Sneaky Causes of Fatigue
There are many reasons or causes of fatigue, but here are a few sneaky ones that I see quite often when working with clients.
The first one I wanted to talk about is insulin resistance. Now this is one you should be aware of when you do your annual labs with your primary care or your practitioner, but sometimes your doc might not always test for it, and I'm gonna lump insulin resistance and pre-diabetes in the same category, even though technically pre-diabetes just means that your hemoglobin A1C is in this range that's not quite diabetes, but still a little bit elevated. But one of the reasons I often see pre-diabetes happen is because what happens first is that your body starts to become resistant to insulin, and that often happens gradually or slowly over time, and can occur before you see that hemoglobin A1C number start to creep up.
When the body starts to have an issue with your glucose metabolism it can really start to throw off some other hormones and other areas in the body. Your body starts to work harder to produce more insulin because your cells are now resistant to the insulin it's usually creating. So it has to pump out a little bit more to start to get the same effect. This puts a tax on your, or a burden on your metabolic processes in your body, which can lead you to feeling some fatigue.
Another common cause should be no surprise and that is stress. Yes, chronic stress can absolutely leaving you feeling exhausted, tired, and worn out. And I know this may sound really simple like duh, but so many times people don't actually realize how much of a toll the stress may be taking on their body.Just like with insulin resistance, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your hormones as well. And if your hormones are out of balance, you of course are going to feel exhausted and fatigued,
Another common kind of silent cause that we don't really talk about a lot, and I'm gonna lump two together here, that's depression and pain. So in my physical practice in Seattle, I see a lot of basically kind of pain patients.
I deal a lot with sports medicine and chronic chronic pain. I see the toll both physically and mentally, that chronic pain can cause. And a lot of times it leads to a feeling of fatigue. Again, your body's inflamed. You are probably having a lot of oxidative stress because your body's trying to repair itself, and that really just physically can wear you out.
And that's where depression can also come into play. When you have, you know, a low mood kind of all the time, or you start to feel depressed, it can actually make the pain worse, which can then, then actually make the fatigue worse, so on and so forth. You can see how all of these things can start to spiral and make you feel really exhausted. It's important to recognize that this could be contributing to some of your symptoms. So seeking out the appropriate remedies for either pain relief or kind of shifting your mindset, whether that be medication or meditation, is really important to make sure that you do.
Another really common cause that it's so simple that we often overlook it is our nutrition. Here in the west, especially in America, it's very easy to be overfed but undernourished. So again, I always come back to the idea of looking at your nutrition pretty closely, taking a look at your macro breakdown. Are you getting enough of the basic carbs, fats and protein to sustain enough energy for your metabolic demands? Enough energy for your brain, enough energy so that you actually don't feel exhausted? And I know that it sounds simple, but I bring it up because I see it so often. when I actually do either a diet recall or have a client track their nutrition for the week, we take a look and lo and behold, they're either not getting calories that have value, meaning calories that actually have, you know, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
So looking at things like insulin resistance and blood sugar management, pre-diabetes, taking real actual evaluation of your stress levels and seeing where you can be more resilient, where can you reduce some stress? Where can you cut things out? You know, have you overcommitted to some things? Do you just need some help seeking help for things like depression and pain management? And also, again, looking at your nutrition. These are all things that are actually seem quite simple, but sometimes you need a little bit of help or you need a little bit of guidance or accountability and support.
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