There are few things more frustrating than feeling tired all the time. Fatigue can be a trial both physically and mentally, and trying to break the chains of fatigue can drain the best of us. Having the need and desire to be busy and productive is a natural part of the human condition. When the energy necessary to accomplish this is absent, and we struggle to find the energy to complete our day, we feel broken and incomplete. While fatigue can sometimes point to one of many health concerns, the good news is that in most cases, we have the power to regain our vim and vigor by making a few lifestyle adjustments. Let’s explore how to break the chains of fatigue once and for all.
What is Fatigue?
A good definition of fatigue might be as follows: “Acute or chronic physical and/or mental exhaustion that can be caused by any number of factors, including stress, poor lifestyle choices, illness, or medications.”
We all experience fatigue to some degree or another. In fact, a certain amount of fatigue is a good thing. Ever hear the saying: “It’s a good kind of tired…”? When we have put in a long day, fatigue helps us to know that it is time to get rest and sleep, and in fact, enables us to sleep well.
But harmful fatigue is more than just sleepiness. It is characterized by a seemingly unending lack of energy that is not relieved by a night’s sleep or a day off from the daily grind. Mental and emotional fatigue can also be debilitating. It can lead to poor concentration, inability to make quality decisions, and even memory loss in some cases.
Complaints of fatigue are probably the number one reason for most doctors’ visits. It seems to be a normal part of life for many in these hectic times in which we live. Who has time to get enough sleep and eat right in the rat race in which most of us involve ourselves daily? The bills must be paid, obligations must be met, and something has to give. Typically it is our health. When this occurs, fatigue is almost inevitable.
Main Causes of Fatigue
The vast majority of fatigue can be traced to a few lifestyle choices that we can change if we prioritize them. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
Not getting enough quality sleep is an epidemic concern in America today. We live in a 24-hour society that never shuts down. Just a few generations ago, most people lived in rural settings and sometimes literally “went to bed with the chickens, and got up with the chickens.” The workday was dawn to dusk, and without electric lights, bedtime was shortly after dark. Nowadays, we have nonstop entertainment and numerous choices of activities that can keep us up far too late into the night. Many folks are lucky if they get a good 6 hours of sleep consistently every night. In addition, our forefathers mainly engaged in physical labor rather than sitting behind a desk all day, as many of us do. Thus, they were tired and able to sleep well when evening came. Chronic lack of sleep leads to ongoing fatigue, and it becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. I believe that many of us would make the necessary sacrifices to get to bed early enough if we could experience what it feels like to go through a day without being plagued by fatigue.
RELATED: How to Have a Sleep Friendly Bedroom
Lack of Physical Exercise
Back in the day, most people got enough physical activity to make them naturally tired by the end of the day. Now, we pay for and schedule exercise into our busy day. Getting proper exercise is vital for several reasons. First, it enables us to sleep well at night and avoid fatigue that way. Secondly, it boosts energy, improves mood, and controls weight. Thirdly, physical activity is a great way to deal with the stress in our lives that can keep us from feeling rested and refreshed. Speaking of stress…
RELATED: Health Benefits of Rebounding
Stress, both physical and mental, can rob us of the ability to rest, relax, and get quality sleep as well. Stress is a fact of life, but when it is not dealt with proactively, it is an open door to fatigue and all kinds of other health issues as well. Taking care of ourselves by learning to combat stress can go a long way toward eliminating fatigue from our lives.
One suggestion for dealing with stress that is very effective for many people is the art of deep breathing. This can be done as a planned part of the daily routine or on an as-needed basis as things come up during the day. The best technique is to lie flat on your back, preferably on a hard surface such as the floor. Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth. It is amazing what 20 minutes of this can do to battle stress and, ultimately, fatigue. If a stressful situation arises unexpectedly, learn to deep breathe for a minute or so without interrupting whatever you are doing. Many people swear by this, and it has made a tremendous difference in the quality of their lives.
RELATED: Health Benefits of Mindful Breathing
Parasites (Harmful Organisms)
One thing that I’ve noticed that’s becoming more and more common and a big drain on people’s energy levels is the existence of harmful organisms in the body. Many natural health practitioners agree that, currently, we are experiencing an epidemic with people becoming overrun with fungi, yeast, mold, worms, bacteria, microplasma, and prions. All of these parasites are accumulating in our bodies. These parasites will steal your nutrients then and actually go to the bathroom in your system. When this happens, they secrete isopropyl alcohol, formaldehyde, and phenol — all very toxic chemicals.
One of the things I highly suggest for low energy levels is always a harmful organism cleanse. Performing a harmful organism cleanse supports your body’s natural cleansing ability to eliminate all of those parasites and invading organisms that live inside your body.
In our world today, we must understand that harmful organisms, which are often overlooked by conventional medicine, as one of the root causes of disease and illness. When most people overconsume sugar and raw fish, they are going to have a higher content of toxins. So parasites are something that you definitely want to take a look at, especially when your energy levels are consistently low. Doing a parasite and harmful organism cleanse is the best way to rid your body of toxins and raise your energy levels.
Low iodine levels can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and weak. This is because your body needs the mineral iodine for health and wellness and to make energy.
Both fatigue and weakness are frequent symptoms of iodine deficiency. Some studies indicate that nearly 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels, which happen in cases of iodine deficiency, feel tired, sluggish, and weak (R). These particular symptoms happen because it is the thyroid hormones that help the body make energy.
When thyroid hormone levels become low, the body is unable to make as much energy as usual. This could cause your energy levels to drop and leave you feeling weak and fatigued. A study of 2,456 people found that fatigue and weakness were the most recurrent symptoms among those with low or slightly low thyroid hormone levels (R).
Poor Dietary Habits
Changing the way you eat and drink is a huge step toward fighting fatigue. Below are a few suggestions:
- Drink plenty of pure water: Water has innumerable health benefits, but one of them is that it increases the volume of your blood, which can help avoid fatigue. Halve your body weight and then work up to drinking that amount in ounces of purified water every day.
- Avoid High-fat foods: Fatty foods take longer to digest than low-fat foods, so they remain longer in the stomach. This causes blood flow to increase to the abdominal area and thus decreases to the brain and other organs contributing to fatigue.
- Avoid overeating: Overeating makes you drowsy, and in addition, it can eventually lead to being overweight. Carrying around extra pounds is a significant factor in fatigue. Simply losing weight can improve energy levels significantly for many folks.
- Eat foods high in iron: Iron aids in the oxygenation of the blood, which can be a great weapon against fatigue. Suggested foods include spinach, liver, raisins, pumpkin seeds, olives, mulberries, and apricots. Be sure to eat organic, if possible.
- Avoid stimulants: High-caffeine drinks such as coffee and sodas may give you a temporary energy boost, but they will lead to ongoing fatigue in the long run. After the effects of the caffeine have worn off, your energy level will crash, and you will feel fatigued. Some folks respond to this by taking in more caffeine, which only leads to a vicious cycle that encourages fatigue. Caffeine can exacerbate the issue further by interfering with quality sleep.
- Medications: In addition to lifestyle choices, many medications can contribute to fatigue. The most common culprits are blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and certain antibiotics. You may want to consider switching to another medication or a more natural herbal alternative to alleviate any fatigue caused by taking these drugs. Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before implementing any changes.
Finally, sometimes fatigue is an indicator of many possible illnesses or disorders. Suppose you have tried correcting fatigue by implementing lifestyle changes or eliminating suspect medications, and your fatigue has not lessened. In that case, it’s a good idea to get a thorough physical by your health care provider of choice to eliminate the possibility of a disease condition.
Below is a list of some of the most common illnesses and diseases, but the list is by no means comprehensive or all-inclusive.
Diseases that Can Cause Fatigue
- Hypotension: Low blood pressure often results in poor circulation, manifesting fatigue.
- Anemia: If insufficient iron levels in the blood cause anemia, fatigue is a widespread side effect. This can be remedied by dietary changes and/or supplementation if needed.
- Depression: Clinical depression and/or grief can wear a person out emotionally and lead to fatigue. In addition, the medications that are often prescribed will often make you drowsy and contribute to fatigue as well.
- Cancer: When the body battles debilitating diseases such as cancer, fatigue is inevitable.
- Renal disease: Kidney disease is often characterized by extreme fatigue, especially in the end stages.
- Diabetes: Excessive fatigue is often a side effect of diabetes.
- Low blood sugar: If your blood sugar levels are too low, fatigue will most likely be present.
- Thyroid dysfunction: Both an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can result in fatigue.
- Sleep disorders: Conditions such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy can all manifest fatigue as a symptom. If you do not consistently get enough quality sleep, you will inevitably battle fatigue.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): The symptoms of this syndrome (inability to keep the legs still and/or pain in the extremities) are most often experienced at night and will often contribute to insomnia and the resulting fatigue associated with it.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): As the name indicates, one of the primary symptoms of CFS is ongoing fatigue (continuous for six months or more) that cannot be attributed to other sources. Other clues pointing to a CFS diagnosis are flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness and pain, and other neurological manifestations. CFS is difficult to diagnose, but even considering that there are up to 2 million known cases in the United States. It is much more common in women than in men. Other illnesses that can readily lead to fatigue include:
- Addison’s disease (a hormonal disorder)
- Congestive heart failure
- Lupus (and other autoimmune diseases)
How to Break the Chains of Fatigue Naturally
Healthy Diet and Healthy Weight
In order to break the chains of fatigue, a healthy diet and weight are crucial. I recommend using either the Mediterranean Diet or the Food Combining Diet. It is very important to eat as organically as possible. Both are available on the Internet and will support your nutritional needs and help your body get to a healthy weight. All lifestyle changes require desire, determination, and discipline. The good news is that once you begin, you will find that it gets easier and easier, and, best of all, you will begin to see any excess weight fall off. You will also see an increase in energy and stamina.
Daily exercise does not mean that you must become a gym rat. In fact, a daily walk and rebounding are two of what I consider to be the best exercises available. Neither will break the bank but instead will provide adequate exercise when done on a daily basis. I suggest rebounding in the mornings and taking a daily walk in the evenings.
Did you know that every cell in your body is bathed in water? Water makes up nearly 85 percent of your brain, about 80 percent of your blood, and about 70 percent of lean muscle. Water accounts for about 60% of a man’s body weight and represents about 50% of a woman’s weight. However, water deficiency can quickly lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Chronic dehydration has been called “the hidden epidemic,” and an estimated 75% of all North Americans are chronically dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can zap your energy, make you fatigued, and affect mental clarity. Be aware that water loss of 9-12% of total body weight can be fatal. Dehydration is a major cause of infant illness and death throughout the world and hospitalization for the elderly.
Halve your body weight and then work up to drinking that amount in ounces of purified water every day. If you desire, you can add some organic lemon juice and organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother) to your daily water.
So, in a nutshell, dehydration creates some very real health risks. Make sure that the water you consume is purified or distilled.
Cleansing Your Body of Toxins
All of us have a toxic body to some degree, and we all have a certain amount of poisons stored in our bodies. We can compare this to not taking out the garbage in our homes every day. Soon, the garbage piles begin to overflow, and the odor starts to consume your home. This happens in your body when you take in toxins and don’t get rid of them via proper and effective elimination. Your body has a very efficient waste management system that keeps you healthy when it’s functioning correctly. However, like a home where the garbage is not removed, your digestive tract (remember this is where 80% of your immune system resides) can become overwhelmed with toxins that result in inflammation — which then can cause a myriad of diseases.
The solution for a toxic body is “detoxification“—a process that will help your body to eliminate toxins, which will then help you lose weight, eliminate inflammation to boot, and help energy levels to soar.
First, perform a complete oxygen colon cleanse.
Second, perform a liver/gallbladder cleanse once every two weeks for the first two months. After that, do a flush quarterly at the beginning of every season.
Third, perform a chemical and heavy metal cleanse after your digestive tract cleanses and liver/gallbladder cleanse.
Most people want to skip cleansing their bodies because they are afraid of detoxification. Cleansing your body of toxins is crucial if you want to end fatigue and experience more energy. I’ve witnessed it personally, and I’ve seen it over and over in working with clients. Body detoxification is like putting a new engine in your car — it supports your entire body as it works to keep you healthy and well.
Take a high-quality probiotic and prebiotic every day.
Take an organic multivitamin/mineral complex every day.
Take digestive and systemic enzymes every day, which can help tremendously with inflammation.
If you have difficulty in sleeping at night, I suggest the following: Ashwagandha 500-1000 mg every night; Valerian; and, if needed, Organic Hemp Extract. If you struggle with unbalanced hormones, I recommend checking out Oasis Serene Bioidentical Progesterone Cream.
Fatigue is a debilitating condition that can very negatively affect the quality of your life. It can also wear you down and make you susceptible to other illnesses and diseases. Lack of energy robs you of the ability to live a full and rewarding life. To break the chains of fatigue, the first step is taking a good hard look at your diet and lifestyle habits. You can remedy most fatigue by making permanent changes in this arena. The best news is you will also be rewarded with many other health benefits to boot!