Live Your Life by Fighting Fatigue Naturally
The complaint of lack of energy and feeling of fatigue is commonplace. There are a myriad of causes for this symptom. It could be an indication of an underlying depression, under-active thyroid, side effect from medication, cardiovascular problem, metabolic disturbance as well as many other causes. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are common conditions that cause a host of symptoms including fatigue. In an individual who is otherwise healthy and not known to have any medical conditions or be on medication, the problem could result from one or more nutrient deficiencies.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition associated with severe muscle pain. Other symptoms could include fatigue, chest pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, insomnia, and depression. Fibromyalgia has no cure. It most often occurs in women between the ages of 25 and 45. Exercise may help to ease the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, as patients who regularly do low-intensity workouts often show less severe symptoms than those who do not.
No herbs have specifically been studied in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. However, since many of the symptoms and difficulties associated with Fibromyalgia are also seen in chronic fatigue syndrome, the same herbs may be effective in treatment.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by fatigue that does not respond to rest and which does not appear to have a specific physical cause. It makes day-to-day activities difficult, as CFS sufferers are exhausted by doing the most mild tasks. While the cause of CFS is not known, it is suspected to be either viral or an immune system disorder. There is no known “cure” either; at this time, rest and relief of discomfort are the best treatment. A healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended, as well as regular social interactions (lack of energy often leads to isolation, which can lead to depression).
Other energy depleting causes like depression, under-active thyroid, side effects from medication, cardiovascular problems, and metabolic disturbances may be secondary to inadequate levels of certain key vitamins and minerals.
For example, in a study a few years ago researchers found that vitamin C deficiency can lead to a feeling of generalized fatigue and malaise. Unfortunately our diets, although rich in calories, are generally poor in essential nutrients. We eat entirely too much simple sugars such as white bread, white rice, potatoes, etc. along with processed foods containing trans fatty acids as well as saturated animals fats. Multiple epidemiologic studies have repeatedly demonstrated that no age group in this country, from infancy to the elderly, get adequate nutrients in their diets.
Nutrient Facts and Recommendations:
Carnitine, used by the body to produce energy for cell development, has been shown to be deficient in CFS sufferers. Taken regularly, Carnitine alleviates the symptoms of CFS.
NADH appears to also help in the treatment of CFS.
Licorice is effective in regulating blood pressure, something which does not happen in many CFS patients. Taking a Licorice supplementation regularly has been shown to help CFS sufferers. A health care provider should be consulted before Licorice is added as a supplement, however, as too high a dose can cause high blood pressure.
Low seratonin levels are often associated with Fibromyalgia. Supplementation with 5-HTP may increase seratonin synthesis.
Magnesium and Malic Acid
A combination of Magnesium and Malic Acid has been shown to lessen muscle pain. This may be due to the fact that many patients with Fibromyalgia have low Magnesium levels. It as also been shown to have beneficial effects in individuals suffering from migraines, asthma and cardiovascular disorders.
Given intravenously, SAMe appears to help reduce both pain and depression in Fibromyalgia patients. Intravenous dosages appear to be more effective than oral dosage; however, even oral dosages appear to help alleviate pain, fatigue, and stiffness related to Fibromyalgia. SAMe should not be used by manic-depressive (bipolar disorder) patients, however, as often causes manic episodes.
Vitamin E supplements have also been shown to help ease much of the pain of Fibromyalgia.
The B vitamins are critically important for energy production and cellular function. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is especially important in this regard. As noted above vitamin C is likewise essential to maintain good energy levels.
Zinc is another essential mineral, involved in over 300 different cellular reactions in the body. It is especially important for maintaining proper immune function. The typical dose is 15 to 45 mg. daily. The best form is zinc monomethionine (trademark name L-Optizinc).
In order to maintain optimal cerebral function adequate amounts of essential fatty acids (EFA) are required. Among the essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA are the two most important omega 3 EFAs.
Other nutrients that have shown benefit for helping to improve energy include coQ10 (in the range of 10 to 80 mg. daily) and alpha lipoic acid (in the range of 30 to 100 mg. daily). Ginseng is an herbal nutrient that can also improve energy levels.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication.