When I talked to consumers, I have frequently heard “I feel tired all the time! Which one of your drinks will help me?” Well, as an all-inclusive solution, I say “You should try Karuna Detox juice first to get ride of the toxins in your body, then gain some energy with Empower Prebiotic Smoothie and for an instant the Karuna Focus or Boost coffee is your go-to.” For some consumers, this can be a simple fix, really I am not joking! But for others, this may not be enough as the root cause of low energy can be very complex. So let’s identify the common energy zappers.
Fatigue is the sophisticated term used by medical professionals to mean a state of lack of energy and a sense of tiredness. Most of us get tired at some point in our days, right? What probably concerns us more is the persistence of fatigue despite our best efforts to get rid of it.
The causes of fatigue can be essentially divided into two groups:
- Fatigue as a result of non-medical factors
- Fatigue due to medical factors (illness)
FATIGUE- NON-MEDICAL FACTORS
Do you feel stressed out? Excessive stress can drain your energy reserves. The operative word here is excessive. Stress is actually good for us to a certain degree. When it becomes excessive, it can sap your energy meter.
2. Emotional State
Do you feel depressed? Do you worry a lot? Depression and anxiety are just two of the many emotional states which can suck the life force out of you.
3. Poor diet
If you don’t have enough nutrients and calories in your diet, you can experience low energy levels because your body doesn’t have the fuel to keep functioning optimally.
4. Lack of Sleep
You need sleep to replenish your energy levels. During sleep, your body shuts down and goes into hibernation mode. It gives your body a rest from all the basic functions you deal with when you’re awake and provides time to regenerate. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep at night. I know, it is easy to say, harder to do!
FATIGUE– MEDICAL FACTORS (ILLNESS)
1. Chronic Infections
The word chronic refers to something which persists for a long period of time. These overstaying foreigners can actually last for months or even years. Such chronic infections can sap your energy reserves because of the sustained increase of your major stress hormones (cortisol, norepinephrine, epinephrine). The rise in these stress hormones occurs because of an increase in substances called cytokines in your system. Cytokines are chemicals produced by your immune system in response to continued chronic infection. Unless the cause of the chronic infection is addressed, your immune system will continue to produce cytokines. Examples of chronic infections include tuberculosis, hepatitis, gingivitis and Lyme disease.
2. Pale Like a Vampire (Anemia)
You meet an old classmate of yours (who is now a doctor) at your high school reunion after several years. She tells you that you look pale. This doesn’t mean that you have whiter skin my friend. It’s actually a medical signal that you’re running low on red blood cells (RBCs). The RBCs are components of your blood responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to your organs. They give your blood (please don’t faint!) its red color. If there isn’t enough oxygen delivered to your organs, no energy will be produced. Any shortage of oxygen can result in low energy levels. There are many causes of anemia. Before you receive any treatment for it, suspicion of underlying anemia should first be confirmed by laboratory tests requested by your doctor. More precisely, the tests will evaluate how severe your anemia is. It will also help determine the cause of your anemia. The most common causes of anemia include a deficiency of iron and a deficiency of vitamin B12.
3. Faulty Waterworks (Kidney Disease)
Low energy levels could be the result of something wrong with your waterworks or kidneys, the organs which produce your pee. Your waterworks produce a substance called erythropoietin (EPO). It tickles (stimulates) your bone marrow (the fatty and yellow stuff inside both ends of your long bones) to produce red blood cells (RBCs). If there’s something wrong with your waterworks, they may not produce enough EPO. As a consequence, there are insufficient numbers of RBCs to deliver oxygen to your organs. The result? Low energy levels.
4. Your Bloated Ticker (Congestive Heart Failure)
Sorry, I’m not referring to your love life there! A heart condition called congestive heart failure means that your ticker (heart) isn’t strong enough to pump blood to your organs, especially your brain, kidneys and muscles. Decreased blood flow to these organs can result in low energy levels. In order to make up for this, your ticker at first works twice as hard meaning that your heart has to consume more oxygen. Eventually, your ticker tires and you end up with congestive heart failure.
5. The Lethargic Butterfly (Hypothyroidism)
This condition happens when your butterfly-shaped organ (thyroid gland) doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Your thyroid hormones are partially responsible for regulating your metabolism. Metabolism refers to the breakdown and absorption of materials in the body. If any of these general processes slows down, you can end up with low energy levels. Here, fatigue is just the tip of the iceberg.
6. The President’s Disease (Addison’s Disease)
Former US President John F. Kennedy was known to have Addison’s Disease. The youngest US president elected was a symbol of strength, vibrancy and youth. Little did the world know at that time, that he suffered greatly from this disease. Your adrenals are a pair of endocrine glands riding on top of each kidney. They’re responsible for the production of the adrenal hormones, cortisol and aldosterone. Addison’s Disease is an adrenal condition which leads to an insufficient production of adrenal hormones. The most common cause of this disease is an autoimmune response where your immune system attacks your adrenals and renders them incapable of producing enough adrenal hormones. Being tired most of the time is just one of the many symptoms you may experience with this disease.
7. The Disease with a Zodiac Sign – Cancer
You might find it funny to have a disease with its own zodiac sign – a crab. I assure you, however, there’s nothing funny about cancer! Cancer (depending on the type) can cause a variety of symptoms, a prominent one of which is fatigue. Cancer cells grow very quickly so they use energy and other resources which would otherwise be allocated towards normal cellular processes in the body. In addition, your immune system produces a large amount of cytokines to fight the cancer cells. Both of these factors lead to the fatigue commonly experienced by cancer suffers.
This list isn’t by any means extensive; we have just highlighted some of the most common causes of fatigue.
In evaluating the cause of your own lack of energy, first try to determine if it is likely to be due a non-medical factor. These ones may be easily fixed by you. On the other hand, if you identify a medical factor as the cause for your fatigue you will need to seek the help of your local doctor.