Do you ever feel like it’s difficult to get through the day? Is it common for you to experience a sense of tiredness, struggle to regain energy, or hit a wall in the afternoon?
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 your labs are within limits and do not reveal the root cause.
The following are several areas in the body in which fatigue can originate, which ones describe you?
The thyroid gland can cause symptoms of weight gain, sluggishness, dry skin or constipation when it does not function normally. Alternatively, other hormonal imbalances such as estrogen and progesterone in women, or testosterone in men, can be significant pieces to the puzzle. People often do not check their hormones or are aren’t tested more regularly, and these imbalances go overlooked.
Digestion is one of the most studied areas in medicine today, and the brain-gut connection is better known than ever before. General inflammation in the gut can cause you to be tired. It is important to address 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.
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.
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. Being able to take control of your fatigue and getting back on track is vital towards a happy and healthy life. Even if your lab results don’t reflect what’s going on, there may be underlying issues at work.
Don’t let fatigue interfere with your life.
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An abridged version of this story can be found on Page A12 of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, April 10th
I’m 65 years old, I have 3 grown children that are married, and they’ve given us 10 lovely grandchildren as well. I’m a military daughter, and my husband was in the Air Force. We moved here in 1979, so I consider myself a Southerner by adoption. I graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University, with a degree in Interpersonal Communication and a minor in Journalism. For 18 years, I ran my own business, teaching etiquette and communication skills.
When I was finishing school, I started having extreme fatigue. Initially, I thought it was because I was exercising, but as time went on, people began to tell me that I looked depressed. After hearing that from enough people, I went to see a psychiatrist. He told me that I wasn’t depressed, but that my body itself was. I went to my MD, and he told me to be patient, because he was going to send me to every specialist in Atlanta to try to solve this problem. After a year and a half, I was basically told “We know that you’re sick, but we don’t know how to help you”, which was dumbfounding, since they still wanted to give me drugs for symptoms. One doctor was even so bold to simply walk in, poke me with his pen, write me a prescription, and just leave!
I was lost. I had given up hope. I had been so tired for so long that I felt like I was in a big hole that I couldn’t climb out of. I even had my Pastor pray for me. Around that time, a friend of mine told me about Progressive Medical Center. She had been dealing with arthritis for a long time, and Progressive Medical was able to give her great results. I was skeptical and didn’t want to get my hopes up, but my husband said he would take me. I was crying in the waiting room before my first visit, that’s how low I had gotten.
Right off the bat, my husband and I were impressed with the great detail that Progressive Medical Center used in their testing, using tests that none of my previous doctors had thought of, searching for things that they might’ve not even been aware of. They measure more than just whether you’re sick or not; they check for toxins, allergies, deficiencies, high levels, my hormones, my adrenals… so many things I didn’t even know about!
All of the different doctors at Progressive worked together as a team, which I loved. MDs, NDs, Naturopathic doctors, they all worked together to create a comprehensive plan for me. Not only did that help them create a plan for me – which included supplements, IVs, and even a hyperbaric chamber – but it made me comfortable knowing that I could see any of the doctors and know they were familiar with my plan and my story.
After several months on my plan, I walked into one of my support groups and people were shocked. “Deborah! You looks so great! Your eyes are so bright!” I explained to them how Progressive was able to help become my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self once again. Not with pills and pharmaceuticals, but by helping me learn about my own body and create a plan that changed my life. If I didn’t have this treatment from Progressive Medical Center, I truly believe that my fatigue would’ve gotten the best of me, and that I wouldn’t be here to share my story.