Fatigue is probably the most common complaint I hear in my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice. With our busy lifestyles and constant on the go schedules, everybody can benefit from increased energy levels. Sometimes patients complain of physical fatigue, stating that they just want to lie down and do nothing after work, or they don’t have the energy to exercise. Sometimes patients complain of experiencing mental fatigue, feeling blah with a lack of motivation, and losing interest in things that used to bring them pleasure. Sometimes patients experience both! Good energy is a huge contributor to quality of life and helping one to achieve their goals. Keep reading my blog to learn how Naturopathic Medicine can help in treating Fatigue.
Common Causes of Fatigue
Fatigue can be caused by many things. One of the first steps to take is the have the patients blood tested to rule out physical causes of fatigue such as low thyroid function, low iron levels, low Vitamin D, low Vitamin B12, or abnormal blood glucose levels. Once these abnormalities have been diagnosed and treated, we can move on to other issues that may be affecting the patients energy levels.
Other causes of fatigue can include poor sleep, high stress, food sensitivities, lack of vitamins and minerals, prolonged mental or physical exertion, excessive or lack of exercise, recovery from trauma or surgery or illness, side effects from medication, depression, hormone imbalances, or a poor diet…and so much more! Once I take a detailed history, we can determine the root cause of the patients low energy levels and treat accordingly. Below are the options that Naturopathic Medicine has to offer in the treatment of this common complaint.
Vitamins and Supplements
Based on a patients intake, I can usually determine which nutrients might be deficient and I can prescribe supplements to correct these deficiencies. Often the patient needs a quick boost before they can work towards a healthier diet and lifestyle so this step is vital to getting the ball rolling. These combinations will usually address more than one cause of low energy so we can minimize what the patient is taking but address multiple issues. You can read more about professional grade supplements here.
A patients diet is vital to having optimal energy levels. It is important to maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid spiking and crashing of blood sugar, which causes shakiness, cravings, mood changes, and fatigue. I often take a look at my patients diet to address amounts of protein and when in the day that protein is being consumed. I also take a look at refined sugar in the diet, fruits and veggies, water, and how often in the day the patient is eating. All of these factors are very significant in optimal energy levels, and patients are often surprised at how much of an impact their diet can have on their quality of life. You can read more about nutrition here.
Lifestyle and Stress Management
Exercise, stress, and quality of sleep are huge contributors to energy levels. Both over exercising and inadequate exercise can contribute to fatigue. If you are feeling fatigued after your workouts, it’s a sign that you need to either shorten the duration of your exercise or reduce the number of workouts per week, or even just take a few days off to recover. Once I question a patient on their exercise habits I can determine if it is contributing to low energy.
Stress levels are very important to address as well. If you are constantly running on adrenaline and feeling wired, you are demanding more of your body’s resources to deal with this state of functioning so you are more likely to have periods of crashing and feeling exhausted and drained. By addressing cortisol levels we can minimize this occurrence. A healthy outlet for stress is vital for everybody.
Improving quality of sleep is very important as well because if the patient is waking often or waking tired in the morning, then energy levels will not be optimal. We can address this with many treatment options, and often want to rule out sleep apnea as well.
This is a very good treatment option for treating fatigue. By doing a Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment of a patient we can determine if there are any imbalances or deficiencies that are contributing to the patients symptoms. It is also very helpful for stress, poor sleep, mood support, and overall feeling of well being. You can read more about acupuncture here.
Botanical Medicine and Herbs
Once we have determined the root cause of the fatigue, Herbs are very effective in treatment. They are especially useful in cases of mental fatigue and high stress. They are great for helping the body and mind recover from periods of elevated stress. They can also be helpful when hormonal imbalances are linked to low energy levels. You can read more about this treatment option here.
Food sensitivity testing
Sometimes the foods a patient is consuming are contributing to their low energy levels. By testing for food sensitivities we can eliminate these positive foods and contribute to the patients overall health. The results often can include better mood, sleep, digestion, energy and overall well being. You can read more about food sensitivity testing here.
As you can see, there are so many options in the treatment of fatigue with Naturopathic Medicine. Please do not hesitate to contact me at my NW Calgary practice if you have any questions about how we can treat your fatigue and improve your quality of life.
Naturopathic Vitality Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic
#205-5403 Crowchild Trail NW