Do you spend most of your time feeling tired, sluggish, exhausted? Is it an effort just to get out of bed each morning and even more difficult to get through the day? Even when you’ve had a good night’s sleep do you still feel like you need a nap by the afternoon, or worse, by mid-morning?
Fatigue is no joke and certainly not something to be swept under the rug. If you are feeling tired all the time it means that something in your body is not working as it should.
What you might be surprised to learn is that a common cause of fatigue is hormonal imbalance.
Hormones and Energy Levels
Hormones are chemicals in the body that are instrumental in controlling its various processes such as heart rate and temperature. Even a slight imbalance can produce several symptoms and one of the most prevalent is fatigue.
Sleep difficulty is a common symptom of hormone imbalance but when you consider that hormones control everything in your body, it often results in your body not functioning the way it should.
Could it be Your Thyroid?
The hormones produced by your thyroid help to control your metabolism. There are two primary conditions associated with thyroid function:
• Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) – It does not make enough of the hormones to control metabolism. Body processes slow down which causes symptoms like fatigue, depression, and memory problems.
• Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) – It makes too much of the hormone to control metabolism. Body processes rev up which causes symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, and sleep problems.
The Truth About the “Stress Hormone”
Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” because it is responsible for modulating the body’s stress response, both long term and on a daily basis. When the body is not functioning as it should, cortisol can spike at the wrong time, causing sleep difficulty which leads to fatigue.
Long term stress can also affect the adrenal glands. When your adrenals are fatigued, your cortisol can become depleted which leads to chronic fatigue.
Men Can Have Hormone Problems Too
While most people are familiar with hormone imbalances in women, such as estrogen and progastrin, it isn’t as widely recognized that men can have hormonal problems too. When a man is experiencing a hormonal imbalance, he will often be fatigued. He may also experience diminished sexual interest or performance and may not be able to maintain muscle mass.
Are You Fatigued?
Fatigue is more than just being a little tired or needing a nap after not getting enough sleep the night before. No, it is a bone-weary, constant drain on you physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Take our short quiz to see if you suffer from fatigue. Read each question and choose a response on a scale of 0 through 5 with 0 being “Never” and 5 being “Always”.
1. You feel extremely sleepy or tired even after you have had a good night’s sleep.
2. You experience daytime sleepiness at least four days a week.
3. You have frequent headaches.
4. You have bouts of dizziness or a feeling of being off-balance.
5. You frequently have aching, sore muscles, or muscle weakness.
6. Your reflexes and responses are slow and sluggish.
7. You have trouble concentrating or experience “brain fog.”
8. You have impaired judgment or decision making.
9. You are often irritable or moody.
10. You have problems with your short-term memory.
11. You get lots of colds or illnesses.
12. Your vision is blurry or foggy.
13. Your appetite has decreased, or you just don’t have the energy to eat.
14. You often see things out of the corner of your eye, or movement just outside of your field of vision.
15. You feel depressed, anxious, or have low motivation.
Now add up your score:
• 20 or less – You may experience a little fatigue after a late night, but for the most part, you’re good.
• 21 to 46 – While you may only be experiencing fatigue occasionally right now, you may want to start looking at preventive measures such as regular chiropractic care to ensure better rest and a healthier you.
• 47 or more – You are likely experiencing chronic fatigue and it is negatively affecting your life. You need to talk to your doctor to determine the cause of your fatigue (especially if it is hormonal) and discuss treatment options available to you.
At Sandstone Health, we use a variety of treatments and therapies to help you get your body and your hormones back in balance. From chiropractic to family medicine to neurofeedback, we will address the root of the problem and help you return to your energetic, healthy self.
If you are struggling with fatigue, schedule an appointment. The sooner you start taking care of yourself the sooner you’ll start feeling like yourself again.