Why am I so tired all the time? The reason may be in your cells
There’s tired… and then there’s tired you just can’t seem to shake.
The kind of tired where you never seem to wake up rested, even after 8+ hours of sleep.
Here’s the thing, you may be tired all the time because your mitochondria are being depleted.
Mitochondria are little organelles inside our cells that produce energy. They are also instrumental in maintaining a strong body and mind.
If you aren’t giving your mitochondria the fuel they need to perform, you will likely feel chronically fatigued – no matter how much you rest.
Signs of Mitochondria Depletion
When your experience mitochondria dysfunction or depletion, you may notice:
- Fatigue (both in your physical energy and your invisible energy)
- Brain fog
- Decreased endurance and longer recovery time from physical activity
- A compromised immune system (AKA you get sick more often or take longer to recover once exposed)
- Aging skin
- Weight gain and low metabolism
- Pain and weakness
- Mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety
- Other chronic health problems
As we age, our mitochondria get weaker, which makes us weaker. It makes sense that dysfunctional mitochondria are behind aging and disease!
While mitochondrial dysfunction can be inherited, and may be part of our aging process, there’s a growing trend of premature depletion stemming from our modern-day lifestyles.
Why Stress May Be Your Worst Enemy
According to recent studies, one of the leading causes of mitochondrial depletion these days is stress.
When you’re under stress (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual), your body pumps out stress hormones – and your whole system takes the hit: brain, gut microbiome, heart, lungs, liver, skin, etc.
Think about it, when you’re overwhelmed or stressed, how do you feel in your body?
Some people feel stress in their gut/belly area. It can be described as a churning, tightness, or a low-grade feeling of unease. Stress even impacts your appetite – it can kill your desire to eat or even make you ravenously hungry.
Others carry stress in their shoulders, neck, and jaw – leading to muscle tension, headaches, or bruxism (when you clench or grind your teeth).
It’s rare that you will find someone perpetually carrying high stress levels who feels happy, carefree, and relaxed in their physical body. Quite the opposite actually.
In addition to emotional stress, there are other major risk factors of stressors in our modern-day lifestyles:
Environmental toxins: in the air we breathe, food we eat, and the water we drink, not to mention all the toxins inside our daily hygiene products…like toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, shampoo, laundry soap, air freshener, etc.
Poor nutrition: consuming processed foods, sugar, preservatives, rancid seed oils, GMOs, or being on nutrient-restrictive diets.
Life circumstances: going through a divorce, moving to a new home, loss of a loved one, unstable finances, etc.
At a cellular level, stress can cause the mitochondria to swell – which means the surface area of membranes get stretched and cannot perform well. In some instances the mitochondrial membrane even ruptures, leading to mitochondrial death.
Here’s the problem, it’s not like stress is going away anytime soon, right? We can always count on another stressor coming into our lives.
How to Repair Mitochondria So You Can Stop Feeling So Tired All the Time
Here’s the good news, while our mitochondria influence how we feel, we actually get to be in charge of them. Mitochondria can self-repair when we give them the right nutrients and take good care of our internal environment.
Ways to revitalize mitochondria:
Align your circadian rhythm: Adjusting your workday to your circadian rhythm may help optimize cognitive (brain) performance and productivity. This means working during daylight hours and allowing your body and brain to shut down and repair when it’s dark outside. It’s best to wake up to natural light (sunlight or even investing in a lamp that mimics sunlight) and begin your transition to relaxation and sleep by getting outside around dusk. When your eyes see the light shifting to darkness, it signals to your brain that it’s time to wind down, which helps you relax naturally, and become sleepy when it’s time for bed.
Intermittent fasting: Most people in the Western world rarely go more than a few hours without eating…. except while sleeping. If you think of food as information, this constant “grazing” means your body (in particular your gut microbiome) is constantly receiving and processing information. Not the ideal way to ‘rest and restore’, right? With intermittent fasting (IF), your body gets more time to complete its “cleaning” duties – flushing toxins, repairing cells, and ‘rest and recovery’.
Imagine this analogy: have you ever tried to clean your house when it’s full of party guests? That’s an impossible task! Constant grazing/eating is like having a houseful of guests in your gut! When you fast for 12 or more hours daily (some IF regimens recommend 14 to 16-hour fasts), your “house” is quiet and can be cleaned well. Intermittent fasting also has health-promoting side effects like weight release, stronger immunity, improved mental resilience and mitochondria support!
Low-intensity exercise in a fasted state: Make the most of your IF routine by adding exercise, which has also been shown to accelerate the burning of fat for fuel. In the morning, go for a 30-minute walk, a yoga routine, gentle jog, or bike ride before eating breakfast, while you are still in a fasted state (a minimum 12 hours of fasting overnight is ideal). New findings suggest that this practice activates fat oxidation, supports healthy weight management and boosts metabolism.
Natural detoxification: Our bodies are already equipped with a built-in detox engine. Yet because we are constantly bombarded by toxins, our systems can get overloaded – and simply can’t keep up. There are many natural solutions to help your body detox each day, including mineral baths, exercise, and consuming vital nutrients.
What to Expect When You Fix Your Mitochondria
As your mitochondria get better, your body’s ability to regulate its inflammatory response and cellular energy production will follow suit.
This leads to balance and a long list of health benefits, such as:
No more afternoon slump: Imagine having effortless energy all day long – without PM coffee and even after you’ve had lunch!
Brain fog eliminated: That hazy, lazy brain fog that keeps you operating slowly and having trouble thinking lifts away.
Better sleep: Not only will you notice you’re able to fall asleep faster, the quality of your sleep will improve. Which means you’re more likely to wake up well-rested in the morning with a better outlook on life.
More natural energy: When you optimize your mitochondrial function, your cells are better able to produce energy. Which means all your internal organs and systems become filled with life-affirming energy and vitality – giving you the motivation, energy, and vibrancy you’re looking for.
Emotional stress diminishes: Because chronic stress impacts mitochondria, and mitochondria impact mental health; enhancing their function means you get to the root cause of depression and anxiety naturally.
Healthy weight: When you experience more energy, you’re more likely to use that energy in ways that keep you healthy – everything from the food you choose to fuel your body with, to giving your body the exercise she needs to stay strong.
You’ll also be able to slow down aging and improve muscle strength. Over time, you can literally feel like a new person.
I remember when I first ran functional lab tests on my team member—a middle-aged mom with kids—and the results were clear… her mitochondria were depleted!
The results blew her mind because she finally realized there was a medical explanation for her deep tiredness. She wasn’t crazy, and she wasn’t just an overwhelmed mom.
There was a biological reason for her fatigue – one we could fix with the right protocol.
So I want you to know… there is hope!
If you’re struggling with low energy and low mental clarity, it’s not all in your head. You are not making it up – and you don’t need to just “suck it up.”
There’s a reason behind your symptoms and there IS a solution to help you feel better.
Creating Your Customized Health Action Plan
Each of us is unique. And what works for you may not work for someone else – and vice versa.
So the first step is to consult with a health professional who truly understands your concerns and desires… and wants to be an active partner in your goals.
My team and I are here for you.
We work with people just like you, all year round, to get to the root cause of health concerns that impact your lifestyle and hold you back from what you want out of life.
From there, we will help you determine what your custom health plan could look like.
Methodologies we often use include:
- Functional Lab testing: to identify the true root cause of your symptoms and concerns…labs that look at your gut microbiome, mitochondria, adrenals, toxic load, and even food intolerance testing.
- Creating custom protocols: Functional medicine-based plans suited to your specific lifestyle and health goals, curated just to you.
- Coaching, support, and accountability: It can be hard going it alone – when you work with us, not only do you get access to me as your private functional health practitioner, you also get access to my team of nurse practitioners and health coaches who are ready to answer any question you have, address any concern, or help you pivot to optimize your results.
So are you ready to reclaim the energy you deserve?
You’re just one step away…
Take Good Care,