The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition affects more people than lupus, multiple sclerosis, and some forms of cancer. Moreover, approximately 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems, fueling debilitating tiredness. So, what are the root causes of this epidemic of fatigue? Let’s take a look at the 10 unobvious causes of chronic fatigue you need to know:
1. Viral infections
Viral infections are one of the most common factors of fatigue. According to several studies, Herpes viruses like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), cytomegalovirus, and HHV-7 are often connected with chronic fatigue.
You can try natural antiviral remedies like bee propolis, astragalus, olive leaf, melissa Officinalis, L-lysine, zinc, and vitamin C. Talk to your health care provider to determine what option is better for you.
2. Insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is also called metabolic syndrome. This condition includes issues like obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. When you are resistant to insulin, glucose that enters your body can’t get into your cells to create energy. This can actually provoke tiredness and irritability. Insulin resistance is also linked to sleep apnea and further chronic fatigue.
In order to fix this problem, it’s important to change your diet by eliminating sugars and adding vegetables, fruits, meats, and healthy fats. You may also try natural options like chromium, alpha-lipoic acid, and cinnamon, they are good blood sugar stabilizers.
3. Thyroid issues
Around 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid problems. Every cell in the body requires the thyroid hormone for energy and that’s why any thyroid disorder is accompanied by chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, many people live with undiagnosed thyroid issues.
If you suspect you suffer from thyroid issues, the first step is to talk to your health care provider and perform a complete hormone panel test. Don’t try to self-medicate since thyroid conversion dysfunctions, thyroid resistance, and autoimmune thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s disease need different treatment.
4. Adrenal fatigue
Your adrenal glands are directly connected with your brain through a complex web of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), also called the brain-adrenal axis. When communication between your brain and adrenal glands is not working properly this causes cortisol spikes and thus adrenal fatigue.
Adaptogenic herbs such as holy basil, maca, ashwagandha, and Rhodiola are able to balance cortisol levels. You may also consider meditation that can help you rehab your own adrenal fatigue.
5. Nutrient deficiencies
To keep a healthy and energetic body, you need to get enough nutrients. Lack of iron, vitamin D or B vitamins can lead to fatigue and irritability. Before buying supplements, perform labs to check your nutrient levels.
6. Gut issues
According to the Journal of Affective Disorders, condition like the leaky gut syndrome is linked to chronic fatigue. This syndrome is characterized by damage to the intestinal lining, which allows undigested proteins and gut bacteria to get into the bloodstream, causing inflammation throughout the body.
Unfortunately, this is not the only gut problem that can provoke inflammation and tiredness. Candida overgrowth and unmanaged food intolerances may also be to blame. Your best bet is to start the elimination diet. Using natural medicines like L-glutamine, probiotic therapy, and bone broth is also a good way to heal the gut.
Every medication has side effects and many of them can lead to fatigue. If you’re currently taking any meds, find out if your fatigue is one of the side effects. If you suspect your medications are provoking fatigue, talk to your health care provider about other medications you might take.
Chronic systemic inflammation weakens the immune system and often provokes fatigue and brain fog. Use turmeric, green tea, astragalus, and skullcap to modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. And don’t forget to consult your health care provider as inflammation is always an indicator of chronic health issues.
Toxins are everywhere – in our foods, health care products, and air. Toxin overload affects our energy. According to one study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, exposure to environmental toxins increases chronic fatigue. Without any doubt, it’s impossible to completely avoid toxins but you can reduce your exposure to them. Eat more detoxing foods like garlic, cilantro, parsley, plantain leaf, spirulina, sage, and red clover blossom.