Fatigue... There's a good chance you're not just being lazy
I hear it all of the time after running proper blood work for a patient, “I thought I was just really lazy, it’s so nice to see why I have no energy on paper.”
There are many different causes of fatigue and in my practice I have so many patients claim that they are lazy, but once I run proper blood work, we realize what the true cause is.
Click read more if you'd like to read about the most common causes of fatigue, why they're often not diagnosed, and more.
Fatigue: Iron deficiency, Anemia, Hypothyroidism, Vitamin D deficiency
Iron deficiencies are undiagnosed because the traditional minimum range is way too low. Traditional lab reference ranges say if your ferritin (iron storage) is an 11 you’re fine, but in my practice, when looking at ferritin levels functionally, most patients aren’t feeling their greatest until their ferritin is between 50-150. Sometimes ferritin just isn’t even tested. Check out my thorough article on iron deficiency here.
Anemias are usually undiagnosed because the symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, restlessness at night, feeling cold, etc.) are all blamed on being out of shape or considered the norm since it’s been happening for so long.
Vitamin D deficiency is commonly undiagnosed because it’s rarely tested since OHIP stopped covering it. I test vitamin D in most patients and it is deficient in the majority of them. Check out my in-depth article on Vitamin D deficiency here.
The tests mentioned above should be done for anyone experiencing fatigue to easily rule out these causes of the fatigue. These tests can be done through your MD or ND.
If there is too much time between meals, you’ll get low blood sugar and a bunch of negative symptoms can result due to low blood sugar causing you to secrete the stress hormone cortisol. Most people are eating too many carbs and sugars, and not enough protein and fat. Carbs and sugar will lead to low blood sugar quickly, while protein and fat will sustain your energy for much longer. I do a 1.5 hour talk on this and teach it to all of my patients.
’ve heard the same quote quite a few times, “I didn’t think I could ever have this much energy”. On top of the reasons mentioned above, there are other causes of fatigue like depression, anxiety, systemic conditions like cancer, viruses, sleep apnea, sinus issues, etc. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to determine what the cause of your fatigue is rather than just attributing it to laziness or lack of motivation. Sometimes people do need a good kick in the butt to get into gear, but more often than not, there is an underlying cause of their fatigue or lack of motivation.
Life is a lot easier when you’re taking care of yourself.
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions or would like to share your story about fatigue please comment below.
Dr Justin Gallant ND