One of the most common complaints I hear in my clinic is people saying they have low energy or fluctuating energy levels.
Over the years I have come to realise there is not one “fix” for what causes low energy. The causes are varied for each person. Different stages of life and medication can also affect this.
Reasons for what causes low energy
Fluctuating hormones can affect energy. Pre menstrual syndrome (PMS) is often a contributing factor, especially with women who have high oestrogen and low progesterone which can lead to low energy.
Peri-menopause/menopause can also cause low energy as the hormones fluctuate with the change. Often hypothyroid (low thyroid) affects energy as well as weight loss and hormonal imbalances. Classic symptoms of hypothyroid are tiredness and no “get up and go” in the mornings.
Many women have an iron deficiency, which can affect energy hugely, as iron is the main mineral to get oxygen around the body. Even minimal low iron can affect one’s energy. Low testosterone levels with men leads to low energy, what my clients have sometimes described as “losing their mojo”.
Being under the pump and stressed, be it physically and /or mentally, can deplete the body of essential nutrients such as vitamins B, C, zinc and magnesium , which are important for adrenal function and the nervous system. Low adrenal function can lead to exhaustion.
Different medications can cause one to be lethargic. The oral contraceptive pill depletes vitamins B and C, essential for energy and immunity .Anti-depressants, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication can cause some people to have low energy.
Having regular meals and snacks keeps the blood sugar level stable, which can keep energy more constant. Too much sugar, coffee and processed food can deplete energy, making one seek the next sugary fix to keep an artificial high.
Alcohol depletes vital nutrients like zinc and B vitamins, affecting energy.
Vegans and vegetarians can suffer from low energy, as they sometimes can be missing major nutrients. This can be balanced with nutritional help.
In my practice, people who have had glandular fever seem more predisposed to low energy and immune problems.
Often glandular fever leads to chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as allergies affecting immunity.
Hashimotos, a thyroid immune disease, can be another contributing factor, as well as other immune illnesses.
The gastrointestinal tract has a vital role in absorbing nutrients and getting them to different parts of the body to be used as energy.
People with issues like irritable bowel syndrome, celiacs and other inflammatory bowel disorders, often don’t absorb nutrients efficiently, leading to depleted energy. Even if one’s diet is balanced, there can be a “leaky gut” that can be repaired, improving nutrients absorption.
How to improve low energy
The great news is there are answers to helping you have great energy.
A diet balanced in lean protein, fibre, fruit, dairy for those who are not intolerant and the good fats like fish, nuts, avocado, chia and olive oil will fuel your body.
Hydration is important, as well as keeping alcohol low.
Major nutrients for the body’s energy cycle are: Coenzyme Q10, a good multivitamin, Vitamin C, iron and magnesium.
Hormonal balancing is important, be it for menstruating or menopausal women.
Male hormonal balancing can help get that “mojo” back!
Balance – in our busy lives, we need our performance mentally and physically to be at its best, so besides the above mentioned, take time to nurture yourself. There are so many things on offer: be it exercise, meditation, yoga, walking, music, doing your passion, just chilling… There is no one fix for what causes low energy………..but the good news is, it can be helped.