By Dr. Jenna Dye
Are you struggling with fatigue? Is it hard to get out of bed in the morning? Do you feel the afternoon slump? Are you finding yourself craving sugars or caffeine to get you through the day? One of the most common symptoms I hear in my practice is a lack of energy. There are many factors that may contribute to fatigue, but it doesn’t have to be a daily struggle. As a Naturopathic Physician, my job is to focus on the root cause. This is where I start.
The adrenal glands are small glands that produce cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress. The more stress we have, the more cortisol is needed. After long periods of chronic stress, the response to stress gets weaker and cortisol levels can drop. This is called adrenal fatigue. We can have negative symptoms of both too much cortisol or not enough. It is important to know what your levels are in order to support the adrenal glands correctly. This can be obtained by a simple blood test. Treatment varies depending on the severity of adrenal fatigue, however, diet, lifestyle, stress reduction and supportive herbal therapies are great starting points.
The thyroid gland plays a huge role in how we feel. It directly relates to our energy level and metabolism. It also plays a role in our digestion and body temperature. Many factors can affect the thyroid including stress, nutrient deficiencies and even adrenal fatigue. It is important to have your thyroid screened. Often times a screening just includes a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) but that is not the whole picture. I recommend having a full thyroid panel completed. Supportive therapies vary from proper thyroid medications to herbal and nutritional support.
Are you constipated? Do you have diarrhea? Cramping? Bloating? Our digestive system is the key player for nutrient absorption and elimination of waste products. If there is a digestive disruption it will affect our overall well-being and lead to fatigue. It is important to find out the root cause of any digestive issues. Food sensitivities, imbalanced gut flora and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are just few things to investigate.
I recommend having Vitamin D levels checked, often times my patients have extremely low levels. A decreased level of Vitamin D can be associated with fatigue, lowered mood and lowered immunity. Vitamin B12 is another common deficiency. B12 is essential for many metabolic pathways and is important for metabolism, stress management and energy levels. It is important to have levels checked to ensure proper supplementation.
Consult with your Naturopathic Physician:
When you are tired it can be difficult to focus or even know where to begin to improve your health. You may try to accept that being tired could be normal, but it is not normal. It is a symptom of an underlying cause. A Naturopathic Physician will work with you to find the root cause and get you feeling your best.
Dr. Jenna Dye is a licensed Naturopathic Physician. Her role is to support the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Together with her patients, this is achieved by identifying and removing barriers that may be impacting health while creating a healing environment. For more information visit www.drjennadye.com.