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Tiredness & Fatigue

Are you feeling more tired than usual?

When did it start?  How did you used to feel?

Fatigue Brunswick Naturopathy

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I hear from my patients. We all feel tired sometimes and it’s normal if we have exercised hard, haven’t slept enough or are unwell.  However, constantly feeling tired and lacking in energy is not ok, and may be a sign that something is not right.

When you’re tired, it’s tempting to have another coffee or reach for an energy drink or sugary snack. While this may give you a short term boost it’s only masking the root cause of your fatigue, and probably having further negative health effects.

A better and more permanent approach to beating fatigue is to work out the real cause and start making some changes. Fatigue can result from poor diet, lack of nutrients, dehydration, lack of exercise or lack of sleep. Fatigue can also result from chronic illness, chronic pain or depression. Other causes include anxiety, stress, respiratory or cardiovascular impairment, thyroid conditions, chronic infections, hormone imbalances, poor nutrition, alcohol or certain medications, hypoglycaemia and adrenal gland depletion.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Ensuring you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night is vitally important in the battle against fatigue. If you are having problems with sleep, it’s important to get some help.  Insomnia is an extremely common complaint.

You may have difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty staying asleep. Symptoms associated with insomnia can affect daily functioning affecting your concentration, causing fatigue, reducing your motor responses, making you irritable and possibly causing other mood issues.  


Dehydration is an under-recognized leading cause of fatigue. Many people don’t drink water at all during the day and instead drink tea, coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks, all of which can cause even further dehydration.

Dehydration not only causes fatigue, but a variety of negative side effects including:

  • Poor concentration
  • Dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Bloating
  • High blood pressure
  • Build up of toxins in the body
  • Weight gain

Luckily this is an easy one to fix.  Aim for 2L of water a day to avoid dehydration.

Iron Deficiency

Are you pale, cold, dizzy, constantly tired or breathless?  You could be iron deficient. Iron deficiency causes less oxygen to reach your tissues, so your body is deprived of the energy it needs making you tired.

Iron is an important part of many enzymatic reactions involved in energy production and metabolism. It is a co-factor in the production of some hormones and neurotransmitters such as thyroid hormones, serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and noradrenalin.  Iron is important for many immune responses including lymphocyte production, and iron deficiency causes reduced immunity.

Hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar

Low blood sugar is a frequent cause of fatigue.  Erratic blood sugar levels may result in an “afternoon slump” as your glucose levels fall rapidly and your energy drops.  Your diet may be causing this if it is high in refined carbohydrates and low in protein and fats.  This can usually be managed with dietary changes.


Stress is a common cause of fatigue. Initially when we are stressed and in fight or flight mode, our cortisol levels are increased triggering the production of adrenalin.  This may be helpful short term, however, if you are continually stressed the adrenal glands become exhausted.  As vital energy reserves dwindle, our ability to produce cortisol and adrenalin is eventually diminished resulting in fatigue.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect your energy levels. There can be many causes of deficiencies including the consumption of highly processed and devitalized foods that are high is sugar and trans fats, and devoid of real nutrients. If you are not getting enough nutrients from the foods you eat, you may lack the necessary precursors for your energy needs.  If you have digestive problems, you may not be able to absorb and assimilate the necessary nutrients for energy production.

Poor Elimination

One of the primary roles of the liver is detoxifying the harmful or unwanted waste from the body. A congested liver caused by excess toxins such as pesticides, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, excess fatty foods, alcohol, medications or sugars can leave you feeling sluggish and tired.  A regular liver detox is a great way to overcome this and regain your energy and vitality.

Lack of Exercise

Lack of exercise and poor circulation may result in stagnation and toxicity in various organs, causing lowered vitality and fatigue. Occupations that require little physical exertion are often more tiring than good hard physical work. Exercise stimulates blood and lymph circulation, improving nutrition to your whole body as well as elimination. Lack of exercise can cause your body to feel tired and fatigued because your metabolism slows down.

Food Allergy

Food allergy is a frequently ignored cause of fatigue, poor vitality, depression, and other various symptoms.  Sometimes it can be hard to identify food allergies.  Allergy may cause a sudden acute response with obvious allergy symptoms such as skin or respiratory reactions, or more subtle headaches, lethargy or chronic fatigue if the responsible foods are consumed on a regular basis.

Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland regulates your metabolism and energy levels. If your thyroid is failing to produce enough hormones your metabolism slows down, resulting in feelings of sluggishness and fatigue, and weight gain along with other symptoms. This is a condition called hypothyroidism. On the other hand if your thyroid hormone levels are high and your thyroid is working overtime you may feel exhausted and depleted while your heart is racing and you can’t slow down. This may be hyperthyroidism.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease, arteriosclerosis and arthrosclerosis can reduce the efficiency of blood circulation.  This will affect circulation to muscles and tissues throughout the body reducing supply of nutrients for energy. If the blood flow to the brain is reduced due to narrowing the vessels, mental fatigue, poor recall, concentration and fogginess can result.

Mental Health Issues

Anxiety, depression and stress can all lead to fatigue. They may affect your sleep.  If you have chronic stress (as above),  you may be feeling depleted and unable to cope with daily challenges.

Your Medications

A side effect of many pharmaceutical medications is tiredness or fatigue. That doesn’t mean you just stop taking them though.  You may need some support to reduce side effects and support your energy and vitality. For example, statin medications can cause symptoms such as muscle pain or weakness which can come on suddenly or gradually.  You may need to supplement with CoQ10 and or magnesium.

Chronic Fatigue

How to Overcome FatigueChronic fatigue syndrome is a complaint characterised by debilitating and unremitting fatigue. Other symptoms may include recurrent sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint aches, persistent infections, sadness, depression and anxiety.

This can be a result of viral, bacterial or fungal infections affecting the immune system. It may also result following extreme stress and adrenal fatigue. 

How Can I help?

  • Assess the causes of your tiredness and fatigue
  • Assist with any underlying health conditions contributing to your fatigue
  • Help you to identify and make the necessary dietary changes
  • Provide supplemental support according to your individual needs
  • Help you to make long lasting lifestyle changes to improve your energy and vitality

Vitamins, herbs and supplements for fighting fatigue

Making dietary and lifestyle changes will almost always be recommended.  We also use herbs and nutritional supplements to support your recovery.

For example:

  • Herbal adaptogens such as Rhodiola and Ginseng have been shown to improve energy, physical and intellectual performance and are beneficial for depression, insomnia and anxiety. Korean Ginseng is an adaptogen and tonic helpful for physical or mental exhaustion and stress.
  • Adrenal herbs and nutrients can relieve long term stress and adrenal depletion often associated with fatigue. Rehmannia and Licorice are both adrenal tonic herbs used in adrenal depletion. They also have significant anti-inflammatory activity which is useful as inflammation and pain are often a cause of fatigue.
  • B Vitamins will improve energy production and overall nutrition. They support a healthy nervous system, help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, and improve sleep which will lead to improved energy.
  • You may need some sleep support – changing your evening routine, evening meal, wind down time along with nutrients and herbs to help you relax and sleep better.

Regular exercise, an improved diet and supplementing with the right herbs and nutrients can help to boost your energy and vitality. However, not everyone’s needs are the same.  That’s why seeing a naturopath for a comprehensive assessment is important to ensure that you are supported with an individual treatment program to meet your specific needs.

If you are ready to take control of your own health, call me at Brunswick Naturopathy (0403755584) or book an online appointment.