Often we go to the doctor because we are tired all the time, and a few labs are checked and are normal, but we’re still tired. Now what? Being tired all the time greatly affects your quality of life. You know you should eat better, exercise more, get more sleep but are just too tired to do anything about it. Fatigue may have slowly creeped into your life, or may happen fairly quickly. At first caffeine and sugars give you energy to last through the day but only for a while, and then you are tired all the time despite a pot of coffee and giving unhealthy food cravings.
The source of fatigue in our lives can be hard to figure out. Often we are stressed beyond our body’s ability to compensate. Sometimes our hormones are out of whack or maybe we need to address lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, sleep and stress.
RAPS looks beyond the tip of “fatigue” testing, and will check a full thyroid panel, adrenal hormones or female/ male hormones to figure out the source or sources of your fatigue. Lab reference ranges tell us what “normal” levels of hormones and vitamins are but treating symptoms to optimize those normal levels can make the difference between feeling lousy every day and feeling wonderful.
Often patients are confused by all of the health information available, and even by different viewpoints of healthcare providers and experts. RAPS helps patient make sense of their symptoms, lab results and gets to the root causes of fatigue.
A patient I saw last summer was so exhausted she would go to the grocery store for some items and then expect to spend the next couple of days sleeping, her fatigue was so great. We found she had a combination of adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and lack of some essential female hormones. A few months after starting treatment she had enough energy to complete daily tasks, go shopping and take a walk daily. Her energy continues to improve overtime. A bonus was a return of normal menstrual cycles as well.
For an initial evaluation of fatigue symptoms the first office appointment will include an extensive review of symptoms, and testing will be ordered. The provider may offer a combination of blood, saliva and/or stool testing based on your symptoms. Insurances usually cover testing but may be a factor as to which testing may be ordered.
At your follow up visit the test results will be reviewed and a treatment plan will be discussed. Lifestyle improvements will be discussed, and you may be started on recommended supplements and/or medications.
Often balancing hormones and vitamin levels take time, a few weeks or months and you can expect retesting to make sure the therapies are working for you.
If you would like to get to the root cause of your fatigue and be able to do something about it, call RAPS Medical and schedule an appointment with one of our Functional Medicine providers.