Are you eating healthy and still feeling tired?
Here are 8 hidden causes of fatigue and what you can do about them.
1. Low Red Meat or Vegetarian Diet: If you are vegetarian or try to minimize red meat consumption, you may not be getting enough iron, which is important for stamina. Your B-vitamins may also be low.
- Symptoms: general fatigue
- Try: Get blood work done to check your nutrient levels. If this is the cause, then boost your nutrient levels with diet since most supplements are not absorbed into the bod
- To increase iron: eat more egg yolks, spinach, lentils and chickpeas
- To increase B-Complex, eat more whole grains like rice and quinoa.
2. Too Much Sweating. Even an hour long run or yoga class can deplete your electrolytes potassium, magnesium and sodium.
- Symptoms: General fatigue, especially after workouts.
- Try: Get blood work done to check your nutrient levels. To increase your potassium and magnesium, eat more bananas. To increase your sodium, add salt to your foods.
3. Dehydration. This one is so simple, yet commonly overlooked. Not drinking enough water during the day, or not refueling after a workout can cause fatigue and even mood swings.
- Symptoms: Fatigue, headaches, moodiness.
- Try: Drink half your body weight in ounces each day.
4. Going Too Low Carb. Low carb diets are popular, especially for weight loss. But our short term energy comes from carbohydrates. The trick is to get the right kind and the right amount.
- Symptoms General fatigue
- Try getting 50% of your plate from vegetables, which are complex carbohydrates, and 25% from whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa. These will provide longer more even energy, without the blood sugar spikes from white bread or sugars.
5. Gluten Intolerance. Whole grains are supposed to be healthy right? Well, if you have an intolerance to gluten, it can cause fatigue and brain fog.
- Symptoms: Brain fog, fatigue, pain.
- Try: Remove all gluten from your diet, including oats, wheat, barley and rye, for 3 weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
6. Too Much Kale or Too Many Almonds. Too much of anything can cause a problem. If you have a genetic predisposition to hypothyrodism, eating too much kale or almonds can trigger a borderline thyroid condition. The good news is that if you catch it early and shift your diet you may be able to reduce your symptoms and avoid medication.
- Symptoms General fatigue
- Try: Get a blood test to determine your thyroid panel. If you are borderline thyroid and want to address it naturally, find a practitioner to help you as it is a tricky thing to do. I can help.
7. Sweet Tooth. You eat well and are slim, so what’s the harm in an afternoon cookie? Refined sugar causes a short term spike in blood sugar followed by a crash and fatigue.
- Symptoms: Fatigue about two hours after eating sugary foods, especially on their own.
- Try: Eating dark chocolate or fruit with fiber to satisfy your sweet cravings
8.Prolonged Stress plus Lots of Sugar and Caffeine. Prolonged stress from physical or emotional events causes the body to produce abnormally high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. To make matters worse, these situations cause most of us to crave sugar and caffeine and skip sleep. Together, this combination leads to what some call adrenal fatigue and even to chronic fatigue.
- Symptoms: Difficulty waking up in the morning, difficulty falling asleep at night, cravings for sugar, frequent infections and puffiness in the face or body.
- Try: Healing the adrenals takes time and must be done holistically, ideally with a wellness practitioner to address the patterns that got you there. Treatment involves focusing on whole foods, reducing sugar and caffeine, sleep, addressing anxiety and reducing external stressors.