Why Am I Fatigued?
by Nadia Woods
Fatigue can present physically or psychologically. In physical fatigue you will notice an inability to preform normal daily tasks such as carrying groceries, or climbing stairs. In physiological fatigue you will find difficulty in concentrating or low motivation and depressive mood. Some symptoms caused by fatigue are:
- headache, dizziness
- muscle weakness or sore muscles
- slow reflexes, impaired hand eye coordination
- impaired judgement, reduced concentration
- poor memory, low motivation, moodiness
- appetite loss, reduced immune function
- blurry vision, hallucinations
There are many causes of fatigue, and sometimes it is circumstantial to your daily or weekly routine. Are you over committed or burning the candle at both ends? Is it time for a holiday? Are you forgetting to eat or skipping meals? Is there emotional upheaval or chronic stress?
If your fatigue isn’t related to the above, and you know that something else is at play, then you may have one of the 4 types of fatigue below:
- Adrenal Fatigue
- feels like you haven’t slept even after 8 hours sleep at night/ poor sleep quality and wakes unrefreshed
- craving salty or sweet foods
- overly sensitive to bright lights, sudden noises, crowds
- frequent illnesses
- low blood pressure, low libido
- depression or anxiety, emotional, inability to cope with stress
- inability to focus / concentration, poor memory
- sometimes feeling most awake and energetic in the middle of the night, then feeling like it is midnight when it should be midday
- temperature dysregulation, aches and pains
- poor appetite
- Thyroid / metabolic Fatigue
- sluggish, weakness, inability to concentrate and poor memory recall
- sleeps well but wakes unrefreshed
- weight gain
- coarse, dry hair, hair loss
- dry, pale skin
- temperature dysregulation
- daytime sleepiness
- poor appetite
- Anaemic Fatigue
- pale skin, cracked or reddened tongue
- weakness, tires easily, can fall asleep in the afternoon
- loss of appetite or strange food cravings
- breathlessness, palpitations
- frequent headaches
- difficulty with concentration and easily irritated
- heavy bleeding with periods
- Mitochondrial Fatigue
- Poor exercise tolerance along with other symptoms of fatigue mentioned above.
The mitochondria are are energy powerhouses within cells, responsible for converting byproducts of digestion into energy (specifically ADP enzymes from the break down of sugar, protein and fats, converted into ATP). ATP is the energy molecule which fuels our entire body.
The mitochondria is very susceptible to toxicity and will struggle in situations where there is increased ingestion of toxins, or there is a required need to perform a detoxification regime.
- Nutritional Fatigue
- Symptoms of deficiencies related to specific nutrients.
The most common causes of fatigue that a practitioner encounters is nutrient deficiency. This can range anywhere from lack of consumption of calories in the day, to suboptimal levels of foods with certain nutrients.
B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, Co Q10. amino acids are among the most required nutrients to support body functions and maintain energy levels. For many people, supporting intake of nutrients by adding foods into your diet will suffice, however for those who have become chronically deficient, or who have an increased requirement, short term supplementation will be necessary.
A practitioner will evaluate your overall digestive capacity and metabolism to determine the correct treatment. There is no gain in supplementing or increasing nutrient dense foods, when in fact your digestive system is under functioning and not able to break down and absorb those nutrients. Many many people will be experiencing sluggish digestion and slow metabolism, and by treating this we can immediately benefit from an increase in absorbed nutrients without needing to supplement.
When to be concerned?
It is important to seek help from a qualified practitioner if you are experiencing any fatigue which is:
- ongoing (chronic)
- limits your ability to do every day tasks
- has a dramatic onset
- appears with weight loss / weight gain, or dramatic changes to skin / hair / complexion and appearance
- or if it is simply unexplained (not caused by lack of sleep or over commitments)
My name is Nadia and I am a qualified Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy. Naturopathy works to restore harmony and balance in the body/soul/mind by supporting the body’s innate ability to heal. For this reason, natural medicines, diet, nutrition and herbs need to be selected based on your body’s individual constitution and situation to ensure you work with rather than against this self healing ability.
I specialise in chronic/autoimmune conditions, fatigue, hormone dysregulation and detoxification. I have worked with children for 18 years in an educational setting and adept at treating childhood illness and conditions, supporting learning and development.
I also offer Flower Essence and Iridology Consults. For more information on how these work and what to expect, head to my website or give me a call.
Not sure if Naturopathy is right for you? I am always happy to answer any questions you have, please email me anytime.