Are you feeling tired all the time? Do you wake up feeling un-refreshed and fatigued despite getting a full night’s sleep? If you jump straight into bed at the end of the day, have a good night sleep but still have to drag yourself out of bed and struggle through the day, you may be suffering from fatigue.
Most people nowadays have extremely stressful and busy lives. So, it is normal to feel tiredness some of the time. This tiredness generally resolves itself after some rest and relaxation. However, increasingly more and more people are experiencing persistent, unremitting tiredness. Chronic fatigue is becoming a common presenting compliant of many New Zealanders and Australians. However, it is often misunderstood and at times even dismissed, particularly if there is no easily identifiable cause.
There are many reasons for fatigue. Things that may lead to fatigue include:
- low iron levels
- digestion issues
- liver issues
- hormonal imbalances
- excess body fat
- toxicity in the body
- stress and adrenal fatigue
- unstable blood sugar level
- mitochondrial dysfunction
As you can see, there can be multiple reasons why you feel tired. Basically, you can feel fatigued and lack energy when your body systems are not functioning at the optimum levels.
Persistent ongoing stress is a big contributor to fatigue. Our adrenals are designed to pump out stress hormones for the fight or flight response. The hormone, adrenaline, converts our stored glycogen into sugar for us to run away from the saber tooth tiger. The muscles have the sugar and the pupils dilate all ready for the run. Modern day stress usually does not have a physical component, and the sugar made ready for the muscles to use is often not used up. Persistent high levels of sugar in the blood stream can compromise immunity, increase inflammation, store fats and cause insomnia.
Persistent high level of stress hormones also shuts down proper digestion, which in the long term, affects our absorption of nutrients. Nutritional deficiencies and a sluggish digestive system from stress and adrenal fatigue can profoundly impact energy production.
Poor energy production at the cellular level is the key contributing factor for feeling weak and fatigue. To increase your energy level, you need to ensure that your mitochondria are working at full capacity for optimal energy. Mitochondria are the “powerhouses” within every cell. They make energy to keep each cell in your body functioning well. Mitochondria require certain nutrients to work efficiently. No matter what else is going on in your body, you will have reduced energy production if the mitochondrial function is impaired.
If you experience fatigue, improving mitochondrial function is the important first step towards improving your energy levels. Damage to your mitochondria is a primary reason why you feel fatigued. This damage occurs when bad diets and lifestyle choices stimulate the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are potentially harmful substances formed in your body that can damage your cells, your mitochondria and your DNA. Here are some common nutrients that can help support your mitochondrial function naturally and give your energy levels a boost:
- Magnesium - an essential mineral that is used in over 300 biochemical processes in your body and is essential for the conversion of sugars, fats and proteins to energy. Over half of New Zealanders and Australians are magnesium deficient.
- CoEnzyme Q10 – a vitamin like compound that is essential for energy production. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial in the management of fatigue as it enhances cellular energy production.
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – these nutrients from fish oil or krill oil are vital for the integrity and stability of every cell in your bodies. Omega-3 can help lower stress levels and reduce fatigue by stimulating the growth and size of the mitochondria.
If you have adrenal fatigue, you need to rebuild your adrenals to support normal body function again.