This Is Why You’re Always Tired And What You Can Do About It
Adult fatigue is becoming a growing epidemic with up to 40% of teens reporting feeling more tired than they should. Though feeling tired is a normal part of the ups and downs of life, if you are chronically tired something is wrong.
There could be several reasons you feel wiped out but the first place to look is your mitochondria. Your mitochondria are the parts of your cells that make energy by responding to different parts of your environment including your exercise routine, your eating habits, your skincare routine, what’s in your water, and more. So they are the first place to look if you notice that your energy levels are constantly low.
Let’s break down some of the factors that can help contribute to fatigue and how you can remedy them.
One Or More Food Intolerances
It’s not uncommon to have an undetected food intolerance. It’s estimated that anywhere from 4-60% of the population struggle with food intolerance. These are rough numbers because if a food intolerance goes undetected, it is hard to count it in studies.
The problem with not knowing that you may have a food intolerance is that you will continue to eat that food without realizing the effect it is having on your body and your overall well-being. For example, dairy protein is a common food trigger and the American diet is filled with dairy proteins. So if you are unaware that you have an intolerance you could expose yourself to many low-level triggers throughout the week. This can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body.
Scientists have linked chronic fatigue syndrome with food allergies. Celiac disease is a very common food allergy (gluten allergy) and has been directly linked to chronic fatigue. In kids, fatigue from food allergies may actually present as irritability.
In order to find out if you have a food allergy or food intolerance that is disturbing your sleep, you can try the following: keep a detailed food diary describing everything you ate throughout the day and how it made you feel afterward, schedule an appointment with a doctor who can test you for allergies, and try eliminating major food triggers (eggs, dairy, soy, and wheat) and see how you feel. You can also slowly add these foods back in one by one to see if you have a reaction.
Undetected Chronic Conditions
When systems in your body are compromised, you will feel it and need to rest in order to recover from it. This can include things such as the common cold or flu. However, you could also suffer from a much bigger disease that will leave you feeling wiped out if it is not addressed. Conditions such as psychological defects, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, a lingering virus, or even an autoimmune disease can chip away at your body’s natural energy levels over time.
As your body works to heal from diseases it will need to rest. But, if you are unaware of a lingering problem it may be easy to reach for caffeine or sugar to boost your energy. The substances, though giving you a quick fix of energy, will not solve chronic fatigue. Instead, work with a functional doctor to set up an appointment to get blood work and other hormonal panels taken to see if there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
If you stay up late one night and are tired the next morning it’s easy to assume the fix is simple; just go to bed earlier the following night. However, suffering from sleep orders such as insomnia or sleep apnea is much harder to solve. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and or may cause you to wake up early without being able to fall back asleep. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder where breathing may stop and start and disrupt sleeping patterns.
If you are experiencing either of these it is important to consult a doctor to get tested and figure out ways to help ease symptoms. However, if you are sleeping long enough but not drifting off into deep enough sleep you can try things such as weighted blankets, sleep trackers, and powering down electronics an hour before bed. It is important to make sure your body is getting deep, restful, REM cycles because that’s when it does all its best healing.
Eating A Carb-Heavy Diet
It is true that carbs (carbohydrates) are an essential source of fuel and energy for our bodies. However, consuming too many carbs throughout the day can be hard on your digestive system. When you eat cars they break down into sugars in the bloodstream. Whatever sugars your body doesn’t burn throughout the day get turned into glycogen and stored in the body for use later.
If you over-consume carbs and never use the glycogen that your body has produced, it will eventually turn into fat. Once your body stores these carbs as fat it will register that you are low energy and therefore you will crave more carbs and the cycle will repeat. Balancing out your diet with more lean proteins and unsaturated fats can keep your energy level throughout the day so you don’t experience highs and crashes, resulting in craving more food.
Adrenal Burnout And Adrenal Fatigue
Your adrenal glands are two small glands in your body that are responsible for regulating a lot of different hormones that control energy levels. One of the main hormones they are in charge of is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol in the body has been known to have adverse effects such as weight gain and insomnia. When cortisol levels are normal and functioning properly they will spike in the morning to wake you up and then decrease slowly throughout the day so that you are tired in time for bed.
Chronic stress will have a negative impact on the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue and adrenal burnout are caused by your adrenals working overtime to keep your cortisol levels normal throughout the day. If your cortisol can not regulate itself naturally you will experience things such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, and even autoimmune diseases.
Make an appointment with a functional doctor or a holistic doctor to have your adrenals properly tested to make sure they are working the way they should.
Over-Exposure To Toxins
If you are over-exposed to toxins on a daily basis it can wreak havoc on your body. Toxins can come from processed foods, cleaning products, heavy chemicals in deodorants, and mold. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and daily habits to notice how they are affecting you. Metals like mercury, lead, and aluminum can end up in your food, in the air you breathe, in the water you drink, and even in the containers you eat your food out of.
Though your body can naturally cleanse itself of toxins if you are constantly exposed to them, it has to work overtime to expel them from your system. As discussed earlier, if your body is fighting off lingering problems it will need more rest. Be aware if you have water damage or damp areas in your house because mold is a more common issue than people realize that can destroy your immune system.
While feeling tired can be a normal part of life, it is important to always keep an eye on your fatigue levels. If you are constantly tired or heavily relying on substances such as caffeine and sugar to get you through a regular day, you may want to take a look at your lifestyle and see if there are any changes that need to be made to support your body. When in doubt, opt for more rest.