Do you wonder, “How can I feel less tired?” and “Why do I have no energy?” Do you constantly feel sluggish and exhausted and wonder what’s the cause of your fatigue? Is it a struggle to get out of bed every morning? No matter how much sleep you get, do you feel like it’s not enough?
Or are you finding yourself passing up on outings and activities because you simply have no energy?
While it’s normal to feel tired now and then, a constant state of fatigue can hold you back from living a full and vibrant life. In fact, it’s typically a sign of an underlying health problem.
Fortunately, by uncovering the root causes of fatigue, you can overcome it. I’ve got some simple lifestyle changes that will help get your energy back.
Let’s look at the seven most common root causes of fatigue and how to overcome them so you can get back to your vibrant, energetic self!
7 Causes of Fatigue
Fatigue Cause 1. Diet
A balanced diet of fresh, organic foods plays a huge role in maintaining proper energy levels. The most common dietary causes of fatigue are food sensitivities, histamine reactions, and caffeine and sugar crashes.
Feeling sluggish and tired is very common after eating inflammatory foods. That’s because your immune system mounts an attack on them. It’s also because the damage they cause to your gut decreases your ability to absorb energy-providing nutrients from your food, which can be a cause of fatigue.
Gluten and dairy are the two most common culprits and are the first two foods I recommend that all of my patients eliminate. Virtually all of them report improved energy (and sleep!) after removing these causes of fatigue from their diet.
In a similar vein to food sensitivities, histamine intolerance, which is when your body reacts to histamine-containing foods, can be a cause of fatigue.
Finally, you may think that your morning cup of coffee or afternoon sweet treat is combatting your fatigue by giving you a nice boost of energy. However, caffeine and sugar only give you a temporary surge of energy. They burn through your energy stores quickly before leaving you feeling even more drained.
That’s right, caffeine can actually be a cause of fatigue! To optimize your diet and identify the foods that are triggering your fatigue, I recommend completing an elimination diet. First, you’ll remove the most common inflammatory foods. Then you’ll reintroduce them one at a time to determine which ones are causes of fatigue.
Fatigue Cause 2. Nutritional Deficiencies
Iron-deficiency and B12-deficiency are common causes of fatigue. Iron is necessary to produce hemoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to your cells. If your cells do not receive enough oxygen, your body has to work significantly harder, which can leave you feeling exhausted.
Vitamin B12 is a cofactor in your energy pathways, meaning that if you don’t produce enough of it, your body will have trouble producing enough energy for daily functions. Furthermore, if you have one or more MTHFR mutation (which 50% of the population does), your ability to convert B12 to its active form is reduced.
You can combat these nutritional deficiencies with a diet high in quality animal protein and colorful vegetables. I also recommend adding iron or B12 supplements. And if you have one or more MTHFR mutations, I also recommend a Methylation Support supplement to fight these causes of fatigue.
Fatigue Cause 3. Infections
Gut infections such as Candida, parasites, and SIBO can all be underlying causes of fatigue. Other systemic infections, including reactivated Epstein-Barr or Lyme disease, can suppress the immune system and interfere with energy levels. If you have or suspect that you have one of these infections, you should treat them as soon as possible.
Fatigue Cause 4. Hashimoto’s or Thyroid Dysfunction
Your thyroid powers every cell in your body through the hormones it produces. These hormones drive all your metabolic processes. They play a massive role in your energy levels, body temperature, and metabolism.
So, as you can imagine, if you are low in these all-important thyroid hormones, you’ll experience causes of fatigue and feel like you have no energy.
The most common form of thyroid disease is Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks your thyroid, causing it to underproduce its hormones.
Unfortunately, Hashimoto’s is often missed by conventional medicine doctors, even when they test your thyroid levels! Up to 60% of people with a thyroid problem are undiagnosed!
Fatigue Cause 5. Stress
Let’s face it! We live in a stressful world. We work long hours, juggle many competing obligations, and have mile-long to-do lists! All of this affects us emotionally, mentally, and physically. And all of these are causes of fatigue.
In stressful situations, your body releases cortisol and a cascade of other hormones to help you overcome the stressor. However, if you experience chronic stress, as we so often do, you can deplete your stores of these hormones, putting you in a state of adrenal fatigue. And a side effect of adrenal fatigue is actual physical fatigue. This can cause that “no energy” feeling you might get after a stressful day.
To combat the effects of stress and adrenal fatigue I recommend practicing daily stress relief techniques, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or simply going on a walk or taking a relaxing bath.I also recommend taking an adrenal support supplement to relieve your symptoms while you restore healthy adrenal function. The Myers Way® Adrenal Support contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs that decrease stress hormones when they’re high and increase them when they are low.
Fatigue Cause 6. Toxins
Having a high toxic burden is a strain on your body period, which can be a cause of fatigue. And, what you might not realize is that low-level chronic exposure to toxins is typically a far more common and damaging problem than one high-dose exposure.
Here are four steps you can take to minimize your daily exposure to toxins:
- Filter your air with a HEPA air filter, this will reduce your exposure to mercury and other toxins found in the air.
- Filter your water, including the water you drink and the water you use to shower and bathe. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs many of the chemicals that touch it.
- Buy organic whenever possible. It can be expensive, so when you can only buy some things organic, prioritize buying organic meats. Animals are at the top of the food chain, and if they’re consuming pesticides in their feed, you are too, but in a magnified dose.
- Buy clean body products, you can check out this article for tips on choosing toxin-free body products, or you can make your own with my DIY Toxin-Free Home & Body Recipe DVD and eBook.
Fatigue Cause 7: Leaky Gut
When your gut is leaky, your immune system is on constant high alert. The toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles that escape your gut cell wall and enter your bloodstream set off a cycle of inflammation that causes symptoms throughout your body. Leaky gut can cause a wide variety of symptoms throughout your body, from brain fog and skin issues to muscle aches, joint pain, and — of course! — is a cause of fatigue.
80% of your immune system is located in your gut, therefore healing your gut is essential to restoring your immune system and your health. It’s all about removing the bad, replacing the good, reinoculating with healthy bacteria, and repairing your damaged gut!
One of my favorite gut-healing practices, especially for those dealing with causes of fatigue, is to regularly drink bone broth. The nutrients and collagen contained in bone broth fight no-energy feelings and help repair damaged intestinal cells. I recommend drinking it in place of morning coffee, which is a gut irritant.
If constant fatigue is holding you back, know that you are not alone. By addressing the underlying causes of fatigue, you have the power to reverse your fatigue and start feeling like yourself again!