January 21, 2019 1:00 am

Why you’re so tired and what you can do about it

We may not realize it but stress is contagious and on this week’s episode of The Super Awesome Science Show, we find out how this happens.

Getty Images
A A

It’s easy to believe the exhaustion we feel is a byproduct of a busy life, but some doctors say a combination of environmental factors is often to blame for feelings of tiredness.

“Now we know that fatigue basically comes from a lot of different pathways that essentially affect our overall hormone balance,” says Dr. Julie Reil, a physician in Billings, Mont. who specializes in women’s health.

Story continues below

She tells Global News there are potential toxins in the water we drink, food we eat and beauty products we use that can affect hormone production and, in turn, our energy levels.

One example is triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal ingredient that was commonly found in products such as hand soap until September 2017. It was later banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because it was found to disrupt hormones.

(Hormones are chemical messengers that exist throughout the endocrine system and that regulate everything from our emotions to immune system. It’s been reported that people who have hormonal deficiencies suffer from chronic fatigue.)

Adrenal stress may lead to feelings of fatigue

Research suggests that when we’re going through a demanding period of time, our adrenal glands can fall victim to this pressure.

While debate surrounds the topic, experts in this area note that when these hormone-producing glands are attacked, they’re unable to properly regulate the production of anti-stress hormones like cortisol.

It’s reported that people who suffer from adrenal stress often see sustained high levels of cortisol throughout the day which can lead to sleeplessness and eventually fatigue.

“The good news is adrenal fatigue is treatable with different supplements such as AdrenaSense®. [It] contains a category of herbs called adaptogens [that] have been extensively studied and improve the body’s response to stress,” adds Dr. Reil.

“Energy levels may not improve overnight, but most people will notice improvement after three or four weeks, and should maintain normal energy levels within two to three months.”

In some cases, fatigue can be a symptom of low thyroid, Dr. Reil says. People who suspect they suffer from hypothyroidism should be tested by their doctor.

For those patients, ThyroSense® may be a solution. The supplement does not replace prescription thyroid medication, but its natural combination of important nutrients can help deal with symptoms such as weight gain and anxiety.

Diet and exercise can be a solution

The first thing Dr. Reil does with patients complaining of fatigue is place them on a nutritional routine. This is especially important for women in their perimenopause and menopausal years because their bodies are undergoing drastic hormonal changes.

“At that point, not only are you having the barrage of external and internal factors that affect our hormone balance, but you actually have your ovaries shutting down,” says Dr. Reil.

To set a foundation for good hormone health, it’s recommended that patients take a multivitamin with minerals every day. An omega-3 supplement, either from a fish or vegetarian source and vitamin D are also good options.

“Those three things, if nothing else, can make a huge difference for people’s overall hormone balance,” Dr. Reil adds.

A more active lifestyle can also be a remedy.

“Recent studies have shown that just walking [can improve] cognition, better blood flow, smoother joint movement and overall balance of hormones,” she says.

When in doubt, treat your fatigue

No matter what the cause of your fatigue, Dr. Reil recommends it should not be left untreated.

“You truly may be missing out on a quality of life that you could otherwise enjoy. I would always say to keep searching for the reason, especially if you’re aware that this is not your normal energy level. If something has changed, look for interventions, look for ways that you can help yourself.”

 

If you’re experiencing feelings of fatigue, feelings of stress, or other hormonal-related issues consider WomenSense®.  It’s available at your natural food stores. To find out more about your underlying health issues and how to help them, take this test and learn more here.

 

 

 

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.