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Owning Your Health: Are Fatigue and Lack of Energy Separating You From Your Mojo?

Lissa Rankin's picture


Do you find it challenging to pull yourself out of bed in the morning? Are you living on that triple shot Caramel Macchiato? Are you tempted to nap every afternoon? Does your body protest when your brain feels like exercising? Do you feel like fatigue is all that separates you from your mojo?

Maybe you’re doing every Mojo Monday exercise- crossing the Pink threshold, building your home altar, writing your personal mission statement, keeping a Joy Journal, forgiving those who have wronged you, finding your creative slash, writing your bucket list, blessing your body, cleaning out your Anything Box, and engaging in Laughter Yoga. You’re Owning your spiritual side, letting your creative juices flow, and getting in touch with the authentic YOU. You’d even like to start your own Pink Posse gathering. But you’re so freakin’ tired all the time! Where did your mojo go?

If you suffer from low energy and fatigue, you’re not alone. More than half the population reports feeling tired often, and as many as 80% of women around the age of menopause say they are tired most of the time.

Why Am I So Tired?

  1. Inadequate or disrupted sleep- If you’re running on five or six hours of sleep, it’s no wonder you’re tired. The body simply needs more sleep.sad-woman-thumb1196341
  2. Emotional disturbances- Anxiety and depression tend to sap your energy and they may also contribute to insomnia, which leads to poor sleep. Then- wham! Bye bye mojo. Stress can also drain your energy.
  3. Sex hormone imbalance- As women (and men, by the way) age, fluctuations in sex hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, may lead to fatigue and symptoms of low energy.
  4. Nutrition- If you’re filling up on junk, it’s no wonder you feel tired. Food is fuel, and if you’re filling your tank with caffeinated sugar water instead of whole foods and green things, you can’t expect to feel good. If you treat your low energy with sugar and/or caffeine, you’re stimulating our sympathetic nervous system and revving up your pancreatic insulin production. Then when you crash, you only feel worse.
  5. Anemia- If your hemoglobin or red blood cell count is low, your body has trouble delivering oxygen to your tissues, which makes you feel tired.
  6. Adrenal fatigue- Most of us run around in fight-or-flight stress mode most of the time, which taxes our poor, overworked adrenal glands. At first, they may keep up, spitting out cortisol and other adrenal hormones to keep up with you, but at some point, your adrenal may peter out, leaving you with adrenal insufficiency. Without adequate levels of adrenal hormones, you feel limp and lifeless.
  7. Thryoid imbalance- As you age, you may not make as much thyroid hormone as you did when you were younger. If your thyroid gland quits putting out as much thyroid hormonecause, chances are you’ll feel tired.foodallergies
  8. Food allergies- While some food allergies can be so bad they land you in the emergency room, mild food allergies may go unnoticed, with only fatigue resulting. If you regularly eat foods your body doesn’t tolerate well, you expend extra energy, as your body tries to process these foods and wind up exhausted.
  9. Sleep apnea- If you sleep 8 hours per night but spend all 8 hourssleep-apnea1 trying to breathe, you’re likely to wake up tired. If you’re tired all the time and your partner has to sleep in the other room because you snore so badly, there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea, a condition that obstructs the upper airway and leads to difficulty breathing during sleep.
  10. Chronic disease- If you’re doing everything else right and you still feel tired, you could have a chronic disease, such as undiagnosed cancer or heart disease. When your body is busy trying to fight off life-threatening disease, it winds up without much energy left over.
  11. Infection- Viral and bacterial infections may be insidious and hard to detect. Diseases like CMV, EBV, or Lyme's disease, among others, may sap you of your energy.

10 Tips For Improving Your Energy Levelsjump42-439x586

  1. Try to get 8 hours of sleep at night. Go to bed earlier and rearrange your schedule to allow your body the rest and rejuvenation ipinksleepsact needs to recapture energy.
  2. Treat insomnia. If you suffer from insomnia, try 5-HTP, GABA, or melatonin, and listen to guided imagery (I love Belleruth Naparstek’s CD’s and listen to them almost every night). If nothing helps, see your doctor.
  3. Consider seeing a reputable integrative medicine doctor. While traditional doctors may check your hemoglobin and a TSH, many integrative medicine doctors will do a more thorough medical evaluation, including evaluation of your emotional and mental well-being, as well as testing of your sex hormones, adrenal hormones, blood count, various measures of your thyroid function, and food allergy testing. You can ask your traditional medical doctor to order these tests. Some docs are up-to-date and on top of current treatment for fatigue. But more often, you may find some resistance from doctors not familiar with treating some of these conditions.
  4. Eat a balanced whole foods diet, rich in produce, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  5. Avoid caffeine, sugar, high carb foods, alcohol, and nicotine.green-morning-glory-juice-440
  6. Buy a juicer and drink green juice. It works miracles- I swear!
  7. If you suffer from anxiety and depression, get help. Working naturally to alter your brain biochemistry can do wonders for your energy (and your mojo!)
  8. If you snore, bring it up with your doc. If you have untreated sleep apnea, you’re not just tired- your health is in danger.
  9. Exercise regularly. It may seem counterintuitive. After all, how can you exercise when you feel so tired you can barely roll out of bed. But trust me on this one. If you can manage to do it, it works.
  10. Seek help from alternative health modalities, such as massge therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, and hypnotherapy. All of these modalities work to diminish stress, and all have additional benefits that may help you.

Are you inspired to rev up your energy? Ready to reclaim your life and get your mojo back. Go get ‘em!

Wishing you health, energy, and loads of mojo,

Dr. Lissa

This blog, and the book on which it is based, is a complement to - not a substitute for - professional advice and intervention, and is not intended to replace the advice of a gynecologist or medical professional, who should be consulted about any health care issues that may affect the individual reader. The information contained in this book is the product of observations made by the author in her practice, as well as her review of relevant literature in her field of expertise. The literature at times reflects conflicting opinions and conclusions. The views expressed herein are the personal views of the author and are not intended to reflect the views of any group or organization with whom the author is affiliated.


Lissa Rankin's picture

Kris, I feel you sister. No-

Kris, I feel you sister. No- I don't know anyone in Nashville. But you might check out Dr. Andrew Weil's University of Arizona program that trains integrative medicine docs. http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/alumni.html

Blessings to you, Lissa

Kris's picture

Hello! I am tired all the

Hello! I am tired all the time w/no sex drive and lots of headaches. The traditional doctors tell me it's stress and "life". I can barely stay awake to drive to work and once @ work, I fall asleep at my desk. I have a 4 year old and would like to get better for her. Do you know of a facility in Nashville, TN that heals naturally? Thank you, Kris

Lissa Rankin's picture

Dear Sharon, You are

Dear Sharon, You are ABSOLUTELY right! In fact, right now, we have a lovely woman who is suffering from Lyme's disease recovering in our guest house.

In truth, there are many medical conditions that can cause fatigue, and I guess I lumped that in with chronic disease in my differential diagnosis. But perhaps infection should have its own category, because things like EBV, CMV, and Lyme can be so subtle that they go unnoticed. At the integrative health center where I work, www.clearcenterofhealth.com, our practice is filled with patients like this, who have been shunted from doctor to doctor, labeled with things like chronic fatigue syndrome and written off, when there is much to be done for these people.

Thank you, Sharon, for drawing attention to this issue. I think will add infection to this post because of your comment. I appreciate your feedback and am ever-striving to present a more complete, objective and whole message.

With love, Lissa

sharon's picture

Hi, Looking up adrenal


Looking up adrenal insufficiency, I came across your website. It struck me that your list under the initial heading "Why am I so tired?" matches some of the initial symptoms of Lyme Disease onset. The references to changing hormone levels, thyroid issues, fatigue, adrenal depletion/stress overload, disrupted sleep, emotional disturbances, malnutrition (both on the part of the person and the effects of bacteria robbing one's body's nutrients), sleep disturbances and chronic disease are classic symptoms of chronic, untreated Lyme.

Add to this immune depression, which can get very severe, and arthritis pain, headaches, and intestinal issues and I'd go run, not walk, to one's local clinic and beg help. Lyme rarely gets better on its own, antibiotics are advises, plus a complete change of one's eating and exercise habits to a high-fiber, moderate aerobic (as opposed to anaerobic) exercise routine and slowing down the pace of one's life, etc.

Best, Sharon

Lissa Rankin's picture

Good tip! I absolutely CAN'T

Good tip! I absolutely CAN'T nap! Even when I've been up all night delivering babies. So I forget that others can. So yes, Pinkies- nap when you can and recharge!

meryl333's picture

GREAT suggestions. One more

GREAT suggestions. One more thing. Discipline yourself to take a nap. Get an mp3 for the Iphone of whatever & plug into something that will get your mind soothed & unplugged... what a recharge!

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