Regain the Energy of Your Youth
Created and maintained by Kim Crawford, M.D., F.A.C.P.M., A.B.A.A.R.M.
Find out why you have low energy and the step by step actions you need to correct it. Learn about the common causes of energy loss, the reasons why you may not have the perfect energy level, and the natural solutions for regaining youthful energy.
Tired? Exhausted? You don’t have to be.
There are many ways to increase energy naturally, but first – ask yourself “why do I have less energy or what feels like no energy?” Getting rid of all traces of fatigue and improving your daily energy is a top priority for many people, but they don’t exactly know what to do. Let’s review the most common problems that lead to a lack of energy and maybe you’ll start recognizing what your root cause problem really is.
The common causes of energy loss
1) Hypothyroidism and other hormonal losses
Hypothyroidism means having low levels of thyroid hormone, and is easily measured on blood testing with a “Free T3” and “Free T4”, as well as anti-thyroid antibodies. It’s a good idea to draw antibodies, as many cases of hypothyroidism are due to autoimmune thyroiditis which compounds the fatigue of mere hypothyroidism. Other common hormone deficiencies associated with fatigue include low testosterone and low progesterone levels.
2) Adrenal stress / adrenal fatigue
This is very commonly missed by non-Functional Medicine doctors because, quite frankly, they are not educated about the phenomenon. Symptoms include varying levels of fatigue during the day and/or poor sleep quality such as several wake-ups during the night. It is usually brought on by preceding or currently occurring physical or emotional stress. It is often associated with high cortisol (stress hormone) levels in it’s early stages and then plunging levels of first, DHEA and then cortisol in the later stages.
The lowered levels of “happy brain chemicals” make us less apt to simply “move”; sleep is disordered and we tend to eat poorly; all increasing the basic fatigue that depression causes, which is easily remedied; often without medication.
4) Decreased ATP (cellular energy) production
Mitochondria. If there were a buzzword for energy over the past couple of years, it has sure been mitochondria – the little cells of respiration that make ATP in our bodies. Although they are most abundant in our brains, hearts, and muscles, they are ubiquitous, and less of them means less ATP production and therefore less energy. As we age, our mitochondria reproduce less and this same phenomenon happens in the course of many diseases. Luckily we have lots of tools in our integrative toolbox to address this problem.
5) Poor sleep quality
Poor sleep quality is something that just happens as we age unless we do something about it. When we look for “good sleep” we examine ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep deeply so that we awaken feeling refreshed. Many illnesses interfere with sleep quality; including anxiety.
6) Decrease in muscle mass
Aging and certain illnesses cause a decrease in overall muscle mass which simply means that it takes more oomph to get things done; tiring us out more easily. This is a common issue for debilitated older individuals.
7) Social issues
If you are a caregiver to an elderly parent, are over-worked, or worried about several work and family matters, you most likely have adrenal issues. This is associated with high fasting cortisol levels a great deal of the time.
Eating an inflammatory (American!) diet will zap your energy for many reasons. Luckily, this can be easily remedied. Developing new, healthy eating habits can increase energy naturally and enjoyably. If you haven’t done “The Basics of Disease Prevention” yet, you can get a PDF copy of the latest anti-inflammatory diet guidelines Dr. Kim gives to her very own patients.
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Webinar with Dr. Kim
This webinar covers some of the common causes of energy loss and how to solve them. You will find additional answers in the next portion of this self help guide: Solutions.
Download and/or print the PDF below for in-depth solutions.
The following articles are from Dr. Kim’s Aging Well blog and address some of the concerns in this guide.
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