top of page
  • jannelsonllc


By Jan Nelson MSN, NP-C, ABAAHP

Fatigue or not enough energy seems to be a common complaint with many people, why? There are many causes of fatigue. Fatigue syndrome refers to fatigue that does not relent which differs from fatigue caused by burning the candle at both ends.

     There are many causes of fatigue: heart disease, colon disease, diabetes, malignancy, hypothyroidism, andropause, menopause, hormone imbalance, infection, sleep apnea, nutritional deficiencies, insomnia, alcohol consumption, medications, toxins, neurochemical imbalances, hypoxemia, allergy, autoimmune disease, and more.

      Sometimes the cause can be quite obvious. Anemia is very common, more common than most of us think, especially in older people who are taking medications for acid reflux. There are several medications that have sedating effects, so check your medications, do they have side effects of sedation?

     Do you feel tired after exercise or activity? Do you feel tired after taking a walk or running errands? Or, does exercise make you feel better? When the body is physically active and exercising, testosterone is being produced and growth hormone increases. This is usually what causes an improvement in fatigue. Testosterone levels may be low, with exercise they improve some for a temporary relief of fatigue. If you are feeling worse with exercise there may be issues with chronic infections, autoimmune disease, hypoxemia, anemia, adrenal insufficiency, and malignancy. However, if exercise has no effect on how you feel, your fatigue could be from alcohol. Drinking alcohol after 6 pm disrupts sleep architecture not allowing for a restorative sleep. Typically, if you stop drinking alcohol, fatigue symptoms improve after 3-4 days. If not, consider your medications, toxins, allergies, nutrition, deficiencies in magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin B6 or B12. Calcium and magnesium deficiencies are very common, especially in diabetics.

     Optimizing your hormones can alleviate fatigue by improving overall sleep. Progesterone has a calming effect. Birth control pills lower testosterone levels resulting in low energy and fatigue. An extensive health history along with a physical examination can determine which lab tests are needed to appropriately diagnose your fatigue symptoms.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page