COMMON CAUSES OF FATIGUE.
Fatigue or the feeling of having no energy is a symptom that may result from a great variety of causes. It may range from a mild loss of usual energy, to greater weariness at certain times during the day, to complete exhaustion and an inability to move.
General everyday fatigue can be contributed to viruses, allergy or nutritional deficiencies. Many other factors contribute to fatigue; infections, immune reactions to foods and environmental factors, chemical and metal toxicities and other life conflicts.
Factors contributing to fatigue
- Chronic diarrhea and nutrient loss
- Chronic pain
- Depression (and associated Anxiety)
- Environmental toxicity
- Immune suppression
- Lack of sleep (or poor sleep and sleep apnea)
- Low grade infection
- Low hydrochloric acid
- Low thyroid function and adrenal gland function
- Poor digestion
- Sluggish liver
- Stress and overwork
- Toxicity from the colon
When we are suffering from fatigue, we need to ask ourselves the following questions to evaluate our lifestyle choices:
- How much sleep am I getting?
- How much stress am I under?
- Am I eating properly to ensure I do not have any vitamin, mineral or amino acid deficiencies?
- Do I work too much or have any joy in my life?
- Do I abuse such substances as coffee, sugar, alcohol or other drugs?
What can be done to alleviate fatigue with a Nutritional Approach?
The most appropriate diet for people with fatigue is high in easily digested complex carbohydrates and adequate amounts of protein foods along with at least 2 liters of filtered, good quality water daily. Some people with fatigue are too sensitive to sugars and starches to raise their energy; rather, they need to focus more on protein intake with lots of fresh vegetables, both steamed and as salad greens, with some nuts and seeds, sprouted beans (better in protein with less starch), and only some grains, starchy vegetables and fruits. It’s also important to avoid industrial and agricultural chemicals as well as most food additives, as they may place more stress on the weak or overworked liver. Staying away from sugar and refined foods is also wise.
Both the essential fatty acids and the amino acids from protein can be helpful to people with fatigue. The fatty acids are important to energy (ATP) production in the mitochondria of the cells. The amino acid L-carnitine is important to fatty acid metabolism and the efficient use of the fats in the cells.
There are also a large number of nutrients and supplements that are used to improve energy levels. What works best depends on the cause of fatigue. If it is due to low levels of certain vitamins and minerals, eating nutrient dense foods that contain these particular nutrients can be helpful, provided there is adequate digestion and assimilation. Some common nutritional deficiencies include; iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, iodine, potassium and magnesium. Chromium may be helpful in some cases of fatigue related to blood sugar imbalances.