If you're one of the 2.5 million people in South Africa who suffer from chronic fatigue, you're very familiar with the everyday struggle that is low vitality and waning energy levels...
While your doctor may tell you that you simply have to learn to live with your fatigue, Dr Evan Hirsch, an American doctor who specialises in fatigue and who suffered from chronic fatigue for five years himself, believes otherwise.
According to Dr Hirsch, there are a number of surprising factors that can trigger or exacerbate chronic fatigue. If you've already ruled out the obvious causes like diabetes, heart disease, nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances and allergies, you're probably stressing as to why on earth you're still feeling fatigued.
In that case, you'll want to familiarise yourself with these six less obvious (and often overlooked) culprits of chronic fatigue that Dr Hirsch has seen in many of his patients...
#1: Your thyroid
When your thyroid stops working properly, it affects other bodily functions as well and can result in chronic fatigue
. Even if you’ve been for tests and your doctor has told you that your thyroid function is fine because labs produce “normal” numbers, be warned that these numbers don’t always tell the whole story. An endocrinologist is the only doctor who will be able to help you figure out if your thyroid is behind your chronic fatigue
#2: Your adrenals
Above your kidneys are your adrenals – vital organs that produce the stress
hormone known as cortisol. When you’re very stressed, your cortisol levels shoot up. Then, when your stress
levels begin to decline, burnout and fatigue
often come as a result. Adrenal fatigue
is one of the more common culprits of chronic fatigue, so it’s wise to go for a check-up at the doctor before you rule out this cause.
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Infections that are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and other microorganisms can trigger fatigue. The most common culprits that cause fatigue include mould, yeast, Lyme disease, the Epstein-Barr Virus, Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (or SIBO for short) and Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (bacteria in your nasal cavity). If you think you have any of these infections, consult your doctor who will prescribe medications to treat it.
Mould is essentially a toxin that’s present in most of our homes and workspaces and can wreak serious havoc on your health! For as long as you’re living or working in an environment where there’s mould, you won’t be able to eliminate your fatigue. So make sure you deep clean your house or office to make sure it’s 100% mould-free.
#5: Toxins and heavy metals
Common toxins found in air, water, food and soil can cause your natural detoxification system to go into stress mode. The same goes for heavy metals like aluminium, lead, plastics, formaldehyde, pesticides, mercury and drugs. To rid your body of these harmful toxins and heavy metals that are sparking chronic fatigue, try a juice cleanse or a whole food detox to reset your system.
#6: Sex hormones
When your oestrogen, testosterone or progesterone levels are out of balance, you’ll experience chronic fatigue that may seem unexplainable. On the bright side, as soon as you get your hormones back in check, your chronic fatigue will go away.
PS: Go here
for six concepts about your adrenal health that your doctor hasn't told you.
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