In last weeks blog post we talked about three common causes or reasons why people complain of being tired all the time. Today we are discussing two more!
There are a multitude of reasons why people suffer from fatigue or low energy and just feel tired all the time. However there are two health problems that I see a lot of patients suffering with that is often the underlying cause of their fatigue issues. If you are chronically tired or fatigued, it is not something that you should just brush off, as people often do. I have had many people say to me, “I just seem to be tired all the time, I guess it’s part of aging.” Unfortunately sometimes people are told that by their peers or medical professionals they trust. In reality though it is not just aging, and it can be that they are suffering from one or both of these health problems that often go undetected or are misdiagnosed. They are anemia and adrenal dysfunction. In order to detect if you’re suffering from either of these problems, Laboratory testing is required.
Testing for Anemia
For anemia you must see a medical professional and have blood drawn. The primary test that is required to detect the anemia is called a CBC or complete blood count. The CBC measures several components of your blood, including the red blood cells. Where these measurements fall within the normal reference ranges can sometimes determine if you possibly have anemia. Most anemia conditions are caused by a deficiency in vitamins B12 and folic acid. Anemia may also be caused by a deficiency in iron. If there is a possibility of iron deficiency anemia, then I recommend that a comprehensive iron panel be done. There are other types of anemia that are often overlooked because the normal blood test do not check for vitamin B6 levels. If you’re being tested for anemia I would recommend that you also request a vitamin B6 level be done.
Testing for Adrenal Dysfunction
The test that I recommend for detecting adrenal dysfunction is a saliva test called the adrenal stress index. This test is done by collecting 4 saliva samples at different times throughout the day. Most people have no clue what I’m talking about when I say adrenal dysfunction. Most people have no idea that they have two tiny little glands in their body that sit just above the kidneys called adrenal glands. People are familiar though with the term adrenaline which is the major hormone produced by the adrenal glands during what is often described as the flight or fight syndrome. There’s another hormone not as well-known that is produced by the adrenal glands called cortisol. This particular hormone is the one most responsible for the fatigue issues that people are dealing with. The adrenal stress index measures the output of cortisol by the adrenal glands. When the cortisol levels are out of balance it can have a direct effect on a person’s energy. I recommend this test quite often for people who come to me complaining of chronic fatigue and insomnia. The adrenal stress index not only provides answers about the cortisol levels but also other important data that could be contributing to fatigue as well. To learn more about adrenal testing visit www.diagnostechs.comand/or email me at [email protected].
Both anemia and adrenal dysfunction are medical conditions that can have various underlying causes and should be treated seriously. Both are easily treated, and you should work closely with your healthcare providers to help restore the balance necessary to get you on the road to recovery and feeling good again. With anemia you will most likely be prescribed a regimen of supplements to take to correct the deficiencies of nutrients that are causing the anemia. My recommendation to you here is to find a qualified healthcare provider that can advise you on finding good quality supplements that will be well absorbed and utilized by your body. One of the main complaints I hear from people that have been recommended certain iron supplements is that they cause upset stomach and constipation. I recommend and use an iron supplement that is food sourced and does not cause these bothersome side effects. Most of the vitamin and mineral supplements sold on the market today are not made from food and are often synthetically made in a laboratory to mimic food source nutrients. Anytime you can get any supplement that is primarily sourced from food then your body will be able to utilize it better because it recognizes it as food.
Treating Adrenal Dysfunction
With adrenal dysfunction restoring balance to the adrenals can be a little more difficult then with anemia. The primary cause of imbalance of the hormones produced by the adrenals is stress. In the world we live in today stress is pretty much unavoidable. It isn’t always the every day stresses that disrupt the balance of the adrenal’s. Typically this dysfunction can also be caused by stressful traumatic events in a persons life, which can be emotional and/or physical trauma. Because of the complexity of the underlying causes of adrenal dysfunction, it can sometimes be a challenge to restore balance. One important thing that I emphasize to my patients that are dealing with adrenal problems is that they must learn to manage the everyday stress and not let it manage them. No matter what type of treatments are being used to correct adrenal dysfunction, stress management is the key to restoring and maintaining balance of the adrenal hormones. There are also some good natural products that are often recommended to help restore the hormone balance. There are a variety of nutrient deficiencies that can be caused by adrenal dysfunction and correcting these deficiencies is vital to the healing process as well. My advice to you here is the same as with anemia, make sure you are finding and taking quality supplements.
If you haven’t listened to the Feeling Good Podcast yet, then click on the icon above and check out one of our first three episodes today! We love answering your health questions on the podcast, and if you have one please email it to [email protected].
P.S. If you’re one of the unfortunate people who is suffering from low energy and chronic fatigue then it is my prayer that this blog post has given you some hope. If I can be of any help to you please feel free to contact me at[email protected].