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Feeling Fatigued?

The end of winter can have a lot of us feeling a bit fatigued.
Therefore, this month we are focusing on how to reduce fatigue, and increase energy and vitality. As fatigue is probably one of the most common symptoms we see in the clinic, and one that Naturopathy is so great at improving.

So keep your eye out for the following blogs where we will continue to discuss fatigue and offer some handy tips and tricks to increase your energy and vitality, to get you bouncing into spring, like you should be!

So, What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is the feeling of constant and ongoing tiredness or weakness, which can be mental, physical, or both. This feeling may not be better for sleep, or exercise, and is more than just feeling tired. It not only encroaches on our ability to carry out day-to-day tasks but can greatly impact our quality and enjoyment of life.

How do we make energy?

If we go right back to high school science class, you might remember a funny oval-looking thing inside that ‘cell’ you at some point had to draw, make or at least put names to on a diagram.

If you put ‘powerhouse’ on the arrow pointing to the oval shape in the cell, you were correct! This oval-shaped ‘thing’ is the mitochondria, and is commonly referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, because this is what turns the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat into energy! Also known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

This process occurs through a myriad of complex processes and requires a variety of specific nutrients to run smoothly and efficiently.

Why Am I So Tired?

Constant ongoing fatigue should not be normal and is something that needs to be investigated, and attended to. First and foremost, everyone deserves to feel energized throughout the day, and to live their life to the fullest! But also, because it is a sign of underlying imbalance or dis-ease in the body.

So, if you are feeling tired all the time here are some areas to consider:

Stress and Overwork

– We live in a culture which at times can feel like it idolises ‘burn-out’, working hard and being stressed is ‘cool’, but it is not cool to your body. Overexerting yourself physically, mentally emotionally, and socially, all cause strain on our body especially when it is consistent over long periods, for a number of reasons such as depletion of nutrients and hormonal consequences, this can result in fatigue.

Poor Sleep Quality and Sleep Disorders

– Irregular and unpredictable sleep schedules as well as issues that impact sleep such as sleep apnea, restless legs, anxiety, depression, and pain can all interfere with a good night’s sleep and consequently cause fatigue during the day.

Poor Diet

– Specific nutrients are needed for the body to create energy, and oxygen which supports optimal energy levels. In addition, how and what we eat also affects how our energy is utilised, for example eating a candy bar will give us a peak in energy followed by a crash, whereas a macro balanced meal with protein, fats, and carbohydrates will give us sustained energy to last us till our next meal.

Dehydration

– They say we are approximately 60% water, so when we are dehydrated you can pretty much reduce 60% of your energy. Water is needed for so many functions in our body, such as digestion, temperature regulation, absorption of nutrients, and excretion of waste products. Therefore, dehydration can easily lead to fatigue and tiredness, both physically and mentally.

Alcohol

– Frequent and heavy alcohol use can impact nutritional status, especially b vitamins needed for energy production, cause blood sugar dysregulation, and impair detoxification leading to difficulty concentrating, tiredness and fatigue. Excessive consumption can also reduce REM sleep or deep restorative sleep.

Smoking

– Nicotine is both a stimulant and a sedative, as it begins with an energy hit that people crave, and then sedates leaving you tired and craving more once it wears off.

Screen Fatigue

– With our world moving faster and faster into the digital age, screen time and its effects are becoming more and more prevalent, some of these include eyestrain, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and overwhelmingly fatigue. This may be contributed to by the use of screens at night which causes reduced melatonin production due to the blue light, and subsequently can cause sleep disturbance and therefore daytime fatigue.

Underlying Health conditions

– There are a range of health conditions that may be contributing to fatigue, including hormonal imbalance, depression, anaemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, chronic infections, anxiety, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, etc. A Naturopath can support you in reducing fatigue in most of these conditions, and can also ascertain when a referral is needed if not.

Weight

– Obesity can cause chronic low-grade inflammation and stress in the body, which promotes fatigue among other things.

Sedentary lifestyle

– Low physical activity is associated with increased reports of fatigue, most likely due to reduced fitness and dysregulated metabolism, especially blood sugar.

These are just some of the causes of fatigue, for a more comprehensive analysis of what may be contributing to your fatigue as an individual, I encourage you to book in with one of our Naturopaths at Malvern Natural Health Care. Our Naturopaths can look at you as a whole and find the root cause of why you may be feeling fatigued, and work with you to get you feeling vital and energised again!

Over the next month, we will be looking at strategies to get more energy! So look out for the next few upcoming blogs!

Malvern Natural Health Care

(03) 9572 3211

info@mnhc.com.au

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