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Being tired after a late night is completely logical, but being chronically tired, no matter the amount of sleep you get, is not. Many people suffer from chronic fatigue even though they get an adequate amount of sleep. The consumption of caffeine does little to ward off the relentless yawns or the inevitable nod-offs. Even when they’re able to take a nap, the fatigue always returns.
These people have a much bigger problem than staying up too late. Their fatigue could actually be a hormonal imbalance.
Chronic fatigue can be caused by the following imbalances:
The little glands located of top of each kidney produce a variety of essential hormones that are extremely important to achieve homeostasis within the body. These adrenal glands respond to stress with a hormone called cortisol. Any time the body encounters stress, this hormone is released. Someone who is chronically stressed can literally exhaust their adrenal glands, reducing or even eliminating cortisol levels within the body. This can cause the adrenal glands to produce cortisol when they shouldn’t, like at night.
High levels of cortisol at night make sleeping almost impossible. Racing thoughts or a rapid heartbeat at night could be a sign of a cortisol imbalance. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include fatigue, difficulty getting up in the morning, more energy in the evening, lightheadedness, weak immune system, body aches and unexplained weight loss.
The thyroid gland also produces vital hormones. This little gland is located in the base of the neck and influences the function of major organs like the brain, heart, skin, liver and kidneys. It also helps regulate heart rate, body temperature and metabolism.
Chronic fatigue is a very common symptom of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid, meaning it doesn’t produce enough thyroid related hormones. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid where it produces an excessive amount of hormones.
Fatigue is a very common symptom in both because the conditions can result in insomnia, abnormal sleep patterns, and anxiety.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irregular heartbeat, unexplained weight loss, heat sensitivity, excessive hunger, and excessive sweating.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin, constipation, cold sensitivity, and unexplained weight gain.
Sex Hormone Imbalances
Sex hormones are also prone to imbalances. Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all found in both sexes. When levels of any of these hormones either become too high or too low, many symptoms can be experienced. Sex hormone imbalances can cause issues like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and brain fog which can lead to a chronic state of fatigue.
Caution should be used when treating the endocrine system, so anyone experiencing chronic fatigue should consult with an experienced physician. All hormones are delicately interconnected, and treatment requires someone well versed in the field. The right physician will know which tests and treatment path is needed after a consultation.
There are many natural, safe and effective options available to treat chronic fatigue. For instance, a naturopathic physician can prescribe a natural hormone replacement therapy program. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced naturopathic doctors, please click here.