If you’re in your 50s or older and struggling with low energy, there are a couple of things that you should know. Firstly, it is another one of the many aspects of aging. Second, you are not alone as nearly a third of the U.S. population age 50 and over report struggling with what they describe as chronic fatigue, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. As far as why so many adults find themselves struggling with low energy as they age, there are multiple reasons.
The first and most obvious one is that they are not getting enough sleep, which was proven to be the case in a study published by the National Sleep Foundation. The second, and perhaps not as obvious, cause of chronic fatigue among older men and women is illnesses and diseases, notes a study published by the National Institutes of Health. And it does not end there as the same study also pointed to mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, as possible causes of chronic fatigue among older adults.
HGH Deficiency: Science Explains One of the Many Reasons Why We Lose Energy as We Age
To better understand the drop-off in energy levels as we approach middle-age and head into our golden years, it helps to understand some of the health problems that we are likely to encounter and why they cause us to feel fatigued. After all, knowing the cause of a problem can go a long way toward overcoming it or, better yet, avoiding it altogether. That said, one of the leading causes of low energy and chronic fatigue, particularly among middle-aged and elderly adults, is a human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency. And this is not too surprising since HGH production naturally starts to decline as early as age 30, say many endocrinologists.
Of course, this is not solely the opinion of physicians who specialize in endocrinology but rather a fact backed by several scientific studies, including one published by worldhealth.net, a part of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine. According to the study data, after age 30, most men and women will see their HGH levels decline by 14 to 15 percent annually. And by age 60, their pituitary gland, which secretes this all-important hormone, produces only around 25 mg per day compared to 500 mg at age 20 and 200 mg at age 40. While there are many others, low energy is one of the hallmark symptoms of a human growth hormone deficiency.
Additional Health Problems Linked to Low Energy Levels Among Older Adults
Some of the other physical health problems that are said to trigger low energy in older adults include the following:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Thyroid disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
As far as emotional and psychological problems that can sometimes play into low energy levels, a study published by the National Institutes of Health lists the following as being among the most common:
- Chronic stress
How to Combat Low Energy and Improve Your Overall Quality of Life
If you happen to be in your 40s, 50s, or beyond and struggling with low energy, the first thing that you will want to do is schedule an appointment with a physician to undergo what is known as an insulin tolerance test. And this can be either an endocrinologist or a neurologist. In doing so, you will find out if there is a correlation between your drop-off in energy and a growth hormone (GH) deficiency. For those not familiar with this type of diagnostic testing, an insulin tolerance test entails receiving an insulin injection, which, in turn, leads to a temporary decline in blood sugar levels.
To better understand how such a test can confirm or rule out a growth hormone deficiency, it helps to know a little more about what physicians are looking for when they conduct them. In individuals who do not have a growth hormone deficiency, the body will immediately begin the natural process of releasing growth hormones following an insulin injection. If this does not happen, it typically means that the pituitary gland is not secreting growth hormones. It is worth noting that many physicians will follow up an insulin test with a blood test, which measures how much of this peptide hormone is in the bloodstream.
HGH Therapy: The Results It Can Bring to Those Struggling With Low Energy Caused by a Growth Hormone Deficiency
First and foremost, if a physician confirms that an underlying physical health problem, such as heart or kidney disease, for example, is responsible for a decline in energy, many will recommend a course of treatment aimed squarely at resolving that given health problem. In cases where a mental health disorder is to blame, most physicians will refer the patient to a mental health professional to receive the treatment that they need.
Turning our attention back to HGH therapy and the result that can be achieved, it is considered a go-to treatment by many endocrinologists when it comes to combating low energy and various other symptoms typical of low GH levels. In short, this treatment approach involves the use of GH replacement drugs that can help get a patient’s GH levels back into a healthy and normal range. Some of these medications, which, by the way, can only be administered via injection, include the newly FDA-approved drug Sogroya as well as long-standing ones, such as Saizen, Humatrope, Genotropin, and Norditropin.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits: How to Stay Active and Energized at Any Age
While this article has focused primarily on low energy levels that come with being in one’s 40s, 50s, and older, low energy can impact the lives of those who are much younger. And this is especially true if they are diagnosed with an underlying mental illness or physical health problem. That said, exercising regularly and consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet can go a long way towards keeping energy levels high.
Studies show that exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes each day can lead to a healthier respiratory and cardiovascular system, both of which can contribute to more stamina and overall energy. As far as diet is concerned, many of the same studies show that foods rich in the following vitamins and nutrients can also help in this regard:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B-12
Lastly, if you’re in your golden years or approaching them, you will want to schedule routine physical exams with a licensed physician. Doing so is beneficial since these exams can help detect health problems early before they have a chance to trigger a decline in energy.
In summary, low energy is another one of the many aspects of getting older. But in saying that, older adults can prevent their energy levels from falling too low and even boost their energy levels if they have already taken a nosedive by following the tips detailed in this article. And young adults, namely those in their early 20s to late 30s, can do the same to forestall a severe decline in energy when they get older.