I am a 61 year old male in good shape. My question is; why do I feel tired. I work out with weights 4 days a week and do the elliptical machine 5 days week. I had a physical and everything was fine. I had a heart check with a cardiologist and found a very small amount of calcium in an artery and my crp level was a little high. In addition, my hemoglobin A1C was a little high. I had my sugar checked and they said it was fine. I am taking vitamin k for the calcium in the artery, fish oil, multiple vitamin, vitamin c, vitamin A, joint formula, b-vitamins, probiotic and turmeric. Please advise.

Why Do I Feel Tired?

Thank you for submitting your question.

Fatigue is a common concern and can be the result of many different things. First and foremost, you need to evaluate your sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep or find that you have significant trouble falling asleep or staying asleep it is very likely you are going to be fatigued. Sleep apnea is another common condition that can cause fatigue in males. If you have a spouse, ask them if you snore a lot or if they ever observe you having trouble breathing while sleeping.

Being overweight is a big risk factor for apnea so if you fit that profile I would recommend you speak with your doctor about getting a sleep study. Many of the new smart phone devices can also give you an idea of what your quality of sleep is like. They do not replace a sleep study but can be a place to start for some people. If you sleep checks out there are some other things to consider. Since you are already exercising and your recent physicals were all normal I do not suspect any type of major illness.

In addition you are getting plenty of nutrients though supplements so I would doubt that a specific nutrient deficiency would be the issue. Adrenal fatigue can be a common cause of low energy. This is often a result of being too stressed for too long. That can be stress from a tough job, difficult situations in your personal life, poor diet, too much caffeine or sugar, injuries like head trauma and other things that chronically stress the body. ZRT labs, based in Oregon, offers simple saliva tests that measure cortisol levels and help people determine if their adrenal system is suffering. If in fact that is the case, the right supplement protocol can go a long way to improving energy levels.

Other causes of fatigue can be low thyroid or low testosterone in males. You mention that you had a recent physical exam and blood work so make sure to ask the doctor if your testosterone levels and thyroid levels were checked. Either one of those could be significant factors affecting your energy levels.

From a nutrition perspective, make sure you are eating a balanced diet that gives you good quality protein like chicken, fish, turkey or eggs at most meals combined with lots of vegetables for fiber and nutrients and good quality fats like olive oil, clarified butter, coconut oil and fish oil.

Your elevated hemoglobin A1C test suggests that your body is having trouble managing sugars. Even though it sounds like your fasting blood sugar was normal, the hemoglobin A1C is far more sensitive and indicates a sugar issue. I would suggest further eliminating grain based carbohydrates and sugars from your diet if possible.

Food allergies/sensitivities can also contribute to fatigue so if addressing the above issues doesn’t help, you may want to consider an elimination diet. Typically that involves avoiding the most common food triggers like gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.

In Health, Dr.Passero

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