Fatigue and your Hormones
Dragging and wondering why? Look at your hormones, they could be the key! Hormone balance is essential for optimal energy. Many different hormones can factor into energy balance, let’s dive into some of the key players:
- Cortisol: Hormones are like Golidlocks- they like everything just right. So, if your cortisol is too low, it can cause fatigue, and if your cortisol is too high- well, guess what? High cortisol can cause fatigue too! The constant buzz of cortisol can leave you exhausted! One key tip for resolving cortisol problems: Give up the stimulants- start with a caffeine and sugar fast for 2 weeks and see how you feel. Natural sugars from fruits are fine but no added sugar, and if you need to gradually reduce the caffeine. Start with half caff coffee and go down from there, green tea is a good hormone balancing alternative.
- Testosterone: Testosterone is necessary for both men and women, women just need a lot less of it. A tanked out testosterone can leave you feeling weak and losing muscle. Two key ways to try and build testosterone- eat more zinc and slowly add in strength training. Zinc rich foods include: Legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, eggs or meat are all great sources of this essential mineral. Strength training: you could start with low weights like 3 to 5 pounds and 10 reps of chest press, row, shoulder presses, bicep curls and tricep curls; then gradually build up to higher weights and more sets of 10 reps and add core and leg strengthening. For other ways to balance your hormones check out the videos linked below!
- Progesterone: For women, progesterone deficiency can be quite common. If you don’t make enough progesterone your sleep can suffer leading to significant fatigue. You can also get symptoms of depression or anxiety that can exacerbate your feelings of fatigue.
How do you improve your progesterone? First, check your levels with your provider to see if this is in fact an issue for you. If it is, you can trial taking vitex or chasteberry during the last 2 weeks of your menstrual cycle; if this does not help you can consider adding bioidentical progesterone but you must work with a provider to be sure this is safe for you. Also, be sure to rule out estrogen dominance as this must be fixed for your progesterone to be normal.
If you need help understanding your hormonal balance check out my YouTube channel by clicking on one of the videos below; and if you are looking for a Functional Medicine approach to hormone balance and you live in Colorado check out: Highlandshealthwellness.com.