There might be many underlying reasons why you are stricken with fatigue and often feel too tired to workout. In Part 1 yesterday the article introduced us to initial possible causes, here it concludes by looking at further causes…
Leaky Gut Syndrome
You may not have heard about leaky gut syndrome, since it is a relatively new health discovery. But guess what, it causes fatigue. In leaky gut, the lining of the intestines have become inflamed and the cell connections have loosened, allowing not fully digested foods through.
This causes a further inflammatory and allergic response to certain foods. One may find that they cannot eat the same foods that they used to. Additionally, it becomes harder to pull the needed nutrition (vitamins and minerals) from the foods you eat, creating a malnourished condition.
Leaky gut syndrome can develop from overuse of antibiotics, poor hydrochloric acid secretion, eating too much sugar, and excessive pesticide consumption (which may be a build up over time). This condition does not necessarily appear with just one of the above, but usually is a combination that creates the ‘perfect storm.’
Oral antibiotics kill ‘good’ bacteria in our intestines that have important jobs dealing with digestion. Not producing enough stomach acid can lead to infections of pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites. Symptoms of hypohydrochloria include gas and bloating after meals. Supplemental enzymes are recommended to help with this. Eating sugar feeds ‘bad’ bacteria and yeast that may be present in the intestines.
Lastly, pesticides that have been sprayed on your food typically contain an ingredient called glyphosate that has been shown to destroy the lining of your intestines, and opening up the connection of those cells. Hence, the perfect storm.
In order to treat leaky gut these things needs to be addressed
Unnecessary antibiotics need to be avoided. Supplemental enzymes will help support the stomach in killing off unwanted visitors. Cutting out sugars (processed carbohydrates) will help to eliminate much of the bacteria and yeast that it feeds. And eating organic will help to lessen the amount of glyphosate consumed.
The lining of the gut also needs to be healed. Foods that are anti-inflammatory, such as turmeric, help to reduce the excessive immune response. Inflammatory foods should be avoided, such as a lot of red meat, fried foods and processed sugar/flour.
And adding in superfoods, such as organic grass fed bone broth helps to close the gaps between cells and provide adequate nutrition for the body. It is a process to heal leaky gut, often taking anywhere from 6-12 months. So be patient!
The adrenal glands sit on top of both kidneys and help the body get rid of inflammation. But they are often overworked and can stop doing their job. Any type of inflammation or stress, from over-exercising to leaky gut syndrome to blood sugar imbalances to mental/emotional stresses make the adrenal glands do a lot of work.
When they are overworked, they become sluggish, and when they continue to be overworked, over time they can stop working. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include not being able to stay asleep, craving salt, slow starting in the morning, afternoon fatigue, dizziness when standing up quickly, afternoon headaches, or headaches with exertion or stress.
In order to treat this, the cause needs to be found. A spit test can be done to see how the adrenal glands are functioning throughout the day. Once the cause is addressed, herbal support is also helpful for the adrenal glands.
Lastly, low thyroid function can cause fatigue, feeling cold, requiring excessive amounts of sleep, weight gain, difficult/infrequent bowel movements, depression, lack of motivation, morning headaches, thinning outer third of eyebrows, thinning of hair, dryness of skin and mental sluggishness.
There are many causes of thyroid dysfunction and it is important to see a functional medicine health care practitioner that can order blood work and determine which pattern (there are 26) you are displaying.
Note* Thyroid hormone replacement only helps to resolve one particular pattern of dysfunction. Thyroid issues can be complicated and it is highly advised to see someone who specializes in this health issue.
In all of these causes of fatigue, it is important to remember that fixing the root of the issue should come before beating yourself up for not working out. For help finding out what is going on inside of you and how to properly address it, go see a functional medicine health practitioner. You will not regret it.
Connect here with WatchFit expert Kristin Shay