For some, fatigue may mean nothing more than a slump in energy each day between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. For others, fatigue can be so chronic and debilitating that living a normal life is virtually impossible. When we are children, our bodies produce more energy than we know what to do with. If we eat right and live right, our bodies continue to produce energy for us as we age. Fatigue is nothing more than a symptom that something has hindered our body’s ability to produce that energy for us.
When we are feeling fatigued we need to ask the question… “What is slowing me down?” Am I overworked? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I getting enough exercise? And most importantly… What am I eating? If you are eating in restaurants a lot, you are most likely eating primarily refined and processed food low in nutrients. Fresh, whole, live foods are the foods that will energize you.
Internal toxicity plays a very big role in fatigue. When the body is toxic the blood has a harder time carrying energizing oxygen and nutrients into the tissues. Exogenous and endogenous debris burdens your body’s cells. They don’t function optimally and neither do you.
Sugary foods deplete the body of B vitamins it needs for energy. Sugar exhausts the thyroid, pancreas and adrenals (the glands that produce true energy). When sugar is eaten, the pancreas is forced to produce excess insulin, which lowers the blood sugar below healthy levels. This puts a stress on the adrenals, which must produce a hormone called cortisol to bring the blood sugar back to normal. Years of eating sweets and refined white flour products will weaken both the pancreas and the adrenals leading to hypoglycemia and fatigue.
Iron deficiency anemia can be a cause of fatigue for women of child-bearing age, pregnant women and growing children. Anemia causes a general lack of energy and tendency towards fatigue. Another kind of anemia can be caused from Vitamin B-12 deficiency. One in five Americans over the age of 60 have a condition known as atrophic gastritis – their stomach doesn’t produce enough HcL. HcL is the acid that separates B-12 from protein in our food. Without enough of it, this vitamin does not get into our bodies.
Some causes of fatigue may be less obvious:
First, you need to increase easily absorbed protein. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar. You can get great results with a protein shake in the morning. Then, you should have more protein at lunch with some fresh vegetables. For dinner, you can have starchy vegetables or whole grains (no wheat) and more fresh vegetables. Then:
Cleanse and build the digestive and eliminative organs.
Cleanse and support the liver. Milk thistle protects and repairs the liver. Drink plenty of water (w/lemon) and vegetable juices, especially tomato as it stimulates liver function.
Eliminate coffee, sugar and other stimulants. Besides weakening the endocrine system, it fools the body into thinking its rested and nourished when it is not.
Identify and reduce food allergens. Some of the most common allergens are dairy, chocolate, eggs, corn, sugar, wheat, citrus, and soy. Food allergy-related fatigue can be relieved with a two-week elimination diet.
Lose weight if you need to.
Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
Clean up your diet (reduce or eliminate pesticide-sprayed foods)
Get enough sleep (7 to 8 hours). The sleep cycle is necessary for the regeneration and repair of tissues, production of hormones, waste removal from the cells, and neutralizing free radicals in the body. If you can’t get up without an alarm clock, you are not getting enough sleep.
Get plenty of oxygen. Exercise puts more oxygen in the body as the heart pumps more blood and oxygen into the tissues.
If you work in an office building with re-circulated air, bring plants into office, especially spider plants. Take flax oil, vitamin E and COQ10 as they transport oxygen.
Check for food allergies. The best way to do this is to remove a food for two weeks and see if energy gets better. Then eat the food again. If your energy suffers, eliminate the food or try to eat as little as possible.
Avoid fried foods and hydrogenated oils (margarine). Hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils contain trans-fats which are unnatural substances. The body doesn’t know how to process these substances and they interfere with the production of ATP, the energy currency of the cells. Use cold-pressed vegetable oils – canola, olive, flax, sunflower, and sesame.
Build energy with supplements. The B-Complex vitamins are very important to help body convert food into fuel. If you are under stress, add extra pantothenic acid (B-5). A deficiency of either Vitamin E or iron can also cause fatigue. With a Vitamin E deficiency, the red blood cell membranes deteriorate and lose ability to transport oxygen. Iron is an oxygen magnet (needed for hemoglobin). However, don’t supplement iron unless deficiency is confirmed with a blood test. Fatigue can also be a symptom of excess iron.
A good mineral supplement is important. Especially important are potassium and magnesium, which are abundant in all unprocessed foods (fruits, vegetables and whole grains). Zinc is quickly depleted under stress, making it difficult for the body to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Essential Fatty Acids are very important for keeping the central nervous system well nourished. Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. GLA (gamma linoleic acid) is needed to make ATP (the energy currency of the body). The more ATP we make, the more energy we have. L-Carnitine transports fatty acids into our cells’ mitochondria where they can be burned for energy. COQ10 helps convert sugars and starches into ATP. As we age, our bodies produce less COQ10 and we are less able to convert sugars and starches into ATP. Super greens ( spirulina, chlorella etc.) are a great source of amino acids and trace minerals needed for energy production.
B-complex – 50 mg twice daily
Energy Plex by DaVinci Laboratories – 1-2 with breakfast and lunch
Vitamin E 400 IU mixed tocopherols: twice daily
Floradix or Herbal Iron if deficiency confirmed by blood test. As directed on label.
Essential Oil Formula: two soft gels AM and PM.
L- Carnitine: 500 – 2,000 mg twice daily
COQ10: 30 – 60 mg twice daily
Super Green Formula: 3 grams daily tablets or powder
The nutritional suggestions in this material are not offered to treat, mitigate or cure disease, and should not be used as a substitute for sound medical advice. This information is designed to be used in conjunction with the services of a trained, licensed healthcare practitioner.