Several years ago, I had major sinus surgery to correct a rare condition I was born with. A few weeks post-surgery, I was frustrated as I was still tired and the pain lingered on. On the surface, I looked just fine, but what was out of sight had yet to heal completely. I remember thinking if I had a broken bone and had a cast, I would have been much more accepting of how I felt and kinder to myself as I healed as well.

What can’t be seen, is no less important than what is visible. Feeling tired, fatigued, sluggish can mean that inside, out of sight, your body has a broken part that needs to heal. Here are 8 possible, out of sight, reasons for feeling tired…

#1: Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue is very common. If you have been under stress, your adrenal glands could very well be tired. If you are craving salt; find it difficult to wake up, are waking up in the middle of the night, have dry skin, are pushed to the emotional edge easy, experiencing mild depression or anxiety, I encourage you to have an adrenal test run with a holistic oriented physician or practitioner. *See the link at the bottom and take the adrenal fatigue quiz.

#2: Low Iron.
An iron deficiency can make you feel weak, tired, light headed, short of breath, irritable, sluggish and make it hard to focus. Iron deficiency makes you tired because less oxygen travels to your muscles and cells. Google iron rich foods and please get tested as well. If you are vegan or vegetarian, low iron could be your low energy culprit.

#3: B12 Deficiency.
The body needs B12 to make red blood cells. Strict vegans and vegetarians are at a high risk for B12 deficiency. Signs of a possible deficiency are: fatigue, weakness, anemia, cognitive difficulties, numbness and tingling. There is also something called MTFHR Gene Mutation (which I have & is quite common). There is a whole lot to this, but nutrient deficiencies in Folate, B6 and B12 are associated with this Gene mutation. Again, the best way to know for sure is with a test.
*note, if you’ve had the 23&Me DNA profile done, your holistic health practitioner will be able to tell you if you have the MTFHR Gene Mutation. Or, using your 23&Me data, you can find out yourself at I strongly urge consulting with a knowledgeable practitioner for the specific supplements needed to assist your unique body.

#4: Dehydration.
Yup – when you’re dehydrated you will feel tired. Sipping water through the day is the best way to stay hydrated. If you feel that afternoon slump, ask yourself if you’ve had enough water. Even a 2% fluid loss can zap your energy! Coffee does not count as water. Caffeine actually dehydrates. Sigh…

#5: How and when you eat!
This is a big one. Just like a car needs fuel to keep going, so do our bodies. Breakfast, means ‘breaking fast’. If you are not a breakfast eater, please start. Even 20 almonds, or a hardboiled egg will help to bring your blood sugar back into balance. Going a long time between meals causes your blood sugar to plummet. Eating every three hours – 3 meals and small healthy snacks in between provides the fuel your body needs.
**If you wake up in the middle of the night, how and when you eat could be the reason. When you go long periods between meals, you are training your blood sugar to rollercoaster. Often middle of night waking up is your body saying – feed me, my blood sugar is low. Try eating a small portion of protein before going to bed. For women, hormones wreak havoc on blood sugar. At my nutrition store, Holy Basil, which helps to balance blood sugar, by GAIA was my #1 best-selling sleep remedy for women.

#6: Winding down with a night cap.
Sorry.  But this is another big one! Alcohol initially depresses the central nervous system causing a sedative feeling. According to Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, P.C., alcohol creates a rebound effect as it’s metabolized, which creates an abrupt surge in the adrenaline system. This is why, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve had a drink. Dr. Towfigh says, “If you drink and you’re invariably waking up three to five hours after you go to sleep, that’s a great indicator that alcohol is the issue.”  If you are going to have a drink, have it 4-5 hours before bedtime.

#7: Not saying “no” enough.
Yes. Too much on your plate and little time for yourself, will always lead to fatigue and depletion.
People-pleasing comes at the expense of your own health and wellness. Doing too much, creates stress. Stress creates adrenaline. Adrenaline plays havoc with blood sugar and can lead to adrenal fatigue.
Give yourself permission to say “no”. Your well-being, literally depends on it.

#8: Not knowing your natural energy level.
This is the topic for my next blog. Hold that thought!

Our bodies are fickle. When one piece is out of balance a domino effect occurs. When I was studying for my Nutrition Certification I did my final paper on enzymes and our digestive system, because my digestive system (along with a high percentage of my customers) was a mess. I was living under constant self-imposed stress (aka, doing too much). Through my studies, I learned that my body was taking energy away from my digestive system to fuel my go-go lifestyle. What was my domino effect? You just read them – at one time or another, I have experienced all eight reasons for fatigue.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
*Did any of these ‘reasons’ resonate with you?
*What challenges you with saying “no”?

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P.S. Here are two reference articles for you:
Adrenal Fatigue Quiz: click here.
How to say “no”: click here