Are you one of the many individuals that suffers from chronic fatigue and low energy? You want to live a normal life, but are too tired to do anything. There are many things that can cause fatigue with thyroid, adrenals, blood sugar, and gut function being at the forefront.
Most people are familiar with the thyroid gland, which plays a major role with the basal metabolic rate. This is the rate at which every cell in the body functions. If the rate is increased you will most likely have energy, but if it is decreased then normal cellular functions aren’t occurring. We commonly see three scenarios that result in fatigue: hypothyroid, autoimmune hypothyroid, and functionally decreased values.
When you think about adrenals you think about stress and cortisol. A normal cortisol response is healthy for the body, but when it is prolonged then fatigue will occur. Two things commonly occur with chronic fatigue; cortisol will decrease and cortisol receptors decrease function.
Sleepy after eating? Do you feel like taking a nap after eating? This can be caused by hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. What if the only time you have energy during the day is after a meal? This could be the result of hypoglycemic tendencies. You will feel good after eating, but this only lasts an hour or two depending on your blood sugar.
The gut is responsible for so many things, but first and foremost are digestion and absorption. If you have poor digestion or absorption then your body will not have the nutrients it needs in order to perform all its functions. Poor digestion and absorption will lead to inflammation, which is a big factor in fatigue.
All of these are very easy to assess, but you have to understand how these play a role in your symptoms. If you don’t, then you will never have a reason to get them evaluated. There are times when addressing only one of these works, but there are other times in which your fatigue is a result of dysfunction in more than one of these systems.
Dickson, A., Toft, A., & O’Carroll, R. E. (2009). Neuropsychological functioning, illness perception, mood and quality of life in chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune thyroid disease and healthy participants. Psychological Medicine, 39(9), 1567-1576. doi:10.1017/S0033291708004960
Lakhan, S. E., & Kirchgessner, A. (2010). Gut inflammation in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7(1), 79-79. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-79
Olivier, R. (2009). Amino acids, blood sugar balance and muscle protein maintenance. Original Internist, 16(3), 131.
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