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What’s Causing Your Energy Shortage?

The health reasons behind your lack of energy.

Since your hormones do more than keep your muscles pumped and sex engine revved, if you feel a lack of optimal energy, talk with your doctor about these possible causes.

Thyroid
Your hypothalamus is responsible for making the hormone that causes your pituitary to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (a marker for thyroid disease). Most doctors treating the symptoms of thyroid problems (such as fatigue and weight gain), do so based on a number that doesn’t make perfect sense. Doctors should look at both forms of thyroid hormone (free T4 and T3 levels) as well as TSH levels.

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Energy Shortage

Your TSH levels are dictated by your pituitary gland. They act like your internal dimmer, trying to make the lights bright enough to read by. So, your TSH levels go up when your thyroid isn’t pumping enough T4 and T3, in an effort to increase your thyroid gland’s production of T3 and T4. Sometimes, your pituitary fails to succeed, or the wires in your thyroid are frayed. Then, you can’t produce all the T3 and T4 you need.

The drugs used to treat this don’t always work for everyone. There’s a complex, delayed reaction to many drugs that can vary among people. It takes four to eight weeks to arrive at stable levels after you make a dose change. Often, you need to tell your doctor how you feel. Maybe even push to get treated with a bioidentical thyroid hormone that doesn’t just adjust the numbers on the blood test, but also help you feel better.

Adrenal
When you’re hungry, do you quickly switch to feeling so irritable and ravenous that if you don’t eat, you’ll commit a felony? This is a sign that your adrenal (fight-or-flight) glands may not be working properly. You need to address the signs of malfunctioning adrenals.

Blood tests only pick up on very dangerous levels, not just abnormal ones. If all else fails, talk to your doctor about a cortisol-type medicine called Cortef, or its cousin DHEA (not DHA). Your doc will need to measure levels before, and frequently thereafter.

QUIZ: How Healthy Do You Feel?

Sex hormones
Perimenopausal women who experience worsening pain and fatigue around their periods are probably experiencing a drop in estrogen. Cause and effect? Maybe. Remember, pain diverts your energy as well.

Estradiol (a bioidentical estrogen) combined with micronized bioidentical progesterone, preceded by two baby aspirin, has benefits we think exceed risks for most women. This can help your pain, fatigue and brain fog.

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