The other day on a live video I did on Instagram a viewer asked, “What causes fatigue with endo?”
The answer to that question is multi-faceted, and I didn’t have the time to fully go into it then, so I thought I’d take the time now to explore the answer to that question in more detail.
What causes fatigue with endo?
When it comes to those feelings of fatigue that are oh so common with endometriosis, consider the following six factors…
#1. A sluggish liver
Your liver is an energy power center. This comes partly from its role with blood sugar. Your liver takes glucose from the food you eat and stores some of it as glycogen, which serves as fuel in between meals.
If your liver is weakened, which is likely if you have endo, then it’s not able to store glucose and glycogen like it used to. (See factors that make your liver sluggish here).
Without your liver’s ability to offer glucose between meals, blood sugar drops, and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar happens.
#2. Low blood sugar
Low blood sugar makes you feel fatigued because your cells are lacking fuel.
To make sure that your blood sugar doesn’t get too low, it’s a good idea to have snacks on hand and to eat something every couple of hours.
#3. Tired adrenals
When your blood sugar is low your adrenals release cortisol, whose job is to raise blood sugar levels when they get low. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone.
If your adrenals have to pump out cortisol too much because of low blood sugar or other physical and emotional stress that’s common with chronic illness, then your adrenals start to tire out, and as a result cortisol levels do too.
Without enough cortisol you feel exhausted all day, yet when you finally settle for sleep at night you’re wired, unable to relax for sleep. That’s a sure sign of cortisol imbalance.
#4. Sleep issues
When your liver’s sluggish, your adrenals are tired, and you have blood sugar issues, then a ripple effect happens that impacts your sleep.
Sleep is actually an active time for your body and requires quite a bit of energy. This is the time when your body restores itself. Your body needs glycogen, stored in your liver, to fuel this time.
If you find yourself waking up consistently between 2 – 4am then this could be an indicator of liver and/or blood sugar issues. There’s a natural drop in blood sugar during this time.
If your blood sugar is already low, because of liver and/or adrenal issues, then the extra drop in blood sugar wakes your body up, and it can be hard to fall back asleep.
If you find yourself in this situation in these early morning hours, it can help to eat something small so that your blood sugar raises enough to fuel the rest of your sleep.
It can also help to take a teaspoon of raw honey before bed. Raw honey is a natural source of glycogen and it can help fuel your body to stay asleep.
#5. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
Another factor that can impact all of the above is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) (read more about it here).
When EBV advances it can cause chronic fatigue.
EBV releases a poisonous byproduct that has the ability to generate a neurotoxin, which disrupts nerve function and confuses your immune system.
This neurotoxin adds a great burden to your body. It’s exhausting.
#6. The energy you’re around
The final component that could cause fatigue with endo is the energy that you surround yourself with.
Do you spend time with people who inspire and motivate you or those who drain you?
Are you pulling in negative messages from the mainstream news and social media? Or are you pulling in positive, inspiring messages?
Are you around others who make feel like you can be yourself and truly shine? Or do you feel shut down and undervalued?
The energy that you surround yourself with has a big impact on how you feel. Choose wisely.
On the positive side?
Now that we’ve explored what causes fatigue with endometriosis you can see how it’s different components that fit together. A good place to start is with what you put into your body each day.
Are you fueling yourself with organic whole foods every day? Are you fueling your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs?
My recommendation to anyone looking to improve energy levels is to eat more fruit! Fruit is a natural source of glucose, which is fuel for your brain and body. Don’t be afraid to eat more of it. I’ve certainly been feeling better since I have.
➡️ For more small steps you can take each day to help improve your energy levels check out my free upcoming Love Your Liver Workshop. Register to join us here.
How has fatigue impacted your life with endometriosis? What has helped you?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.