Dear Dr Heather,
I am a very busy business man, husband and father. But, even on the days that I get 8 hours of sleep or I get to sleep in, I am still horrible tired all day. I am finding myself drinking a pot of coffee to make it thru the morning. Then eating at night to stay awake until the kids go to bed. I know that this it totally unhealthy for me. Why as I so tired??
Dear Totally exhausted,
Fatigue is a particularly interesting problem. We have come to lower the standards and expectations for living with an abundance of energy and vitality. Many people have come to expect low energy levels as normal and that is unfortunate. When seeing a health care practitioner, specific questions should be asked to determine whether you are tired or fatigued.
Many people with fatigue suffer from conditions unrelated to sleep depravation. There can be physiological causes of fatigue such as anemia, hypothyroidism, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food and seasonal allergies, toxicities or even chronic low grade infections. People often suffer from Epstein Barr virus which is somewhat similar to a low grade chronic mononucleosis. Other chronic low grade infections such as systemic yeast (Candidiasis) can cause fluctuations in blood sugar and eventually lead to ineffective glucose metabolism and fatigue. Thyroid disorders are often misdiagnosed and poorly treated and are often the cause of fatigue. Poor digestion and absorption along with poor elimination and generalized toxicity can also be the cause of fatigue. Depress and an overland the nervous system and cause fatigue. Insomnia may seem like an obvious cause, but other sleep disorders that may be less overt like sleep apnea may be the culprit. Sleep apnea may be related to food allergies and chronic sinusitis.
Fatigue is a multifaceted problem that needs to be properly evaluated and treated. It is much more than a quality of life issue and when properly treated may help spare you the suffering from other health issues later on.
In good health,