Did you know that fatigue is the most common symptom both men and women go to the doctor with? Before a disease is diagnosed, most women will go to an average of three physicians complaining of fatigue and leave without help for improvement.
Most primary care doctors, should they hear your complaint of fatigue and consider it something worth investigating, will examine you and sometimes check your blood, looking for anemia, a subclinical infection, or possibly a low thyroid hormone level.
But overall, in our disease-centered medical world, no significant focus is placed on fatigue if it’s the only symptom.
Here are some ways you can help prevent or eliminate fatigue on your own:
• Eating a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
• Skipping alcohol, soda, energy drinks, and caffeine.
• Going gluten-free for a few weeks and noticing how it affects your energy level. As we age, gluten, along with dairy, can become allergens and our bodies have trouble absorbing nutrients, leaving us with many toxins that our overtaxed livers have to process.
• Using the liver cleanser milk thistle for a few months every year.
• Considering whether the medications you take cause interactions or side effects, which may include fatigue. Drugs that may do that include: blood pressure medication, beta blockers, antibiotics, and antidepressants. Certain diet medications, painkillers, and drugs that treat attention-deficit disorder can cause horrible fatigue when they wear off.
• Drinking water with a high alkaline level (pH>8.5) may help keep inflammation down and decrease chances of becoming fatigued. A good source is spring water, which naturally becomes alkaline as it acquires minerals when it passes over rocks.
• Taking a power nap. Sleeping for 10 to 30 minutes during the day may be revitalizing. Some people swear by this habit, while others become groggy and unable to wake up or cannot sleep at night. Try it and see if it works for you.
• Exercising, but not overdoing it. If you're tired, you may not feel like engaging in physical activity. But research shows that regular exercise can boost energy levels and enhance your quality of life. Yoga, especially, has been shown to improve clear-mindedness and energy levels. Breathing exercises, stretching, and spending time in sunlight all contribute to a greater sense of well-being.
• Listening to your body rhythms. Some of us have get-up-and-go first thing in the morning, while others are more energetic at night. Follow your own energy patterns.
Fatigue can appear in our lives overnight and stay for a while or forever. You have the power and knowledge to help yourself feel better and to seek answers from medical professionals when the remedies you try on your own are not enough. You deserve to feel energized and full of vitality — don’t settle for anything less.
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