Fatigue and chronic low energy are common symptoms of imbalances across multiple hormonal systems, including adrenal, thyroid, sex hormones and gut health. Chronic fatigue can also be a sign of exposure to biotoxins and infections, which may include heavy metals, toxic mold or tick born infections like Lyme’s disease. Often, despite feeling incredibly tired, we can’t sleep at night.
It’s important when addressing fatigue to look at the big picture. Besides understanding how all the different organ systems are influencing one another, it is also critical to understand how external psychological and emotional stressors, both past and current, can play a huge role in exacerbating fatigue. Simple self-care tools can help.
We begin by assessing the quality and quantity of sleep. Often times we are in a catch-22 of not sleeping well– we’re tired in the morning, then drink caffeine to stimulate us. Caffeine works temporarily by stressing our adrenal system with increased adrenaline production. Then we skip breakfast because we’re running late, or eat something like muffins or bagels which are loaded with simple sugars, further stressing adrenaline and cortisol production.
Does this sound familiar? By late afternoon, we’re crashing and want more carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine to keep us going. We’re starving for energy, yet too tired to cook healthy meals, so we eat out on the run. By the evening we’re so stressed and wired from the day we need a glass of wine to wind down, not knowing that alcohol effects blood sugar levels, liver detoxification and hormone balancing — all which disrupt sleep.(see Tips for Weaning Off Caffeine, Sugar and Alcohol)
Poor quality sleep, poor quality diets along with lack of nutrients and minerals in the diet all exacerbate adrenal fatigue, thyroid dysfunction and PMS/menopause symptoms. On top of that common external environmental toxins such as mercury/PVC’s/chlorine/household chemicals interfere with detoxification in the liver, kidneys, gut and skin – all contributing to poor energy production in the body and muscles.
If that wasn’t enough, day to day emotional stressors from family, relationships, work and world events, contribute to an overwhelming sense of fatigue psychologically. Particularly if we don’t have a good support system, healthy coping tools, or are carrying around years of buried trauma’s. Take the ACE and Resiliency tests on our website [Adverse Childhood Events] to see how early traumas may be impacting your health today. Let us support the ways you can heal.
The good news is, simple changes can yield big results.(see the Big Picture) While waiting for hormonal assessment testing we start with nutrients and minerals in the diet, and work on gut health and detoxification. Getting rid of what is toxic (caffeine, sugar, alcohol, white stuff) and replacing what is missing (quality multivitamin with minerals, extra B complex, Omega 3 fats) at the same time focusing on a “green, lean and clean” diet
For more Hormonal help consider attending Dr. Christensen’s Hormonal Harmony Workshop
Don’t know where to Begin? Start with Dr. Heidi’s metabolic Roadmap group visit