10 Causes of Low Energy

10 Causes of Low Energy

Why am I so Tired?

In today’s fast paced world, so many of us are constantly feeling lack of motivation, fatigue and lethargy.  With technology moving at a fast pace, we have more gadgets now than ever before to make our lives easier.

How is it then, that quite the opposite seems to be true?  It seems that with the inclusion of all this technology so too comes the expectation that we must cram more into our already hectic lives.

So many people I have spoken to recently complain that no matter how much sleep they get, they just can’t seem to find the energy to jump out of bed with lots of vitality in the mornings.

There are many various reasons for low energy, motivation and tiredness.  In today’s article we will be looking at some of the possible causes and natural remedies that may help you regain the bounce in your step!

1.  Dehydration

When you begin to feel thirsty, your body is already in a depleted state.  Dehydration occurs when there is an excessive loss of body fluids, especially of water and electrolytes.

Causes of Dehydration:

  • Vigorous exercise                                                                                                       Water
  • Forgetting to drink throughout the day
  • Stressors
  • Consuming other beverages with high sugar content.
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • IBS
  • Diabetes
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Diarrhea
  • Flying
  • Climbing to high altitudes
  • Prescription medication
  • Too much exposure to sun

One of the most common causes of dehydration is forgetting to drink enough throughout the day.  The cells of your body are approximately 80% water and without hydration they cannot continue to function properly.

Dehydration affects the actual viscosity of your blood which means that your heart must beat harder and a little faster every minute, as it tries to oxygenate your cells.

Since the increased thickness of the blood moves at a slower pace, oxygen and nutrients cannot get to your brain, vital organs and muscles fast enough and then you begin to feel the following:

  • fatigued
  • lethargic
  • moody
  • emotional
  • brain fog
  • weakness in muscles
  • lack of focus.

Natural Remedies:

Drink more water throughout the day, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, and make sure you’re getting plenty of electrolytes in the form of whole foods.  This will be especially true if you have been ill with vomiting or had diarrhea. It is easy to make your own electrolyte drink with filtered water, some lemon juice, a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and touch of orange juice.

2. Anemia

Anemia is a condition where a person has a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Anemia is related to a low supply of oxygen reaching cells and tissues throughout the body.

Symptoms:

  • constantly tired despite how much you sleep you get                                               Red Blood Cell
  • lack of focus
  • difficulty exercising
  • weak bones and muscles
  • dizziness
  • headaches

And in extreme cases:

  • fatigue, fainting
  • digestive complaints
  • yellowing of the skin
  • heart palpitations or even heart attack/angina
  • problems with the spleen
  • oxygen hungry

Causes:

  • Anemia occurs when there’s a problem with red blood cells carrying oxygen around the body.  The body is not making hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen, especially to the brain and muscles.
  • A loss of blood can also cause anemia.
  • Diet that is too low in essential nutrients essential for making enough hemoglobin.
  • It’s connected to insufficient iron levels within the blood, usually in addition to low vitamin B12 and folate levels.

Natural Remedies:

Anemia symptoms can be greatly reduced by improving your diet and including plenty of foods that are rich in iron, vitamin B12 and folate. These include:

  • Liver (from beef, chicken etc.) that’s extremely high in iron and B vitamins
  • Consume foods high in Vitamin C that help with iron absorption. (We will look at Vitamin C in my current Information Series – Health Benefits of Vitamins & Minerals).
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast, which is loaded with B vitamins

3.  Insomnia or Poor Quality Sleep

Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night,  according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Causes: 

  • digestive disorders
  • depression/anxiety disorders                                                                                                               Insomnia
  • adrenal fatigue and exhaustion
  • chronic pain
  • stress
  • medications or supplements
  • hormone imbalances
  • staying up late
  • watching too much T.V. or playing with technology too late before bedtime
  • consumption of alcohol

 Sleep deprivation studies repeatedly show a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and motor function,” state researchers from the Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine. (1)

Sleep deprivation has such a destructive effect on our system.  It appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neuro-behavioral functions in healthy adults.” (2)

Natural Remedies:

  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Consume 300-400mg of magnesium one hour before bed.
  • Apply magnesium oil to your skin one hour before bed.
  • Epsom salt bath
  • Avoid eating just prior to bedtime
  • Limit your consumption of caffeine throughout the day to maximum 2 cups and preferably before mid-day.
  • Turn off all electronics 2 hours before bed to avoid blue-light exposure
  • Take one 5mg sub-lingual tablet of Melatonin (do not take long-term – consult with a health professional)
  • Essential Oils

4. Depression 

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and energy zappers in the U.S., with an estimated 16 million adults ages 18 or older having at least one major depressive episode per year. (3)

Causes:

  • Woman suffering from depression in dark roomhigh stress
  • neurotransmitter imbalances
  • emotional problems
  • alcohol
  • hormonal imbalances
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • lack of sunlight
  • food sensitivities
  • heavy metal toxicity

Natural Remedies:

Diet can really help alleviate the symptoms of depression.  This is because foods can significantly affect our mood via the actions of neurotransmitters in our brain.  At Extrawdinary Health & Wellness, I specialize in treating mood disorders and depression with targeted Amino Acid Therapy.  This needs to be done under the supervision of a health care practitioner however, as long term use of amino acids are not advised, and ideally trials need to be run in case of sensitivity and contra-indications.

  • Avoid processed, refined, fast, sugar-heavy foods
  • Avoid  caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol
  • begin a trial of targeted Amino Acid Therapy (under the care of a qualified nutritionist or other health care professional)
  • consume whole foods – fresh fruits, vegetables and superfoods
  • try a little exercise like walking
  • relaxation techniques – deep breathing or meditation
  • Essential oils like lavender, rose, bergamot, geranium, roman chamomile and ylang ylang which have been proven to help elevate mood.

5. Thyroid DiseaseHuman thyroid gland

Sixty percent of people who suffer from Thyroid disease are unaware of it, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. (2)

Symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • cold hands and feet or intolerance of cold in general
  • moodiness
  • muscle and joint pain
  • weight gain or loss
  • vision problems
  • depression
  • high or low blood pressure
  • the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating body temperature, heart rate, production of protein, and also helps control your metabolic rate and energy levels.

Causes:

There are believed to be the five main contributing causes of thyroid disease, which may be the reason you feel like you’re always tired:

  • Hormonal imbalances caused by stress and/or diet
  • Food intolerances
  • Deficiency in iodine or selenium
  • Radiation
  • Toxicity

Natural Remedies:

  • Reduce dairy consumption or avoid all together.
  • Check your levels of systemic heavy metal toxicity
  • Check your levels of selenium and iodine
  • Avoid applying natural care products on your skin which contain phalates and other toxic chemicals (look for all natural alternatives)
  • Herbal detoxification – Dandelion, Milk Thistle, Chlorella, Spiraling, Cilantro, Zeolites etc.
  • Consume the adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, tulsi, reishi
  • Avoid consuming food and beverages from plastic.
  • Rest your body when needed

6. Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue is believed to effect up to one million people in the U.S each year. Women are four times as likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome than men.  The adrenal glands (which sit on top of the kidneys) release over 50 different hormones, including energy and stress regulating cortisol and adrenaline as well as others.

With the stress of modern day life, our adrenal glands are constantly having to deal with daily stressors by producing anti-stress and energy making hormones.  These can eventually get over-taxed and depleted causing the following symptoms to arise.

Symptoms:

  • fatigue that doesn’t improve with sleep                                              adrenal fatigue
  • difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • feelings of overwhelm and stress
  • tired and wired
  • muscle and joint pain
  • stiffness and tenderness
  • headaches
  • frequently getting sick – low immune system
  • weight gain
  • digestive problems
  • PMS
  • mental fogginess
  • can’t remember or retain anything
  • trouble focusing
  • lack of motivation
  • high or low blood pressure

Causes:

  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • processed and junk food
  • excess consumption of sugar
  • excess consumption of caffein
  • lack of sleep
  • environmental toxins and pollution
  • emotional trauma and abuse
  • over-exercising
  • drug and alcohol abuse

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes:

  • hypothalamic activity
  • pituitary dysfunction
  • poor immunity
  • hormonal deficiencies
  • frequent infections
  • yeast overgrowth (Candida)

Natural Remedies:

In order to regain your energy, what can you do to solve adrenal fatigue?

  • Avoid caffeine, excess sugar, processed food and refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats and oils.
  • Consume fresh, whole foods.
  • Adaptogenic herbs  balance hormones and reduce the body’s stress response, improve cortisol levels, insulin sensitivity and result in better energy.  So, try adaptogens like ashwaganda, holy basil and maca root, in addition to nutrients like omega-3 fish oils, magnesium, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc. and selenium
  • Limit stress by applying relaxation techniques
  • exercise moderately.  Over exercising is a great stressor on the body.
  • Try to get to bed around 10:00pm to 10:30pm every night.
  • Rest when the body tells you to!

7. Sedentary Lifestyle

Sitting all day is very hard on your body and can often cause neck pain, soreness, stiffness, back pain, chronic headaches and can make you feel like you’re always tired!

Our body was made to move, so when it doesn’t get regular exercise and movement, we can experience sluggishness, fatigue, low motivation and weight gain.

Causes:

  • sedentary occupation                                                                    sedentary
  • depression
  • lack of movement
  • back problems
  • chronic pain
  • habitual sitting
  • lack of motivation
  • adrenal exhaustion

Regular exercise can help balance hormones, improve insulin resistance and help you to get better sleep.  Exercise  releases endorphins, boosting your stamina and lifting your mood.

Remedies:

  • Try a standing desk or treadmill while you’re working.
  • Get up every 15 minutes and walk around your building, office area or parking lot.
  • Plan regular outdoor activities or exercise right before or after work.
  • Start slowly if it seems overwhelming
  • Try yoga or stretching

8. Leaky Gut SyndromeLeaky Gut syndrome, digestive system

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition in which your intestine becomes damaged and small holes begin to develop in your gut lining. Small molecules of food that normally are unable to pass, seep through your gut wall into your bloodstream which can cause the following:

Symptoms:

  • feeling tired
  • IBS like cramps
  • bloating
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • ADD/ADHD
  • muscle/joint pain
  • arthritis
  • skin issues
  • diarrhea
  • low focus and concentration
  • candida
  • headaches

Causes:

  • antibiotics
  • prescription medication
  • excess sugar
  • gluten sensitivity
  • stress
  • junk foods
  • GMO and foods high in pesticides and herbicides
  • autoimmune conditions

The problem with leaky gut, is that it can often result in nutrient malabsorption that prevents your body from absorbing essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimal health and energy on a daily basis.  Your body can no longer access the basic building blocks it needs to function optimally.  Hence, you begin to feel tired.

Natural Remedies:

  • Avoid foods that damage the gut – Gluten, sugar, unnecessary medications (NSAID’s)
  • Include in your diet the following:  fermented foods, bone broth, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, healthy sources of protein, vegetables and lots of healthy fats.
  • Also consider taking gut-healing supplements such as probiotics, L-glutamine, pancreatic enzymes and quercetin and serrapeptase
  • Include eating whole foods in your diet that supply zinc, iron and B vitamins and/or add supplements.

9. Blood Sugar Imbalance

Many people are not even aware that if you’re always tired, your blood sugar could have something to do with it. Over time, imbalances in blood sugar can lead to serious diseases like Syndrome X.  This condition is related to eating large amounts of  carbohydrates which can raise cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels.  We know also that elevated insulin can promote obesity and high blood pressure.  These problems are related and if occur can leads to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Symptoms:                                                                                           dougnuts

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • mood disorders
  • food cravings
  • anxiety

Causes:

  • processed and junk food
  • metabolic Syndrome
  • type I & II diabetes
  • neurotransmitter imbalances
  • pancreatic function
  • parasites
  • candida

Natural Remedies:

  • To get blood sugar levels back under control, you’ll need to really reduce, or even to completely eliminate, all sources of refined sugar and processed foods from your diet.
  • Include portions of high quality protein at each meal to balance blood sugar
  • Include sources of dietary fibre in the day – beans, peas, salad etc.

10. Poor Diet

The way we eat has a huge impact on the way we feel.  The adage “We are What we Eat” rings so true.  Good nutrition is needed so that the body can break down and use these molecular structures for energy, cell repair and growth, intellect and health.  If we are not eating well it can lead to:

  • hormonal imbalances
  • neurotransmitter imbalances (worry, anxiety, depression)
  • insomnia
  • mood disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • lack of motivation

Consuming a diet high in sugar and hydrogenated fats can lead to numerous problems.  The cell wall begins to get stiff and rigid as opposed to flexible, adrenals are impacted, mood disorders arise, the body cannot access the essential nutrients to make healthy hormones or neurotransmitters.  These are just some of the problems…

How To Correct a Poor Diet:

Try incorporating more of these energy-promoting foods:

  • Consume more whole foods, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds
  • If you are prone to disordered eating, seek the guidance of a good therapist to help you
  • Targeted Amino Acid Therapy can help (seek guidance of a qualified nutritionist or other health care provider)
  • Consume foods high in B vitamins
  • Foods high in calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, which can all help you to relieve stress and get better sleep Healthy sources of fats, including omega-3 fatty acids
  • Consuming too much sugar, processed food and caffeine actually steals nutrition from the body – feeding into a vicious cycle and you end up feeling worse.

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15798944
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12683469
  3. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
  4. http://www.thyroid.org/media-main/about-hypothyroidism/
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About Michelle



Michelle Firrisi is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Clinical Herbalist. She lived most of her life in the Island of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, UK.

She now lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Michelle also holds an Honours Degree in Bachelor of Science Podiatric Medicine and practices Reiki, Massage and Shamanism. Her main speciality is in the areas of Addiction, Anxiety, Depression and reversing Mood Disorders with targeted Amino Acid Therapy & Nutrition.

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Disclaimer


Statements and opinions written on this website are based on experience and designed for educational purposes only. It should not be taken as professional medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet or with all medical conditions consult a qualified medical professional.