Everyone knows what it’s like to be tired.
A restless night’s sleep, the temperature in the room being too hot (or too cold), too much light, or loud noises can all contribute to one not getting a restful night’s sleep.
But chronic fatigue – being tired all the time, for no obvious reason, is different.
If you think you may be experiencing this, a chronic fatigue naturopath like the ones at Annex Naturopathic Clinic can help.
Keep reading to learn more about fatigue and what might be causing it.
Chronic Vs. Acute Fatigue
Acute fatigue is fatigue with an obvious cause, and passes over time.
Perhaps you’re pulling long hours at work to complete a project by a deadline, or busy with many projects due for school within a short time.
Working long hours, and foregoing sleep to get things done, resulting in fatigue. But you KNOW WHY you’re tired. Once that deadline has passed, and those projects are submitted, you’ll be able to get back on track.
There is an obvious reason for your acute fatigue in this case.
Chronic fatigue is different.
If you’ve had full night’s sleep and you’re still tired, over an extended period of time, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing chronic fatigue.
When Is Your Fatigue Chronic?
If you’re living with low energy and mood, are regularly having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and these symptoms have persisted for longer than six months, you may be experiencing chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue may also come with cognitive difficulties, such as problems with short term memory.
8 Common Causes Of Chronic Fatigue
Let’s take a deeper look at the causes of your fatigue, and how to spot them.
Anemia occurs when your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells.
One of the main components of red blood cells is hemoglobin, which attaches and carries oxygen throughout the body to all organs and muscles.Oxygen is an important ingredient for energy production by our cells.
Low levels of red blood cells limits the amount of oxygen to the cells, and this can result in fatigue.
Symptoms of Anemia
Symptoms of anemia include:
• loss of energy
• difficulty concentrating
• pale skin
• leg cramps.
A person with anemia who is exercising may also experience an unusually rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and headache.
Fibromyalgia affects muscles and soft tissue.
It’s the second most common condition that greatly affects bones and muscles.
While there is no cure, symptoms can be managed through a combination of medication, healthy habits, exercise, and stress management.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Aside from muscle soreness, symptoms can include:
• dry mouth
• sensitivity to temperatures (cold, heat)
• sensitivity to light or sound
• increased urination
• numbness or tingling in face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid is underactive and does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone.
The thyroid hormone controls our metabolism, which heavily influences the way our bodies produce energy. Without it,our metabolism, and therefore our energy production, slows down.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can be difficult to spot, as it’s symptoms may be similar to other conditions.
Symptoms typically include:
• changes to the menstrual cycle
• dry skin and hair
• slowed heart rate
• unexplained weight gain
Just as too little thyroid hormone can be problematic, so can too much.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone.
This increase in hormones can produce unpleasant symptoms related to uncontrolled metabolism, leading to low energy.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
If you are experiencing hyperthyroidism, you may experience the following symptoms:
• anxiety or irritability
• mood swings
• heat sensitivity
• an enlarged thyroid (also called a goiter, this has the appearance of making your neck look swollen)
• unexplained weight loss
• sleep problems
• thin or brittle hair.
Diabetes is when the body either does not produce enough insulin, or becomes insulin resistant.
Insulin helps the body to metabolize sugars, and without the ability to do this,our blood sugar levels increase. Long-term high blood sugars can lead to chronic health problems such as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disorders.
Symptoms of Diabetes
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it may be a sign of diabetes:
• hunger and tiredness, due to the inability of your body to metabolize glucose
• frequent urination
• dry mouth
• blurred vision.
6. Sleep Disorders
There are a number of sleep disorders which could be causing your fatigue, for the obvious reason that they are interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Let’s take a look at some of these.
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep, and as a result the brain and body may not be getting enough oxygen.
The cause of sleep apnea could be a blockage of the airway, or due to failure of the brain to signal muscles to breathe.
Hypersomnia is excessive time spent sleeping.
People with hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time, and may have problems thinking clearly, or experience lack of energy.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a feeling of uncomfortable sensations such as “pins and needles” or a “creepy crawly” feeling in the legs.
This condition often worsens when at rest, sitting or lying down, and often worsen at night causing disruption to sleep.
7. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Gastrointestinal disorders can cause discomfort and pain which may affect a person’s ability to get a proper night’s sleep.
Common Gastrointestinal Disorders
Digestive disorders that may be causing an inability to sleep properly may include heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, diarrhea, gas, stomach pains and cramps.
8. Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression often result in a racing mind, and inability to “shut down” at the end of the day, as one goes through the day’s events in their mind.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
As you can see, there are many reasons for why you may be experiencing fatigue.
Are you tired all the time, and can’t quite pinpoint why?
Do you have symptoms which may be linked to another underlying condition, which you want to explore, as the possible cause of your fatigue?
At Annex Naturopathic we will discuss your health history and work with you to get to the underlying cause of your health issues, and develop a treatment plan to suit your needs.
Yours in Health,
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND