Fatigue is a word that probably 100% of those reading this can relate to.
It can be defined as a loss of energy caused by physical or mental exertion. It can have a myriad of causes from simple exertion and overwork to debilitating illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and auto-immune diseases. While it’s impossible to address every cause of fatigue in one article, there are some causes of fatigue that may surprise you. And many of these are easily corrected.
Common Causes of Fatigue & Tips for Overcoming It
Stress isn’t always bad. There are actually two types: eustress (healthy) and distress (unhealthy). Eustress results when you are doing something that enhances function and pleasure, such as exercise or getting excited about a party. Distress results from persistent stress that is not resolved through coping and adaptation. The problem with distress is that it causes long term chemical and hormonal changes resulting in fatigue. One of the best ways to counter distress is to routinely do activities that you enjoy.
How to Overcome It: While being a couch potato only increases the feeling of fatigue, engaging in a pleasant activity can banish it.
Using a cell phone, computer, watching TV, or using an electronic reader before bedtime can lead to fatigue. Studies show that the use of electronics less than an hour before bedtime can interfere with sleep patterns resulting in lack of deep, restorative sleep.
How to Overcome It: Keep electronics out of the bedroom.
Dehydration doesn’t necessarily mean medically dehydrated with low blood pressure, weakness and dizziness. It can simply mean that your body doesn’t have an ideal amount of fluid present in the bloodstream.
How to Overcome It: Some practitioners recommend drinking as much as 500cc (about a pint) of water for every 50lbs of body weight. If you are eating a healthy diet, about 20% of this liquid comes from your food. Just being slightly dehydrated can lead to less blood getting to your brain which in turn can lead to fatigue.
4. Body out of Balance
When the skeletal system is not aligned, stress is placed on the organs including the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs. This imbalance leads to fatigue.
How to Overcome It: Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and osteopaths can evaluate and correct skeletal imbalances.
5. Sluggish Liver
The liver is the major detoxifying organ in the body. If it is not working properly or is overwhelmed with toxins, you will feel sluggish and lethargic.
How to Overcome It: It is extremely important to detoxify your liver with Liver Cleanse and eat pure, clean foods.
6. Vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body. It is also a major antioxidant. Not taking enough vitamin C can leave you feeling fatigued from the build-up of oxidation products in the body and from lack of tissue repair.
How to Overcome It: It is impossible to get adequate Vitamin C from food and a good Vitamin C supplement is almost always necessary.
7. Magnesium deficiency
Low magnesium is almost universally overlooked as a cause of symptoms such as fatigue, generalized weakness, muscle cramps, and cardiac arrhythmias. Magnesium is an essential electrolyte responsible for activating all muscles in the body including the heart. It is also critical to energy production. While other electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, potassium, and calcium are routinely checked, magnesium is almost always overlooked. In fact, it is not even included on a comprehensive metabolic profile, but must be requested separately.
How to Overcome It: Like Vitamin C, almost everyone needs a high-quality magnesium supplement. Most conventional medical practitioners will tell you magnesium deficiency is rare but they are wrong. It is almost universal but missed even when checked because, once below the bottom of the range, the deficiency is so bad that significant illness is present. If your result is much below the midpoint of the normal range, you are most likely deficient.
8. Variable wake-up time
The time you wake up in the morning is more important than when you go to bed. Failure to maintain a consistent wake-up schedule can result in a jet lag feeling.
How to Overcome It: Keep a consistent schedule, even on the weekends and during vacations.
The thyroid gland is responsible for setting the metabolic rate of the body. When it isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to fatigue and a long list of other health concerns.
How to Overcome It: Ask for thyroid testing, but follow the guidelines for interpretation and testing found in the first source below. It is essential to get a full thyroid workup including free T3, free T4 and reverse T3. Don’t accept being told your thyroid function is normal when you have symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Exercise releases key endorphins and neurotransmitters that help regulate the sleep cycle. Not enough exercise results in not enough being produced and impairs restorative sleep. However, too much exercise, especially at night, results in setting the stress cascade in motion; including elevated adrenalin and cortisol which leave the body aroused and also impairs restorative sleep.
How to Overcome It: Try to exercise in the morning or mid-afternoon. The American Heart Association recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise spread throughout the week. That equates to about 20-30 minutes a day.
Bottom Line of Fatigue
Most of the causes of fatigue outlined here are easily self-diagnosed and treated. If you are experiencing fatigue, work on correcting each problem outlined with the suggested actions and appropriate supplements. Within a few weeks, you should be noticing a marked improvement in your energy level.