Why am I Fatigued?
Fatigue can present physically or psychologically. In physical fatigue you will notice an inability to preform normal daily tasks such as carrying groceries, or climbing stairs. In physiological fatigue you will find difficulty in concentrating or low motivation and depressive mood.
Some Symptoms of Fatigue:
• headache, dizziness
• muscle weakness or sore muscles
• slow reflexes, impaired hand eye coordination
• impaired judgement, reduced concentration
• poor memory, low motivation, moodiness
• appetite loss, reduced immune function
• blurry vision, hallucinations
There can be many underlying causes of fatigue, including an energy deficiency that is circumstantial to your daily or weekly routine. Are you over committed or burning the candle at both ends? Is it time for a holiday? Are you forgetting to eat or skipping meals? Is there emotional upheaval or chronic stress?
If your fatigue isn’t related to the above, and you know that something else is at play, then you may have one of the 5 types of fatigue below:
1. Adrenal Fatigue
feels like you haven’t slept even after 8 hours sleep at night/ poor sleep quality and wakes unrefreshed
craving salty or sweet foods
overly sensitive to bright lights, sudden noises, crowds
low blood pressure, low libido
depression or anxiety, emotional, inability to cope with stress
inability to focus / concentration, poor memory
sometimes feeling most awake and energetic in the middle of the night, then feeling like it is midnight when it should be midday
• temperature dysregulation, aches and pains
• poor appetite
2. Thyroid / metabolic Fatigue
sluggish, weakness, inability to concentrate and poor memory recall
sleeps well but wakes unrefreshed
coarse, dry hair, hair loss
dry, pale skin
3. Anaemic Fatigue
pale skin, cracked or reddened tongue
weakness, tires easily, can fall asleep in the afternoon
loss of appetite or strange food cravings
difficulty with concentration and easily irritated
heavy bleeding with periods
4. Mitochondrial Fatigue
Poor exercise tolerance along with other symptoms of fatigue mentioned above.
The mitochondria are are energy powerhouses within cells, responsible for converting byproducts of digestion into energy (specifically ADP enzymes from the break down of sugar, protein and fats, converted into ATP). ATP is the energy molecule which fuels our entire body.
The mitochondria are highly susceptible to toxicity and will struggle in situations where there is increased ingestion of toxins, or there is a required need to perform a detoxification regime.
5. Nutritional Fatigue
symptoms of deficiencies related to specific nutrients.
The most common causes of fatigue that a practitioner encounters is nutrient deficiency. This can range anywhere from lack of consumption of calories in the day, to suboptimal levels of foods with certain nutrients. Gut health is always assessed in cases of nutritional deficiency, and underlying issues such as bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), parasitic infection, poor digestive function, leaky gut, IBS, allergy and intolerance will seriously compromise the absorption of nutrients from your food.
A practitioner will evaluate your overall digestive capacity and metabolism to determine the correct treatment. There is no gain in supplementing or increasing nutrient dense foods, when in fact your digestive system is under functioning and not able to break down and absorb those nutrients. Many many people will be experiencing sluggish digestion and slow metabolism, and by treating this we can immediately benefit from an increase in absorbed nutrients without needing to supplement.
B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, Co Q10. amino acids are among the most required nutrients to support body functions and maintain energy levels. For many people, supporting intake of nutrients by adding foods into your diet will suffice, however for those who have become chronically deficient, or who have an increased requirement, short term supplementation will be necessary.
When to be concerned?
It is important to seek help from a qualified practitioner if you are experiencing any fatigue which is:
limits your ability to do every day tasks
worsens or doesn’t improve with rest
has a dramatic onset
appears with weight loss / weight gain, or dramatic changes to skin / hair / complexion and appearance
or if it is simply unexplained (not caused by lack of sleep or over commitments)
These causes or fatigue are extremely common in our busy society. In addition there are other factors which could be causing your fatigue. Naturopathy offers many treatments to correct underlying causes of fatigue, while also supporting your energy. For more information email me at email@example.com