While we know that fatigue is commonly caused by insufficient or poor quality sleep, it can also be the symptom of various other conditions. And while we feel it on a physical level through a lack of energy, fatigue may be an indication of a disruption occurring on a cellular level with our mitochondria.
Did you know that women report fatigue almost twice as often as men?
Typical signs and symptoms of fatigue include tiredness, poor concentration, irritability and a general feeling of weakness, but some other symptoms you may not realise include:
- An increase in inflammation
- Aches and pains
- Dull skin, hair and eyes
- Lowered immunity and susceptibility to infection
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
- Blurry vision
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of tolerance for normal everyday stressors
- Low mood
- Poor short-term memory or brain fog
To stop the fatigue we must first determine WHY you feel this way.
Common Causes of Fatigue
- Too many refined carbohydrates
- Inadequate calories
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Chronic pain
- Depressive disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hypoglycaemia, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus
- Nutritional deficiencies like B12, vitamin D, and iron
- Food or chemical intolerances
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Lyme Disease
- Adrenal fatigue (HPA dysregulation)
- Perimenopause and menopause (hormonal changes)
- Acute respiratory infection
- Acute gastrointestinal infections
- More serious conditions such as autoimmunity, cardiovascular disease and cancer
Zeroing In on the Cause of Fatigue
If you’re not sure what’s causing you to feel tired, start here:
Take the HHY FREE Hormonal Assessment.
This will help you determine if your fatigue is associated with a hormonal imbalance. Perimenopause, menopause and other reproductive conditions commonly cause a drop in energy and vitality.
See your preferred health practitioner for a complete assessment on whether your thyroid, liver, blood pressure, blood sugar, inflammation, cholesterol or nutrient levels are playing a role.
Reassess your dietary intake.
Educate yourself on what your body needs to feel vital and energetic. Avoid caffeine and guard against dehydration. Review our FREE 8-Week Program to help you embark on a healthy eating regime. This program ensures your basic nutritional needs are met through the right balance of healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fermented foods.
6 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Energy
Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
It might sound a little counterintuitive to exercise when feeling tired. However, one of the main reasons we feel fatigued aside from lack of sleep is from inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. Start small and go slow if you find it a bit daunting. With dedication and persistence, you’ll feel a lot more energetic in no time!
2. Reduce inflammation.
A processed diet, stress and disease create inflammation that can lead to fatigue. Combat inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet and taking our Happy Turmeric formulation.
Create a happy tummy.
The good bugs in your digestive tract help you absorb nutrients from food better. This means you provide better fuel for your body so you feel more energetic. In contrast, you’ll feel bloated and fatigued when poor bacteria take over. Add fermented foods to your diet to nurture your digestive functions.
Happy Greens and Happy Turmeric are both fermented and are a good source of Live probiotic bacteria. We also recommend our Coconut Yoghurt and Kefir Starters to help deeply nourish your gut microbiome.
Be present and ‘in the moment’.
When we get caught up in our stream of thoughts we tend to be stressed and anxious. This leads to more inflammation and acidity in the body, both of which are big players in the presentation of fatigue. Chronic over-activation of our adrenal glands and nervous system can also lead to issues with energy production. Adrenal fatigue is one of the main reasons we experience tiredness.
Have some protein with your breakfast.
A protein-rich meal at the start of your day will provide you with more constant energy than one solely from carbohydrate. Moreover, if you rely on caffeine alone to wake you up, you’re simply depending on stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline to perk you up and sustain you. Happy weight is a health plant based protein powder which can be added to smoothies to increase protein intake.
It’s estimated that 20 - 30 % of older adults are dehydrated. Research has shown that the most significant effects of dehydration include decreased alertness, increased sleepiness, fatigue and confusion. In fact, a dehydration level of just 1% can adversely affect cognitive performance!
Get quality sleep.
It’s not simply about the number of hours of sleep you get – deep and uninterrupted slumber is equally important. Deep and uninterrupted slumber is key, as is aiming to wake and rise more closely with the sun, every day of the week. Happy Calm is an excellent tool to assist in reestablishing healthy sleep patterns. For more tips on boosting energy through improved sleep, see our article on 22 Tips to Improve Sleep & Hormonal Health.
De Vries JD, van Hooff ML, Geurts SA, Kompier MA. Exercise as an Intervention to Reduce Study-Related Fatigue among University Students: A Two-Arm Parallel Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):e0152137. Published 2016 Mar 31. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152137
Nabb SL, Benton D. The effect of the interaction between glucose tolerance and breakfasts varying in carbohydrate and fibre on mood and cognition. Nutr Neurosci. 2006;9(3-4):161-168.
Tanaka M, Tajima S, Mizuno K, et al. Frontier studies on fatigue, autonomic nerve dysfunction, and sleep-rhythm disorder. J Physiol Sci. 2015;65(6):483-498.
Matos MG, Gaspar T, Tomé G, Paiva T. Sleep variability and fatigue in adolescents: Associations with school-related features. Int J Psychol. 2016;51(5):323-331.