It's having the lack of energy and/or motivation to function throughout your day.
What causes it? The causes of fatigue vary greatly from infectious origins to being run down to not eating a proper diet. More common causes of fatigue include iron deficiency anemia, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), history of allergies, immune system dysfunction, hypotension, as well as changes in the levels of hormones produced in the pituitary glands and adrenal glands. A viral illness (like Epstein-Barr virus), may also be the cause for an individual being fatigued.
A less common but more severe cause of fatigue is due to a complicated disorder called Chronic fatigue syndrome. It is characterized by extreme fatigue that can't be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest.
What are my treatment options? There is no one treatment available for fatigue since there are so many causes - the most effective treatment has to be tailored to your individual needs and as a result it is best to contact your health care provider.
Basic lab work is often ordered to identify an iron or B12 deficiency, as well as an infectious cause such as a viral or bacterial infection. Once the cause is identified, treatments may include iron supplementation, B12 injections or antibiotics. Often the type of iron recommended by regular doctors is hard on the digestive tract and can cause constipation. Also, the type of B12 used in the injection is often not the most healthy form of B12 (i.e. it is called cyano-cobalomin. The cyano cofactor stands for cyanide - do you want that toxin, even at small amount, injected into your shoulder?). Fortunately there are alternatives available to you through naturopathic practitioners (see below).
Complimentary healthcare options:
Naturopathic doctors will also assess your blood work for nutritional deficiencies and infectious causes however their approach is typically more comprehensive. For example, there are other nutritional deficiencies besides B12 and iron that can result from a poor diet and cause fatigue. At KIH, the Naturopathic Doctors can order a comprehensive nutritional panel that will identify over 25 mineral, vitamin and antioxidant deficiencies that are related to many different health concerns, including fatigue. Complete your information to the right of your screen if you would like to request more information.
Other natural treatments are selected depending on whether or not the cause is due to female hormonal issuessuch a peri/menopause or a thyroid condition, a chronic digestive disorder, from being an athlete, or due to chronic disease. A referral will sometimes be made to your GP so that conventional and naturopathic treatments can be coordinated as necessary.
Natural Standard Databases: