causes of fatigue

3 Common Causes of Fatigue

September 1, 2018

Your early morning alarm sounds and you hit the snooze button…10 more minutes of sleep, you think, and I’ll be ready to start my day!  But when the alarm sounds again, how difficult do you find it to hop out of bed? And how do you fare the rest of the day? Do you find you have boundless energy, or does the mid-afternoon slump leave you reaching for an extra large cup of coffee and thoughts of an early bed time?  How does fatigue affect your day?

Fatigue can be a complicated issue when it comes to our health.  There are many reasons why we may feel tired on a regular basis. For some the cause behind their fatigue could be as simple as too many late nights, a short term of not enough sleep, or a busy schedule.  However, for others, fatigue may be tied to a number of health concerns that should be addressed with a health care professional. Below I’ve listed three common causes of fatigue that you may want to discuss with your Naturopathic Doctor to determine if they may be the reason why you just can’t stop hitting that snooze button.

  1. Iron Deficiency Anemia:  Low iron is a common cause of fatigue, especially in menstruating women.  Iron is a component of hemoglobin, found inside our red blood cells, and is integral to the transportation of oxygen throughout our body.  Insufficient iron can result in feelings of fatigue, as well as other symptoms such as dizziness, lack of mental clarity, pale skin, and shortness of breath.  Treating iron deficiency anemia can be as simple as taking a daily iron supplement, but determining your blood ferritin levels is important in order to make sure this is the right course of action for you.
  2.  Underactive Thyroid:  Another common cause of fatigue is related to the thyroid, a small organ that wraps around your trachea (throat), just above your collarbone.  Your thyroid plays an important role in your metabolism, influencing temperature regulation as well as energy production. An impairment in the release of the hormones from your thyroid can results in fatigue, weight gain, constipation, as well as a sensitivity to cold.  Having your blood TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) value assessed is the first step in determining if your thyroid may be the cause of your fatigue.
  3.  Diet:  As a Naturopathic Doctor I know the importance of a healthy diet and always begin with this cornerstone of heath in my clients’ treatments.  A diet that is high in simple sugars and empty calories will have you feeling sluggish and tired soon after your last meal. Stabilising blood sugar is critical when we’re talking about energy and fatigue.  A diet that is rich in fresh produce, lean protein, and healthy fats will help to not only help keep you feeling full, but also prevent against a rapid drop of your blood glucose that can happen after a highly processed, sugary meal.


We all get tired and this is a signal from our body that it is time to rest.  That being said, fatigue is not always related to the amount of shut eye we get.  There are numerous health concerns that are linked to fatigue that should be investigated if you just can’t seem to get the spring back in your step.

For more information on fatigue, or on how Naturopathic Medicine may be able to help with your health concerns, please contact Dr. Linda Shih, ND, at Spine Stretch Studio.  I look forward to helping you on the road to wellness.

Author: Linda Shih

Dr. Linda Shih, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who is passionate about preventative and personalized health care, always striving to understand the root cause of her client’s conditions and concerns. She hold an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto, a Diploma of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, and is a member of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
Naturopathic Doctors are considered primary care physicians, and while Dr. Linda Shih maintains a wide scope of practice in her family clinic, she has a special interest in pain management, infertility, as well as digestive concerns.
Using a variety of different modalities, including acupuncture, botanical medicine, and nutritional counseling, Dr. Shih, ND, always aims to help her clients achieve their best health, both now and for the future.
Linda Shih Linda Shih
September 1, 2018 September 1, 2018

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