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Fatigue is multifaceted, thus has many contributing causes. Modem medicine focuses on finding a single cause of an ailment. This leads many people to thinking their fatigue and low energy is easily treatable with a specific drug, nutrient, remedy or treatment. In reality, fatigue is one of the first signs that your body is out of balance, a wake-up call to pay more attention to your health. Unfortunately, there is not a single remedy, drug or nutrient, that combats fatigue. Instead, one needs to evaluate their lifestyle and perhaps change eating patterns, behavior, or outlook on life. Evaluating your health triangle is one way to identify what may be causing your fatigue.
The first step in regaining your energy is to evaluate the balance of your health triangle. Nourishing all three points results in vital energy. The triangle will be unbalanced by a lack of attention to any or all of these points. For example, a person who eats well and exercises regularly may still complain of low energy because they work in a stressful job, use alcohol to unwind and sleep poorly – examples of deficits in the emotion triangle point. Once you’ve decided within which points your deficits lie, take the necessary steps to correct them and your energy will flourish.
Highly stressful days can leave one fatigued and exhausted not only because of the high amount of energy consumed by a stressful day, but also because the stress zaps the adrenal glands. High stress puts the body in a constant “fight or flight” mode whereby the adrenals consistently produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The constant presence of these hormones leads to serious imbalances effecting the immune system, the cardiovascular system, energy production, toxin elimination and fluid and electrolyte balance. This scenario also tires the adrenals, diminishing the body’s ability to deal with furture stress. Weak adrenals may also lead to blood sugar imbalances which then leads to fatigue. Nourish your adrenals by eating foods high in vitamin C and B-complex, exercise moderately and minimize the effects of stress by meditating or performing deep breathing exercises.
Exercise not only decreases stress reactions in the body; it also improves circulation and oxygen delivery to all cells in the body. Exercise also leaves us with some peace of mind. Without exercising, vital energy is difficult to achieve. Try to do 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day.
Many people wonder why they’re fatigued during the day when they slept poorly the night before. The human body must rest to rejuvenate. Without sound, uninterrupted sleep, the body will be out of balance and unable to maintain a proper energy level. Calming teas can be helpful, as can balancing your food intake so you don’t consume large amounts of heavy food for dinner.
When our energy is low, we tend to reach for sugar-containing foods to give us a lift. This is a big mistake because although sugar works wonders for quick energy, shortly there after, a sugar crash occurs. This daily rollercoaster ride can leave one feeling fatigued and emotionally distraught. Additionally, eating too much sugar can effect blood sugar levels, which, as previously mentioned, can result in fatigue. To achieve vital energy, eliminate soda pop, candy, pastries and large amounts of fruit juice from your diet.
When we drink caffeine we initiate the same “fight or flight” response that occurs with high stress. Caffeine also causes imbalances by being a diuretic. The acids found in coffee effect our body’s ability to handle toxins and hamper digestion. Additionally, caffeine decreases mineral utilization resulting in deficiencies. If you suffer from the 2:00 PM blahs, it could be because of the 2 cups of coffee you consumed in the morning.
The only way to get energy is by consuming calories. Non-caloric substances that give us energy are false energy stimulants, which cause fatigue in the long run. Vitamin supplements do not have calories and therefore do not give us energy. Instead, they help us utilize our food properly to make energy. So, in order to receive optimal energy from our food, we need to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day, making healthy choices and keeping portions small to prevent overfullness. For balance, also be sure to include variety in each meal and snack by including carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat.
If you consume a nutrient poor diet, vital energy is impossible to achieve. Most all vitamins and minerals are in some way involved in energy-producing reactions in the body. A deficiency in one or more may first manifest itself by making you feel tired. Consume a whole foods diet, incorporating variety, balance and moderation. Also, supplement as needed to prevent or treat nutrient deficiencies.
Increasing water intake results in balanced biochemistry and balanced energy. Because many water supplies are now contaminated with toxins, filtered or pure spring water will be better for your health. Drink about 1/2 ounce per pound of bodyweight. If you drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol, you need to drink an additional ounce of water for each ounce of caffeinated beverage or alcohol. For example, if you consume 8 oz. of coffee in the morning and a 12 ounce soda in the afternoon and a 12 ounce beer after work, you need to consume the ½ ounce per pound of body weight plus an additional 32 ounces.
To achieve long lasting, true, vital energy, resist the coffee and sugar cycle that will make you more tired. Instead, analyze your health triangle and make the necessary changes on step at a time. Of course, if you’ve achieved your health triangle and your still tired, there may be something medically wrong. At this point, a visit to your doctor may be in order.
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