To be constantly tired, or tired most of the time or even chronic fatigued as in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, can have virtually hundreds of reasons. I will try to outline most of them, even those which a fairly obvious, as sometime if we are to tired we may not be able to see the obvious.
Therefore, if you read this project article, for reasons of just being a little bit tired or you are actually diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I urge you to read everything, even the obvious.
You may not find the cure for chronic fatigue, but you never know, you may find something which has escaped you .. .
... most people need about 8 hours sleep. If you sleep too long, you may wake up sluggish and tired, if you don’t sleep enough, you will be tired.
Your first goal, is to get your sleep patterns right.
The best sleep is the sleep before 12pm. Try to get to bed, by 10.30pm and get out of bed 8 hours later.
Sleep should be sound; noise and light will interrupt sleep. The bedroom should be comfortable, not too hot and not to cold. The bedroom should be only used for sleeping, this will help to establish good sleeping patterns. If the room is used for something else during the day, that activity association will subconsciously interrupt your sleep.
Don’t have stimulating colours in your bedroom, such as red or other the bright colours. Stick to cool relaxing colours, such as green and blues, or neutral darker colour shades, of muted grays or browns, earth tones are calming to the eye.
Don’t have clutter in your bedroom, don’t take work associated reading into your bedroom. Have soft lightening.
And most important of all, black out your windows and any other light source, it should be pitch dark in your bedroom, esp when you are still suppose to sleep after sun-rise.
Your pineal gland produces serotonin a part of melatonin, which is a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns. Constant light will produce all kind of negative hormonal changes, including sleep problems and tiredness.
The production of melatonin and therefore serotonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light.
Can’t black out your room? Try a comfortable well made eye mask.
There are more factors to disturb your sleep, which are important to know and which you should stop. Your Diet for example, and in particular the food and drinks you have before you go to sleep.
Late dinners obviously are not good for your sleep, but there is more to it. What you actually eat can make a huge difference as well. Stimulating foods and drinks need to be cut out. This can be a very personal thing, some people even can’t have any coffee after lunch anymore, because it keeps them awake.
Typical stimulating items are; sugar salt, MSG, and other chemical esp. if you are allergic to it.
Coffee, tea and alcohol ( more than 1 glass), heavy and hard to digest meals, and generally anything you are allergic too. ( and you may not even know).
.. and a final note on sleep … if you have adopted a healthy sleep pattern, but still wake up in the morning tired or even fatigued, and the fatigue is persisting during the day, you will know that there are more underlying problems which need to be discovered.
Jumping from sleep patterns, to an acid system, may seem a long jump, but it will make sense in a moment.
Test for pH balance.
The best way to measure your acid base load is by measuring urinary pH.
Blood ph has a very narrow range, 7.35 to 7.45, and it needs to stay in that range, but urine varies from 4 to 8.
If you are too acid, ( the lower numbers) it may mean that too much acid had been produced or consumed in the diet.
A simple urine strip test, first thing in the morning will show you your acid/base balance of your body. It should be between 6.5 and 7.5, anything less than 6.5 indicates you are too acid and have to review your diet intake, or if you are very acid, an number under 5.5 you may need mineral supplementation, something like potassium citrate.
Acidity can be an indicator and reason for being tired or fatigued. If however you are too alkaline, you may be a vegetarian, or are on a high potassium diet.
What has acidity to do with fatigue?
Without getting too technical about bio-chemistry, we have to get right back to your own internal batteries, your mitochondria.
How much energy we have, depends on how much energy we produce. Energy is produced on demand, with activities such as exercise. To meet the increased demand more mitochondria has to be produced within a cell by replication.
A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, avoidance of of high calorie and nutrient diminished foods is essential to maintain good energy production.
Without enough mitochondria, cells can only produce limited energy by a partial breakdown of glucose to lactic acid. ( glycolysis )
Therefore we should make sure to feed our mitochondria only the best of the best. The key nutrients are the B vitamins, carnitine and magnesium, which need to be supplied in a nutrient rich balanced diet.
Without enough or proper functioning mitochondria and now relying on glycolysis, which is producing acid waste, which if not sufficiently cleared will lead to negative health and energy consequences. It also produces a vicious circle, acidity will further impair mitochondria energy production.
Treatment for acidity is available and as we discussed, will be a matter of carefully balancing your diet and possibly some Potassium - Magnesium supplement formula.
There is some confusion in the understanding of what are acid or alkaline foods. It's actually very simple, there are two types of acid and alkaline foods:
one is acid or alkaline foods ...
the other is >> acid- or alkaline "forming" foods.
Fruits and most vegetables are considered alkaline-forming foods, some may taste sour ( acid) but are alkaline forming. All Organic acids, when digested - oxidised, and become carbon dioxide and water; but the alkaline elements remain, and can reduce acidity in your body.
Stress can be external or internal. Internal stress is something like inflammation, free radicals, allergies, and acidity, discussed above. Internal Stress topics will be discussed individually.
Stress is real, and needs to be addressed. If you have chronic fatigue, you are in stress because you have fatigue, but if your fatigue is in part be caused by stress you once again, as with the acidity, haven entered a vicious circle.
We all have different stress triggers and sensitivities. The foremost important task for anyone is to figure out what it is, what specifically causes the stress. It's like a problem solving mission.
Ask yourself the question; what specifically am I stressed about. Isolate your stress problem, that is the only way to deal with it. You can't remedy a generalisation.
Find your stress "department", or possible departments if stress is caused by more than one trigger.
Possible Departments are: Money - Relationships - Health - Work related stress - Personality clashes, find your own department.
To add your stress to a department makes it easier to deal with.
It will offer you the opportunity to see it as something external, making it easier to recognise possible solutions. It's like its not your own problem, you may be able to take on a third person view and look at the stress problem more objectively freed from emotional involvement.
It also helps recognising, that it is only present in one part of your life, and not as in a generalisation which takes over your whole being.
Obviously, that makes the stress not go away, you still have to figure out a solution to make it less stressful, or you may even see that it is not even that stressful, and that normal stress relieving options are now available to you.
Stress in it's generalised form can be relieved by, sport activities, running or weight lifting, anything which burns up excessive adrenalin.
Unfortunately, that will not be possible for someone who is fatigued, because the adrenals may have been exhausted by longstanding stress and adrenalin output. If this relates to you, than special nutrients to boost your adrenals may be helpful, but only after the initial stress response has been detected and resolved. Once that is done, you could attempt a nutritional regeneration plan, involving special adrenal function supplements.
There are other ways to relief stress, such as relaxation or meditation, and generally anything which is relaxing you.
Relaxing can take on a different meaning, if you know the functional attribute behind it.
Relaxation will change your brain wave frequency to the more gentle Alpha wave.
The significant of that is that only in Alpha wave mode does your body and system switch to a regenerative mode. Now you can see what stress can do to you, if stress prevents your natural function to drop into the Alpha wave, as in part of your sleep cycle, than your body without getting enough regeneration will get fatigued.
Hopefully this will make you look at stress in another way, and if stress is in any way involved in your tiredness or fatigue, it may be "the factor" or a t least one of the factor which you could solve.
.. now lets look at a few other uncommon problems which could be behind fatigue ....
Generally speaking, any other health problem you have, can lead to chronic fatigue. Any other health problem will also be a stress factor. Therefore, as more you know about yourself, as more specific you can address individual problems which may solve your fatigue.
This is where peeling back the Onion comes in. It's just a lame metaphor for going back into the past, and to be helpful, one has to ask questions, and the key question in any peeling back activity is > "and what comes before that", or and what came before that .. depending on which way around you see the issue.
What comes before you get fatigued, what did happen, how did you feel before you were fatigued.
Find that difference, of how you felt than and how you feel now. Fatigue is usually a result of something, an accumulation of factors. Therefore you need to be your own detective, roll back the time, peel back that onion ... to a time where you felt absolutely fantastic, and look at individual points of that time in your life, where things have changed.
Did you over worked - added stresses - a viral infection - and other underlying health problem - relationship breakdown - lost a loved one - lost a job ... all these stresses can accumulate, and if unresolved accumulate to a chronic fatigue problem.
Count all theses significant triggers and add them all up, and the result may be your fatigue.
What does that mean?
It means you may have to go back in your mind to that time, and make sure that you resolve each trigger point, each problem to make sure it doesn't affect you anymore, no regrets, no anger - hate - regret or anything ...
Supplements need to be considered by what they are able to supply to your system, and why that should be important.
Self prescribing may lead to serious errors, and stimmulants are not the way to go.
Iron is a typical supplement which may be considered for tiredness and fatigue. However, generally speaking I am against self-prescribing. I don't think it is a good idea for someone to run to the next super market and buy a trolley full of supplemnets, just because they may be indicated for your condition.
Supplements should be individually prescribed by a Naturopath or similar and need to be considered with your overall condition in mind.
Before you take iron, you need to know why you should take it. If you realy are low in iron, you need to find out why first.
Absorption problems may prevent iron uptake and once again, your diet may need to be addressed, or you may have perniscious anemia, in which case you would need B12 rather than iron. Or even worse, you may have been taking a high zinc complex which lowers your iron up-take, and in this case, you need to stop taking zinc, rather than topping up the iron.
As you can see, I am not making any general statements here for taking one or more specifc supplement, rather I will discuss certain supplements and you may relate the action of that supplements relevant to your situation.
We discussed Iron, next could be the whole B complex, esp. if stress is part of your tiredness picture, and it may be a good idea to have your B12 status checked. If your B12 is low or borderline and you feel a lot of mental exhaustion, you may want to try a course of B12 injections, which you will need to get a prescription for by your Holistic Doctor.
Something even more specific is N-Acetyl Carnitine, which will improve energy production, improve mental fatigue, and assists in physical fatigue. It is often found to be low in age related brain power and fatigue. It is not a stimulant, just an essential building block for a well functioning mitochondria.
Anti Oxidants may be of help, generally speaking , Vit. A, C and E may be of short suppply in your diet or used up by some kind of toxicology or free radical attack within your system. More specific anti oxidants such as Lipoic Acid which is enhancing energy production, or co-enzyme Q10 for increased energy, esp if cardiovascular protection is asked for at the same time.
Obviously, you may have a Thyroid problem in which case you would need supplements to support thyroid function, of which the herb Withania has a good reputation.
Interestingly to note here, in case you do eat a lot of cabbage, this may be suppressing your thyroid function ... simply lay off the cabbage. ( If you have an over active Thyroid - try eating more cabbage regulary).
I have to mention Fishoil, fatty acids are a vital component for the michoondrial, and they may reduce inflammation, and less inflammation may lead to better energy. Have some Salmon or some EPA/DHA supplements, or try Krill Oil.
I can't stop this section with out mentioning Magnesium, and the fact that esp in Australia, the soil is deficinet in magnesium.
Actually, there seems to be more heart conditions showing in country farming areas than in city dwellers.
Why would that be? A possible connection can be drinking rain water, which is close to distilled water, which can bleach an already depleated Magnesium content out of your system. Depeleted Magnesium content, will result in lower muscle energy, including the heart muscle and may also relate to an decreased efficincy to cope with stress, therefor becoming even more fatigued.
Here are some articles on Magnesium:
Are Nutrition and Diet 2 separate things...? You bet they are.
Please consider for a moment, that we are all on a "Diet ", it doesn't matter of what you regularly eat, become aware, that this is your diet. Is it a fish and chip diet or a junk-food diet or a nutritious diet?
There is more to consider, as we all know, there is no one diet to suit all people. We are all different, with diverse backgrounds and eating habits. Which brings us to the concept or Eating Habits, become aware, that your diet has become a habit, and as you know, there are good and bad habits. I would say, for the general population it is mainly bad habits, sorry I don't mean you ... :-)
But just look around you, there is a reason for being overweight, having heart disease, digestive problems, tiredness, type 2 diabetics, and it's not the good habits...
The problem is always, to admit that there is a bad habit or a problem. Once you can see that, change will be much easier.
Half of the supermarkets shelf's are filled with manufactured, highly flavoured foods with little or no "nutritional" value.
Those foods arebad habit forming. Ditch that Habit and switch over to Nutritious Foods.
The first step in any nutritious program is to admit your problem and bad habits, and recognise that the taste you have acquired is a bad habit.
The second step is to cut out all manufactured and refined foods. Eat a simple diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, some nuts and seeds and quality protein.
If this is all you are doing, and believe me, that is a lot already, you have won 90% of the battle. The rest will be an individual targeted diet program. Why is that? You may have some food sensitivities, and unfortunately enough, you may have an intolerance to something which seems to be very healthy, like Tomatoes. However an experience Naturopath or Nutritionists can work that out for you.
By the way, if there was at any time a diet which could be seen as a generalised diet for nearly everyone, it was and is the stone age diet.
If you imagine for a moment being a stone age person, running around most of the time to survive, meaning hunting and gathering food. You can see that tthe diet is all fresh, wholesome and not only that, you would get the required amount of exercise as well.
Obviously, times have changed, but the basic rules of that diet is your genetic heritage. The nice white soft bread, jam and pasteurised milk is not.
Actually grains, which are a cultivated crop, came much later in human development, and are still a problem for us to digest, esp.; because of the refining procedures.
If you have grain products, they should be fresh, with the germ still attached, and stone ground, and straight away your system would be able to handle it much better.
Same with milk, as important pasteurisation may be for disease prevention and shelf life, as bad it is for human consumption to kill of the enzymes which are needed to digest the milk.
There is always a huge problem, going on such a natural diet when one considers world wide population. With 7 billion people on our beautiful planet, natural foods may become sparse, and may become a financial burden. On the other hand, this article is addressing someone who likes to overcome tiredness, or even chronic fatigue, and you may have the option to modify your health in ways as described.
Interestingly, talking diet in the western world, if you should adopt a natural diet, it would be actually cheaper than buying all these manufactured foods and drinks.
Back to the stone age diet, also called the caveman diet, hunter gatherer diet and more correct and scientifically > the Paleolithic Diet. it has been consumed for a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.
It is not that I advocate such a diet outright, but I think it is a good idea to base ones ideas around such a concept, esp if this is in adaptation with today's lifestyle.
Some typical diets which have become well know in recent years, like the low carbohydrate diet, or zone diet, are good examples of this principle.
However, I believe in fine-tunig the basic principles to your own lifestyle. - In simple terms, " it has to work for you, otherwise it is not working".
This individual fine tuning needs to take account of your direct heritage, where you live, cold climate, hot climate?
What food is in season. Are you overweight or underweight? Are you sedentary or over active. Are you worrying about everything or don't real get bothered? All these factors can have an impact on how your food composition should be. With other words, some people may need more meat or fruit or vegetables than others.
.. for a basic diet out line of a ratio balanced diet see >> Article - Zone Diet
One of the most obvious reason for being constantly tired or fatigue is a Chronic Disease or a Post Viral Condition. I mention that last, as in most cases, people will have had treatments to their underlying problems already.
However, sometimes one may not think of the obvious, and not always is a disease condition a reason for your fatigue. Indeed, you may treat your fatigue and as a positive side-effect your other health problem may dissolve. It's a bit like who was first, the chicken or the egg.
We mentioned some Health Problems already, like a low thyroid function, or anaemia, but it's impossible to mention all diseases now. I will just mention some....
Inflammation: Anything which relates to inflammation, including Allergies, digestive tract irritation and leaky gut syndrome - and "all" chronic diseases" .
See here for articles of natural disease treatments.
Viral and Bacterial infection: Any viral infection you had or have. If you are not sure have a blood test to find out if you had Glandular Fever , Ross River Fever, etc. - Same for bacterial infection, which often produce more symptoms, such as chronic sinus problems or intestinal bacterial overgrowth. - Get treatment for infection first.
You may have Metabolic Problems, such as low hormone levels, low thyroid, insulin resistance, which are often diet related.
Consider Toxicity. - A mould problem in your house can cause more than a mould allergy, it is toxic. What else could you have been in contact with. Have you considered to have your home checked by a Building Biologist? Have you been renovating lately? Working on a farm or industrial area with lots of chemicals?
Exposure to toxic chemicals has definitely been linked to chronic fatigue.
This may sound biased, but it's just a fact.
A condition like chronic fatigue needs a holistic approach, which is not the strong side of the medical establishment.
Having said that, find a good Doctor as well as a Naturopath, and have lots of test done, simply to "out-rule" other serious condition, this will help you and your Doctor and Naturopath to find other related or lateral causative factors not necessarily recognised by the medical establishment.
Your Naturopath may test you for your acid base load or for a leaky gut, maybe a hair sample test for toxicology or trace element unbalance. In addition, a Naturopath may have a bit more time for you, and may address or refer you for lifestyle counselling.
Homeopathy or a Herbalist are often the deciding factor in helping a patient.
Colon Irrigation may also be considered.
I remember one patient with a fatigue problem, his Doctor advised him to have a Colonoscopy. The results were all clear, but interestingly his symptoms improved. Why was that?
The preparation procedure for a colonoscopy is a really good clean out, a Magnesium based drink, which acts as a very dramatic flush out laxative.
Yes, that was nearly all that patient needed, a good clean out, and a colon irrigation can do the same trick, but with more benefits. We followed that up with good nutrition, some supplements and Pro-biotics, and that patient never looked back. Sometimes one gets lucky ....
* Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.
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