Do you feel “blah?” Like you have no energy? Like you could sleep for 24 hours and you would still be exhausted? If so, you’re not alone. Up to half of all Americans feel fatigue on a daily basis. While fatigue itself is not a diagnosis, it is a sign that something is wrong with your health, your life, or your schedule.
Fatigue can be caused by stress, your job, relationships; anything that causes stress can lead to fatigue. Fighting fatigue can often start with something as simple as changing your diet, your sleep schedule, or your routine. Sometimes you’re simply too tired to do even that. Let’s look at a few of the physical causes of fatigue.
One of the most common causes of fatigue is blood sugar control. Keep in mind you can have a normal blood-tested level of blood sugar and still have fatigue. It’s not enough to get the glucose (sugar) into your blood, you have to get it into the cells. When it comes to your muscles, that means your insulin has to be working. Many people today suffer from insulin resistance, which is basically when your cells don’t react to insulin, therefore not allowing the necessary glucose to get into the cell. If this happens to enough cells, you can cause fatigue. There are many natural ways to alleviate insulin resistance. A number of natural supplements and vitamins do a fine job of restoring your body’s natural response to glucose.
Having low blood pressure can also lead to fatigue. We all know that high blood pressure is bad, but low blood pressure can be an issue as well. Low blood pressure can more than doubly increase your risk of falling and can also make you tired. You can have amazing blood sugar and great insulin but if the heart is not pumping the glucose to your cells, you will still be low on energy. Quite often the cause of low blood pressure is being overmedicated. I have advised a number of patients with fatigue and balance issues to talk to their medical doctor about this. Many times this alone has been the answer to their fatigue!
Another common issue is a condition called adrenal fatigue. While it is not technically fatigue of the adrenal glands, it describes the end result pretty well. Our adrenal glands do a number of things for our body, including making adrenaline. If you are under constant stress — and really, who isn’t these days — your adrenal glands slow down, and then your whole body slows down as well. In addition, adrenal glands are responsible for making cortisol. Many people make the mistake of thinking that cortisol is bad for you — that it just makes you fat. The truth is that without cortisol you would die. You need cortisol to help control blood sugar, to wake up in the morning, and to deal with stress. If your cortisol is too low your energy gets low as well, and then you have fatigue. Many herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng can help revitalize the adrenal glands
Hypothyroidism is another common cause of fatigue. Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune condition, causes around 70% of hypothyroidism cases in the U.S. With Hashimoto’s, an individual’s body begins to attack its own cells, resulting in decreased function of the thyroid gland. When this occurs, metabolism slows down, you get cold hands and feet, mental deterioration, and fatigue. A number of supplements including tyrosine, inositol, and selenium can help this situation.
There are many other causes of fatigue, but these are the main ones. Keep in mind that all of these are interconnected and most causes of fatigue increase inflammation and lower your immune system. But also remember that every one of these can be addressed through natural methods. None of them require medications, especially when treated early. Almost all of them are also enhanced by making good dietary choices and improving your exercise program.
With the help of a functional medicine practitioner and natural supplements — all of which we have at Burtis Chiropractic Center — you can identify the cause of your fatigue and begin to feel energetic and alive again. Not only that, but you will actually be healthier as well! Begin your transformation today!
Dr. Burtis, MS, DC, CFMP, has been providing natural healthcare to the Fairmont area at Burtis Chiropractic Center for over 30 years. He uses a combination of chiropractic, nutrition, and functional medicine to help individuals restore and maintain health and healing through individualized care plans. The mission of Burtis Chiropractic Center is to provide transformational healthcare that takes an individual’s life to the next level. We strive to be a solution for families to experience transformational healthcare and help create vibrant and resilient lifestyles that can be passed to future generations.