Many patients suffer with fatigue and are told that there is nothing to do for it.
Here are 7 endocrine causes of fatigue that are often overlooked.
1) Low aldosterone-Aldosterone is a salt-regulating hormone made by the adrenal glands and patients with low aldosterone have low blood pressure, like salty food and don’t get enough blood going to the brain causing fatigue.
2) Low ferritin-Ferritin measures iron stores and is a more sensitive marker of low iron stores than either a CBC (complete blood count) or iron levels. Optimal ferritin levels are around 70 ng/mL. Those with low levels of ferritin should take iron pills.
3) Growth hormone deficiency-growth hormone (GH) is made by the pituitary and adults need GH as well as children. Adults with low GH have loss of muscle, accumulation of fat, especially in the abdomen, psychological changes, joint pain, poor sleep and pronounced fatigue.
4) Menopause-Women undergoing a drop in their estrogen levels due to menopause often feel extremely tired.
5) Cushing’s syndrome-This relatively rare condition is probably underdiagnosed and occurs in people with either a pituitary or less often an adrenal tumor that causes the body to make too much cortisol. Patients with Cushing’s syndrome have debilitating fatigue yet are wired at night and sleep poorly.
6) Opiate pain pills-opiate pain pills (also called narcotics), such as Vicodin, oxycodone, Tylenol with codeine are used to treat pain syndromes but when used chronically suppress hormonal function and can lead to low testosterone in men, growth hormone deficiency, low cortisol and other hormone problems all leading to fatigue.
7) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The most common reason for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in which the thyroid is attacked by antibodies. Some patients with a positive TPO antibody should get thyroid medicine.