Hormones are the language your body uses to send instructions to your cells. Sleep cycles, hunger, thirst, even your emotional state are all triggered by hormones. Hormones play a huge role in how our bodies process the foods we eat and in how readily we fall and stay asleep.With this in mind, it’s no surprise that hormone imbalance is a leading cause of decreased energy during the day. Further, hormone levels affect sleep habits and appetite, while poor sleep and dietary habits effect hormone production. This leads to a cycle of dysfunction that can be difficult to correct with lifestyle adjustments alone potentially leading to the need for hormone replacement therapy.
The Cell Energy Cycle
The cycle of energy production in our body’s cells is a complex set of chemical processes. Going into the processes in detail could fill a full term college-level biochemistry class. Energy production and use within the body is, of course, key when looking into causes of lethargy and sleep disturbances.
Hormones directly affect a patient’s sleep habits, and in turn, sleep habits can affect hormone production. Often, a slight underlying hormonal imbalance can set off a cycle by which sleep is disturbed, throwing hormone production out of sync and causing further sleep problems.
Poor energy production at the cellular level is a large factor in many cases, and can be traced directly to hormonal imbalance. Sometimes a sleep dysfunction is to blame for low energy levels—again, hormonally controlled.
In some cases, bioidentical hormones, as part of a comprehensive approach to treatment, can offer significant relief from lethargy. The goal of such treatment is to restore overall wellness and healthy energy levels.
Identifying the Cause of Decreased Energy
Of course, everyone is different, and responds differently to internal and external influences. It’s one thing to be tired sometimes, but a sustained lack of energy over time may indicate an imbalance within the body that needs to be addressed.The initial hormone imbalance could be due to a number of factors:
- Lack of exercise
- Poor sleep habits
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
Nutrition has an obvious role in low energy levels. Eating habits are most often the first thing to consider when a patient feels chronically lethargic. Sometimes, a dietary change is enough to set things right and get the body’s hormones back into a balanced state. In other cases, a more involved course of treatment is necessary.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
The most common diagnosis for persons suffering a chronic lack of energy is CFS. Diagnosis and treatment of CFS has come far in recent years, and the use of bioidentical hormones is an important component in treating the disorder. If you’re suffering with low energy levels or lethargy on a regular basis, you should set up a consultation to look into whether you may have chronic fatigue syndrome, or some other dysfunction. There is help available, no matter what the diagnosis.
Decreased Energy Treatment
A comprehensive treatment for lack of energy begins with a detailed consultation. Patients are encouraged to set an appointment for a thorough, one-on-one examination and discussion with the doctor. You should be prepared for some minimally invasive tests and an in-depth discussion about your symptoms and lifestyle.
This discussion may include questions about:
- When the onset of symptoms began
- Specific times of day when your energy fades
- Sleep schedules
- Dietary habits, including recent changes
- Medications you may be taking
The doctor will ask specific questions, but you should also ask your own questions, and volunteer any details that concern you. The purpose of an in-depth consultation with the doctor is to determine all the factors that may contribute to your issue. In that way, a fully comprehensive and all-inclusive treatment plan for decreased energy can be developed.