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The three body system approach to fatigue

Fatigue is the number one presenting complaint in our functional medicine practice.

Fatigue is common during or after experiencing prolonged or extreme stress. An event in your past that resulted in a feeling of being stressed out can lead to fatigue. Fatigue can be due to food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, and blood sugar problems to name but a few of its causes. Fatigue is one of the Big 5 issues commonly seen in our practice.

In a 2016 study performed by the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Kalish, patients with the Big 5 symptoms of fatigue, anxiety/depression, weight gain, digestive issues and female hormone issues were treated using the Kalish Method with positive results.


Adrenal hormones and thyroid hormones regulate energy levels. After experiencing stress cortisol levels will go up but over time will eventually fall. A lack of energy can be caused by dysfunction with the Hypothalmus Pituitary Adrenal Axis. HPA Axis dysfunction also includes the thyroid glands. Dr. Richart uses lab testing to assess the function of the adrenal glands and hormones. Low cortisol and/or disruption of the diurnal pattern of the adrenal glands can contribute to fatigue.


Unstable blood sugar, overconsumption of carbohydrates and sweets, and food sensitivities all can contribute to fatigue. Chronic undetected infections that weaken immune function are a leading cause of fatigue. If you are drinking too much coffee or energy drinks to get through the day because your energy is low you are only contributing to the problem.


The inability to eliminate heavy metals and chemicals stored in body can contribute to fatigue. Mitochondria are the energy producers of the body. An inability to make energy will result in fatigue. The body's inability to break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates can lead to fatigue. Dr. Richart uses lab testing to aid him in determining where your body needs assistance in improving energy.