5 Causes Of Low Energy In Women And What To Do About It


Low energy is one of the most common reasons women seek medical help. If you are experiencing consistently low energy, with no respite, looking into what is happening and why is important.

Low energy levels can stem from a variety of factors, ranging from hormone imbalances to nutritional deficiencies. As well as fatigue, symptoms can include headaches, inability to concentrate, poor memory, slow reflexes, feeling low, moody or irritable, low motivation, and feeling sore and weak. Here are some common causes of low energy in women.

1. Iron deficiency

If you menstruate heavily or are pregnant, you might be at risk of anemia (iron deficiency). Low energy in women can often be attributed to anemia, which can lead to fatigue, poor sleep, and decreased immunity. If you are deficient, it is important to take an iron supplement to increase your intake.

Iron supplements vary, and some can have uncomfortable side effects such as constipation, so look for more absorbable options such as iron biglycinate. There are two types of iron: non-heme and heme. Non-heme are vegetarian sources with heme coming from animal sources.

Look to increase iron-rich foods in your diet, such as dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, silverbeet as well as lentils, red meat and shellfish. You could also consider having spirulina or chlorophyll.

🌿RelatedThe Best Sources Of Micronutrients

2. Hormone imbalances

Hormonal imbalances that occur with PMS and perimenopause from falling progesterone levels result in low energy in women, low mood and poor sleep. Supporting your hormones is a great way to support your energy levels. You could do this with supplements, herbs or medication, it just depends on what best suits you. A great herb for hormone balance is red clover, which we use in our Hormone Balance.

3. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can be one of the causes of low energy in women, as it is more common in women than men. It is characterised by an underactive thyroid gland, which can cause fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes. You can ask your GP to test your thyroid function via blood tests. 

4. Side effects of medication

Certain medications can contribute to fatigue as a side effect. Common culprits include antidepressants, antihistamines, beta-blockers, and certain pain medications. These drugs can interfere with neurotransmitters, disrupt sleep patterns, or lower blood pressure, leading to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.

Some medications do not directly make you fatigued but can interfere with nutrient absorption, causing low energy in women (such as with the contraceptive pill depleting B vitamins and Metformin depleting B12), so you may wish to supplement whilst on those medications.

If you suspect that medication is contributing to your fatigue, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They may adjust your dosage, switch medications, or recommend complementary approaches to mitigate side effects while still effectively managing your health condition.

5. Post-viral fatigue

Following a viral infection, many women experience lingering fatigue that can persist for weeks or even months. This phenomenon, known as post-viral fatigue syndrome or post-viral exhaustion, can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life. Even after the infection has cleared, the body may continue to battle inflammation and the immune system can still be disregulated, which contributes to ongoing fatigue. 

Rest and gentle movement are crucial during this recovery period to avoid making the symptoms worse. You could consider tonic herbs such as nettle, kawakawa and rosehip (we use all three in our Daily Boostto help with supporting recovery, as well as B vitamins to help with energy. Folate, B3, B5, B6 and B12 are required to support mood and energy especially in times of stress. You could take a Berocca or consider an activated B complex to help give your energy and mood a boost.

If you have made changes to address your low energy and nothing has helped, please seek assistance from your health professional. There may be other medical conditions that might be causing it
, and further testing might be required. 

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