Living in a world that perpetuates a go-go type of lifestyle has led many to experience bouts of fatigue or being tired more than usual. However, chronic periods of fatigue should not be ignored. There are many reasons we can experience these abnormal fluctuations. Understanding the reason behind why one may be experiencing fatigue is key in learning how to get back to a healthy and thriving state of being.
Symptoms Of Fatigue
Being tired or slowing down from time to time does not necessarily mean that something is out of balance in your body. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of fatigue it’s best to take a further look as symptoms could be your body’s way of telling you something is off. Symptoms of fatigue can be any or all of the following:
- Lack of energy
- Constantly tired
- Muscle weakness/pain
- Concentration issues
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic headache
- Digestive issues
- Brain fog
Common Causes Of Fatigue
Some of the common causes of fatigue may surprise you but whatever the root cause is, it is your body revealing to you that something is awry and needs further attention.
Mitochondrial dysfunction– Mitochondrial dysfunction is a disorder that occurs when structures produce energy for a cell malfunction. A common factor among mitochondrial diseases is that the mitochondria are unable to completely burn food and oxygen to generate energy which is essential for normal cell function.
Gut health– Your gut is a microbiome community of bacteria that help keep your gut healthy and functioning properly. When this community of bacteria is out of balance it can cause a list of side effects.
Environment And Lifestyle Factors– The environment in which you live can affect you mentally and physically. This can be anywhere from the air that you breathe to stress factors that you are constantly surrounded with. Understanding your environment and how it is impacting you should always be assessed when it comes to your health. This includes nutrition, stress levels, sleep and physical activity.
Genetic Conditions– Understanding family history is essential in understanding your own health. Underlying genetic conditions could be playing a part in your overall health as well as causing symptoms of fatigue.
Systemic illnesses– Systemic illnesses are illnesses that affect the whole body such as Hypothyroidism, Lyme Disease, Adrenal Fatigue, Diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, RA, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, and Infections
Functional Medicine Fatigue Treatment
Since fatigue has many different underlying causes, the treatment is tailored to the individual. There are a few general guidelines that are recommended for most individuals experiencing fatigue.
One includes removing inflammation and healing the gut through diet and hydration. We encourage patients to focus on whole foods including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (9 servings/day!) and healthy sources of clean, wild, grass-fed animal protein as a source of heart-healthy protein and fat. Inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, packaged/processed foods, processed grains, dairy, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, food dyes, and synthetic chemicals can cause inflammation throughout the body leaving you lethargic and tired. Removing waste material from your body is important to lower inflammation, making proper hydration and elimination (sweat, urine, poop) key.
Physical movement is also important as sedentary movement can make symptoms worsen. Gradual physical activity, movement, spending time in nature, and social interaction can help increase mood, energy, and emotional wellness. We work with you to help you implement these lifestyle modifications in a manageable way. We also look at stress and offer techniques and tools to support you in your internal/emotional regulation.
Lastly, sleep and relaxation are a priority. It’s important to establish a regular bedtime routine, which includes a physical and emotional wind-down period. Wearing blue light blocking glasses, removing electronic devices at least 1.5 hours before bed, and keeping the room dark and cool are an important part of sleep. We may also recommend helpful supplements such as melatonin and a specific form of magnesium.
These are just a few of the general steps that are taken in combating fatigue and getting your body back to its optimal health.
The most important thing in combating any symptom your body is exhibiting is understanding the root cause of the symptom. This way the source of the issue can be dealt with and symptoms can cease or lessen allowing you to feel and perform at your best.