It’s normal to feel tired from time to time, especially if you run around without stopping, but when long-term bouts of fatigue and exhaustion linger on, chances are there may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

Some of these causes may include:

Adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal glands are responsible for secreting many hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. These aid in maintaining proper electrolyte levels, regulate blood sugar and control stress responses, such as the “fight or flight” response. When the “fight or flight” is constantly activated, it depletes the adrenal glands, leading to an imbalance in cortisol.

Symptoms such as allergies, muscle weakness, food cravings, depression, skin issues, autoimmune disorders and poor sleep quality are just a few signs that your adrenal glands are suffering. But adrenal exhaustion is not to be taken lightly. I recommend getting the proper testing done to determine the cause.

Hypothyroidism. This is quite common and affects approximately 8% of the population in the United States, affecting women more than men 8:1. Your thyroid makes hormones that impact every system in your body.

A few signs that your thyroid may be underactive include constipation, dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, depression, hair loss and sleep complications. Each individual is unique and should be treated as such. While thyroid medication may be necessary in some cases, I prefer to integrate a more holistically tailored approach in helping the thyroid restore itself back to health.

Mold & Biotoxins. Individuals who have been exposed to mold or mycotoxins can experience an accumulation of symptoms over time. It may take some people many years before getting a clear answer as to what causes their symptoms as many people are unaware they have mold in their home or work environments.

Molds grow quickly and the exposure can cause some serious issues like brain fog, gastrointestinal distress and chemical sensitivities. Furthermore, if your detoxification pathways are compromised you will have a more difficult time detoxing from mold and as a result, may be more prone to chronic immune issues. This also makes it a lot more challenging for your system to cleanse itself internally.

Food intolerances and sensitivities. These count for a large part of unexplained fatigue. Again, this is also difficult to diagnose because it can take up to 3 days for a noticeable reaction to occur from a food.

Standard testing is not the most accurate in this case as it only looks for immediate reactions to food and can easily miss delayed responses to foods. This can be very frustrating and time consuming. When seeing patients in my office I use several methods to help pinpoint which foods may be causing problems, so you can be clear on how to best manage your diet.

In order to restore your health:

Find a functional, integrative or holistic practitioner that can order the proper testing.

Remember that a healthy diet and lifestyle is imperative to restore energy levels.

Minimize stress as much as possible. Go for walks, go outdoors or do anything that helps you relax.

Try helping your body to detox by using infrared saunas, lymphatic massages and colon therapy.

If you’re suffering from long-term fatigue and exhaustion, you can only heal if you find the underlying cause. Symptoms are pieces of a larger picture. Understand that it is not just one part of your body, but the whole body. Healing is a synergistic process that requires patience and commitment.