THIS is Causing Your Fatigue
Feeling constantly fatigued? It might not be just about your packed schedule or lack of sleep. It could be about what’s on your plate. In our fast-paced society, millions of us are unknowingly battling a silent energy-drainer.
You know coffee wont fix it, you’ve tried ‘getting more sleep’, but you wake up as tired as ever…and sugar? You already know better than that.
In a recent study, over 77% of Americans reported feeling more fatigued than ever, and 55% of those said that no amount of rest helps. For the vast majority of us, fatigue is not about rest or sleep, it is about imbalance in our body, and it is our body crying for help.
In this article, we’ll peel back the layers on a hidden link that’s causing many to feel tired all the time – the connection between an acidic diet, cortisol, and fatigue.
Surprisingly, the foods we eat can trigger a chain reaction, leading to diet-induced metabolic acidosis, elevated cortisol levels, and eventually, chronic fatigue.
Ready for a deep dive? Let’s uncover how adjusting your diet and managing cortisol levels could be your secret to reclaiming boundless energy.
Understanding Fatigue: The First Step
Fatigue is a sensation of constant tiredness or weakness, which can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. It’s more than just feeling drowsy – it’s a chronic lack of energy, a sense of exhaustion that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. While everyone experiences tiredness at times, chronic fatigue is persistent, often inexplicable, significantly impacting daily activities and quality of life.
A host of factors can contribute to chronic fatigue. These range from medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, or thyroid disorders, to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. However, it’s not always about the quantity or quality of sleep you’re getting. Even with adequate sleep, you can still feel fatigued. This is where two often-overlooked factors come into play: diet and cortisol.
You see, the foods we eat and how our bodies respond to them can significantly influence our energy levels. An overly acidic diet, typical in modern food habits, can lead to a condition known as diet-induced metabolic acidosis. This condition can affect your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in our energy metabolism. When this hormone is persistently high, it can lead to a state of constant fatigue.
So, while you might be reaching for that extra cup of coffee or trying to sneak in a power nap to fight off your fatigue, the solution might actually lie in what’s on your plate and how it affects your cortisol levels. As we continue, we’ll delve deeper into how an acidic diet can trigger cortisol imbalances and contribute to your constant state of fatigue.
Understanding STRESS: The Most IMPORTANT Step…
We often think of stress in an esoteric way, and as simply emotion. It is so much more than this. Stress is a physiological response in your body.
When your body perceives a threat or is under the impact of a stressor, your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies (which then dramatically drop). Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, curbs functions that would be nonessential in a fight or flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.
When the stressor or threat is gone, cortisol levels should fall, but if you’re under constant stress, your body keeps producing cortisol, and that’s where problems can arise. Chronic elevated cortisol can interfere with a number of your body’s functions, leading to issues such as anxiety, depression, headaches, and trouble sleeping. It can also lead to fatigue, as your body is constantly “on alert” without enough time to rest and recuperate.
And Here’s the Most Important Thing…
Being in a state of diet-induced acidosis (i.e. eating an acidic diet) is proven to put your body under this stress. Yes, diet-induced acidosis stresses your body to the degree that your body will constantly pump out cortisol! Living an acidic life puts you under constant stress, which means constantly elevated cortisol, which means constant FATIGUE.
Digging a Little Deeper into Cortisol
Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone,” is produced in the adrenal glands and plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions. It helps regulate metabolism, control blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Importantly, cortisol also plays a pivotal role in helping the body respond to stress.
In situations of acute stress – like an impending deadline or a near miss on the road – your body releases a burst of cortisol to help you respond. Cortisol triggers a “fight or flight” response, temporarily boosting your energy levels and sharpening your focus. However, the keyword here is ‘temporarily’. This cortisol surge is not meant to last for extended periods.
Problems arise when your cortisol is elevated all of the time. In response to diet-induced acidosis, the body continually produces high levels of cortisol. Over time, this constant elevation disrupts your normal circadian rhythm, suppresses your immunity, disrupts thyroid function, slows digestion, decreases metabolism, and causes an imbalance with your HPA-axis (of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals).
If cortisol is constantly HIGH, energy will be constantly LOW.
Here’s a little more on why: