Ask Dr. Enzo
Q: I have been dieting and exercising for weeks and lost 4 pounds in the first week. I am also very tired all of the time. I take a daily multivitamin, plus vitamins and supplements (COQ10, D, B12, fish oil, alpha-lipoic acid, and magnesium). I have had my thyroid tested several times and it always comes back normal.
— Lori, Pennsylvania
There are many reasons that one could feel tired all the time besides thyroid disease and not eating enough. Most people need at least eight hours of sleep per night to be at their energetic best, and most Americans do not get this amount of sleep regularly. Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, anxiety, and weight gain. Another reason why you might be tired is dehydration, especially if you lost four pounds in the first week of your diet. Make sure you are drinking enough non-caloric beverages per day. Depression can also cause fatigue, as can overtraining, but the most common reasons for fatigue are the ones mentioned above.
Also, remember that although you are taking some good supplements, a multivitamin and other supplements can never take the place of the actual food that contains these substances. There are other things in the food itself that seem to promote health — not just the vitamin. Therefore, never substitute a multivitamin for good healthy eating of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Taking fish oil is a good idea, but you should also be taking in fish twice per week and olive and canola oils as well. If you are not eating healthfully, you cannot be healthy no matter how many vitamin supplements you take. And remember, taking too many vitamins can cause toxicity if you are taking more than the recommended dose of fat-soluble vitamins.