Waking up feeling groggy after a good sleep.
Feeling that massive energy crash around 3 PM every day.
Struggling so hard to focus because you’re so tired.
Chronic fatigue is so debilitating…yet it feels like there isn’t anything you can do about it.
When my chronic fatigue was really bad, I was told by doctors that there was nothing they could do for me.
As frustrating as that was (and depressing), it was kind of a blessing in disguise.
Because it forced me to start testing out all the things I could possibly control to figure out how to feel better.
And all my experimentation with foods and exercise led me towards holistic nutrition, where I uncovered the deeper level health imbalances behind chronic fatigue, exhaustion, burnt out and poor sleep.
Now, I can tell you that you CAN get back your energy and focus and feel more alive and excited each day!
Stress Hormone Imbalance
Probably the most overlooked health problem is stress. And stress, in its many, many forms, can cause us so many problems with energy and sleep.
The problem is, as busy, high-performing women, we rarely put ourselves first. We tell ourselves there’s no time for self-care, or that our families’ needs are more important than our own.
So, we end up making our own health worse, increasing fatigue and sleep issues, and feeling irritable, frustrated and confused by own health.
As busy, high-performing women, we have a lot of stress in our lives.
When we’re faced with stressors, our brains signal our adrenals to make stress hormones. The occasional stressor signals the stress response and, when the stressor is gone, our hormones go back to normal within about 90 minutes.
Today, though, faced with so many different stressors, our stress response is triggered almost constantly. This depletes nutrients needed to make enough stress hormones, and eventually our bodies struggle to produce our main stress hormone – cortisol.
Cortisol levels drop because your body can’t produce it, and you feel groggy in the mornings and exhausted all day long. Your brain feels fuzzy and you haven’t got enough energy left at the end of the day to make a healthy meal.
We can’t eliminate all stress from our lives, but we can learn how to eat the right foods for abundance hormone nutrients. We can tell ourselves that our own health is a priority and set aside 10-30 minutes each day for self-care.
The second health problem associated with chronic fatigue and exhaustion is poor detoxification. Not only liver detoxification but overall detoxification of your other organs.
The liver is the most important though, so when it’s sluggish, your body isn’t clearing out toxins fast enough, allowing them to recirculate and affect how well your body produces energy.
Toxins affect the health of your thyroid, your adrenals and your brain.
The one overlooked detoxification organ is your mind and when you think negative thoughts, beat yourself up, and don’t give yourself time to let go of worry, your body exists in a state of negative energy, which is draining.
Detoxification is improved best with self-care (for mental detoxification) and the right nutrients, including adequate protein, for the other organs. Daily movement is crucial and improving digestion is always going to be my #1 focus with my clients.
Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation
Probably the most common problem associated with fatigue, especially chronic fatigue syndrome, is chronic low-grade inflammation.
Foods, how we eat (aka diets), the wrong types of exercise, poor sleep, stress, hormonal imbalances, pollutants and infections all trigger the inflammatory response.
This tells your body that something isn’t quite right inside you, and your immune system starts working hard to make the cells needed to attack foreign bodies and pathogens.
Ever had a bad bone break or strain and felt really tired afterwards? This is your inflammatory response kicking in to produce the cells needed to heal your wound.
Inflammation uses up a lot of nutrients as well, so you can become deficient in a few key energy-boosting ones.
With chronic stress comes chronic low-grade inflammation, and vice versa, so both must be addressed simultaneously for better energy levels.
An anti-inflammatory diet improves inflammation levels plus nourishes the adrenals for a better stress response!
It may surprise you but if your digestion is “off” in any way, you can become chronically exhausted and have poor mental focus.
All good health starts with good digestion. Constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating are all signs that your digestion isn’t functioning properly. My clients all start with an analysis of their digestion so that, if they need it, we can boost this important energy system for faster, long-term results.
When your digestion isn’t working well, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs. Toxins continue to be reabsorbed, bogging down the liver. Hormones aren’t eliminated and circulate, overtaxing your hormonal system.
Basic digestive support includes a daily probiotic, digestive enzymes before meals, and eating without distraction or stress.
An Estrogen Imbalance
Normal sex hormone levels mean that progesterone and estrogen keep each other in check throughout the month. As women age, though, both hormones naturally decrease, with progesterone lowering faster than estrogen.
Progesterone has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation. Progesterone also helps promote sleep and relaxation.
Where fatigue can happen from a sex hormone imbalance is when estrogen levels get too high while progesterone becomes way too low.
Busy, high-performing women with a poor stress response (see the Stress Hormone section above) will also tend to have lower than normal levels of progesterone. Perhaps you’ve seen your doctor and received progesterone cream or pills to boost your progesterone. This is often a band-aid solution because the real problem is chronic stress and overworked adrenals.
Your sex hormones and stress hormones are all “steroid” hormones, which means that they are produced from cholesterol. This cholesterol can come from the diet or, what the diet lacks, the liver will make up for.
If you’re chronically stressed (or if your liver is sluggish), your body will shunt as much of that cholesterol as it sees necessary to make cortisol. And cortisol will “steal” cholesterol and other nutrients away from the body that are needed to make progesterone and estrogen. So, progesterone levels decrease because there isn’t enough cholesterol left for it.
With estrogen, though, your adrenals and fat cells produce this hormone, plus a lot of our standard foods contains estrogen and estrogen-like compounds.
So, you end up with high levels of estrogen and very low levels of progesterone.
And high levels of estrogen cause insomnia, fatigue and brain fog. High levels of estrogen, as well as high levels of cortisol, interfere with how well your thyroid functions. The symptoms of low thyroid are the same as cortisol imbalances, yet most women are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. In reality, most low thyroid function is actually caused by stress, estrogen imbalances, or poor liver function.
Boost progesterone levels by reducing stress and inflammation, and eating lots of hormone-friendly nutrients from healthy fats. Help reduce estrogen levels with ground flaxseed.
The effects of chronic fatigue are frustrating and confusing.
But reversing chronic fatigue, boosting mental focus, and improving sleep are all totally doable…
You just need the right system to approach your fatigue and brain fog from that deep-seated, root cause level. My Energy & Hormonal Rebalance system focuses on the 5 main health imbalances that cause chronic fatigue, burn out, brain fog and poor sleep so that you can get back your energy, your excitement for life and feel normal and healthy again!