- Tired Blood- A simple blood test can help to reveal if a condition called anemia or low iron is the cause of your fatigue. Levels of Ferritin (Iron storage) falling below 15 are considered to be severe anemia. However levels between 16 and 100 are still considered to be an issue especially when accompanied by other anemia symptoms. These symptoms can include feeling cold, paleness, shortness of breath, dizziness, lowered immunity, irritability, headaches, hair loss and easy bruising. The fix is simple and should include a combination of an easy to absorb iron supplement along with Vitamin C, B12 and Folic acid. Most people feel dramatically better within 21 days.
- Action step: Ask your Dr to test your Ferritin levels as well as a CBC which will test all of your blood cells. Ferritin levels falling below 100 along with fatigue can indicate low iron (optimal range is over 100).
- Low Thyroid Function- This accounts for up to one third of the population's fatigue symptoms. There are 4 lab tests that should be done in order to get the complete thyroid function picture. These include TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and TPO. TSH is the main marker for thyroid function and levels above 3.0 are considered to be a low functioning thyroid. Other symptoms may include feeling cold, hair loss, depression, weight gain, constipation, headaches, brain fog, aches and pains.
Action step: Book in for a complete hormone panel or a complete thyroid panel- this type of comprehensive testing is not available through your regular Dr but is available through Dr Cobi. Inquire within for more information.
- Food Allergies- Fatigue can be the result of hidden food allergies or sensitivities. Gluten is the biggest culprit in the case of fatigue but other inflammatory foods such as sugar, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, pork, shellfish, eggs and processed foods often also play a part.
Action Step: In order to discover if foods are playing a role in your fatigue you can undergo a 21 day food elimination diet whereby all of the listed foods are eliminated for 21 days and then slowly re-introduced back in one at a time three days apart. Alternatively a simple blood test called an ELISA food allergy panel can easily reveal hidden food allergies. This type of testing is only available through Dr's of Natural Medicine and is available through Dr Cobi. Inquire within for more information.
- Adrenal Fatigue- Stress plays a role in almost all disease and conditions and fatigue is no different. The adrenal glands are responsible for secreting the hormones that we need in order to respond to the stressors in our lives. Chronic stress can deplete the function of the adrenals and reserves can therefore become diminished. This can result in fatigue, lowered stress resistance, lowered immune function and an overall burnt out feeling.
Action Step: Testing for adrenal function can be done through a saliva test known as the Adrenal Stress Index or through a Complete Hormone Panel. This type of testing is available through Dr Cobi. Inquire within for more information.
- Sleep- It is estimated that 60% of Canadian's are suffering with some type of sleep issue. Sleep is key to our daytime energy levels and many of us are burning the candle at both ends.
Action Step: The first step is create a "sleep routine". Start winding down around 8 pm. Step away from the computer and dim the lights. Doing this will allow your brain to start producing melatonin. Avoid eating after 7 pm so that your digestive system can also take a much needed rest.
The next step is create a "sleep zone". This means creating a space that is inviting for sleep. Turn your bedroom into an oasis of comfort and relaxation. Make sure there are no lights left on in your room. Turn the alarm clock away from your head so the light from it does not interfere with your melatonin production. If outside noise is an issue, invest in a white noise unit. Keep pets on their own beds and out of yours. Turn off the TV and empty your mind of the day's worries.