Why Do I Feel So Tired?

Think about it. When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day with no need for that morning coffee? When was the last time you felt recharged after lunch and not in need of a nap? When was the last time you came home at the end of the day feeling strong and energetic enough to tackle cooking dinner and the laundry? Maybe a better question is have you ever felt like that? 

Our energy and our vitality are the first things to go when our health declines. But for most of us, declining health is a slow process. It happens over years and years. So we often chalk up our lack of energy, our poor digestion, our aches and pains to age. But how we see the people around us aging is not healthy aging. Common, yes. Healthy, no.

Yes, your body will change as you age, but getting old is not a good reason for not having enough energy to do all the things you want to do. Here are some real causes of not having enough energy:

Common Causes of Low Energy

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Chronic insufficient sleep
  • Chronic stress
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Inflammation
  • Lack of exercise
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Poor detoxification
  • Poor digestion
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stagnant lymphatics

At the heart of most fatigue lies chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. This is how it works. For most of us, our lives are filled with things that stress us out. When we perceive something to be stressful, our brain sends a signal to our adrenal glands to dump cortisol into the blood. Cortisol is our stress hormone and its job is to prepare our body to run away. Because once upon a time, lions, tigers, and bears stressed us out. And we could run away from them.

So cortisol tells our liver to make glucose so our muscles will have fuel, redirects our blood flow to our muscles, increases our heart rate, and speeds up our breathing. But if we can't run away from our stress, this isn't actually helpful. And when we are constantly stressed and our adrenals are constantly pumping out cortisol, it can be very damaging to our body.

High levels of cortisol will imbalance our blood sugar creating inflammation and excess fat, will inhibit our immune system leaving us susceptible to colds and the flu, will interfere with our digestion making it hard to absorb nutrients, and will disrupt our sleep leaving us more tired than ever.

While our adrenal glands are pressed to make cortisol, they are not able to make all their other hormones. The adrenal gland is responsible for making hormones regulating electrolytes, blood pressure, and reproductive hormones, as well as cortisol. So chronic stress indirectly causes further hormone imbalances. Great, right?

After a while, though, our adrenal glands can't handle the pressure of making so much cortisol. And they give out. This is called adrenal fatigue and in this state, doing the simplest task is draining. Most of us are not at this point yet, but if we don't do something now, we will one day wake up with adrenal fatigue. And it is a long road to recovery.

For most people, it is not just one thing causing their lack of energy. It is a combination of factors. Only a thorough medical and lifestyle history and appropriate diagnostics can determine the cause of your fatigue. And a holistic approach involving nutrition, targeted nutrient therapy, lifestyle modifications, stress management, and botanical medicine can vastly improve your energy levels. So stop settling for health that is less than optimal. You can feel so much better than you do right now. 

To learn more about the adrenal glands and stress management, watch my free workshop Gaining Vitality. And please share this article with your friends and family! We all need to start thinking about our health in a new way. 


I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient. 

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