Why Am I So Tired?
I COULD FALL ASLEEP AFTER LUNCH...
I AM DRAGGING MYSELF THROUGH THE DAY
I SLEEP 8 HOURS BUT WAKE AS THOUGH I HAVEN'T SLEPT
I EAT WELL, BUT DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO COPE WITH MY DAY
These complaints present so often to my clinic, that it warrants an article that may highlight some helpful hints to live life with vitality and enjoyment and have energy left to spare. Fatigue and tiredness are a tapestry to unravel and are different symptoms for each patient.
There are many forms of tiredness, including the following deficiency tiredness, stress induced fatigue, depression associated fatigue, the fatigue of inflammation, infection, chronic allergies, medication induced tiredness, fatigue associated with life threatening illnesses such as cancer and cancer therapies, postviral fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome which can arise from infection, trauma or toxic exposure.
When listening to the histories of tiredness and lack of energy, common themes exist. Most often, there is underlying chronic stress, a history of digestive difficulties, a diet deficient in living foods, but regarded as good diet by Western standards, late nights and early mornings, insufficient time for meditation or exercise or just time out to BE.
Less obvious causes of tiredness may be uncovered by nutritional analysis, laboratory testing for hormonal imbalances and deficiencies such as low testosterone, low DHEAS levels, low thyroid function, low or raised cortisol levels and oestrogen/progesterone imbalances. It is also exceptionally common to find low iron and B12 , despite a meat consuming diet and low vitamin D despite outdoor sun exposure. It is also very common to detect laboratory evidence of secondary hyperparathyroidism due to deficiencies of vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium. Zinc,selenium and iodine deficiencies are common in Australian soil and its produce.
Hidden auto-immune diseases, infections, both viral and nonviral and chronic inflammation are very important causes of tiredness.
Chronic infections, including gum disease and dental problems are causes of endogenous toxicity which constitutes a chronic physical stress to the body and which may only present as fatigue.
Metabolic disturbances such as Insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity cause tiredness.
Sluggish digestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome gut syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis and coeliac disease are common causes of tiredness in all age groups.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi deficiency is the lack of energy, weakness of muscles and exhaustion due to deficiencies in digestion, absorption and utilisation of nutrients from the diet.
Sleep apnoea is common and should always be taken cognisance of when listening to the story of tiredness. Testing and treatment is very effective.
Sleep disturbances of many kinds, including medication taken for sleep disorders may impact the next day.
Other medications that impact on our energy batteries, the Mitochondria, may cause deep- seated fatigue.
Mitochondria are the Energy batteries of our cells. They produce 90% of our energy. Our mitochondria respond to demand by replicating, but they can only do so efficiently when nutritionally supported. Mitochondrial DNA is susceptible to mutation by free radicals produced in the body by toxicity, antioxidant deficiency, inflammation, trauma , drugs and many other mechanisms. We need to supply our mitochondria with a constant source of easily assimilable antioxidants to protect their DNA so that they can regenerate our energy supply.
Most patients present with a diet that is mainly cooked and processed, microwaved, tinned and heat - denatured. After years of surviving on such empty diets, there comes a time when the body will give its signals for Vital nutrients and these can be obtained by including a variety of fresh, raw, organic plant foods in our daily diets.
Plant nutrients such as resveratrol and other antioxidants derived from plant sources, particularly Superfood antoxidants such as Green tea, Gac fruit, Siberian buckthorn, Goji, Cili fruit, Acai berries, B vitamins and magnesium from greens, nuts, seeds and cacao are bioavailable and easily assimilated by our bodies. Minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids are easily obtained from seaweeds, algae such as AFA , spirulina and leafy greens, broccoli sprouts and radish sprouts.
Breathing outdoors, exercising muscles will stimulate mitochondrial replication which is called mitochondrial biogenesis.
Herbs may act as antioxidants ( For example polygonum, schisandra and others) and herbs may balance cortisol ( epimedium, Rehmannia, Rhodiola).
Homotoxicology supplies mitochondrial support in easily assimilable form as the catalysts of the citric acid cycle which generates ATP, the energy currency.
Practitioner supervised detoxification and support of liver and gut function as well as attention to support of the intercellular matrix and treatment of the specific underlying cause of tiredness usually results in rapid improvement of symptoms of fatigue.
Acupuncture, Tai Chi, Qigong, walking and Yoga are exercises that help generate energy once the nutrient deficiencies are restored.
Tiredness may be a symptom that could uncover many hidden causes and it may be the trigger to returning to Optimum health and vitality if one attends to its message.