonal imbalances can cause imbalances in your energy levels. For example, the number one symptom of a thyroid not functioning properly is fatigue. Other symptoms can include cold hands and feet, temperature dysregulation, loss of head and eyebrow hair or dry hands and hair. Other hormonal glands such as the adrenal glands (that control sustained energy throughout the day), pituitary (the “master gland” that controls other hormone-producing glands and along with the pineal gland regulates sleep), pancreas (responsible for blood sugar regulation), liver (which produces or regulates many hormones), sex hormones, brain hormones — nearly any hormone out of balance can result in fatigue.
Health conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, PMR (polymyalgia rheumatica), Epstein Barr Virus, Lupus, cancer, kidney disease, chronic anxiety and many inflammatory diseases, etc, can be sources of fatigue. Although this list is long, I want to focus on a few:
Gut disorders can be accompanied by fatigue. Good digestion takes a lot of energy to process food. A poorly functioning gut takes tons more energy. Inflammatory gut diseases, including dysbiosis, leaky gut, celiac or gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel disease (IBD) of any form, commonly carries with it fatigue. Straightening out your digestion can really help you out.
Anemia, iron deficiency, pernicious (vitamin B12 deficiency) and other mineral and vitamin deficiency diseases commonly cause a person to be tired. Sometimes those deficiencies are specific, such as vitamin B12 deficiency. Others are more complex, such as a deficiency of all the B vitamins, collectively. Zinc deficiency can cause fuzzy thinking, commonly associated with fatigue.
A compromised immune system to any degree can result in fatigue. Common conditions such as Epstein Barr virus, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, any chronic infection, and any auto-immune condition can cause fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disorders and pain are all tiring, and can strip your body of every stitch of energy you may have.
Medications which have side effects of fatigue include anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, blood pressure meds, pain meds, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, cancer meds, seizure or epilepsy meds, cardiovascular meds, arthritis meds and many others. Not all medications in these categories cause fatigue, so check your own medications.
There are many other causes of fatigue and many remedies for fatigue as well. See Part II of Fatigue Can Be a Warning Sign. Meanwhile, sign up for our upcoming health class, Adrenals & Thyroid: Answers to Fatigue & Weight Gain, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/AdrenalThyroidClass
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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.