Fatigue

 
Do you suffer from low energy, muscle pain, or brain fog? Are any of these symptoms combined with digestive problems, dizziness or lightheadedness, dry mouth, cold hands and feet, weight gain, heart palpitations or problems with moodiness? You may be among the millions of people suffering from low energy, otherwise known as fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
 
 

Chronic Fatigue

 
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be caused by many things. Often, fatigue has multiple causes which can be tricky to sort out. Some common causes of fatigue include hypothyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, other hormone imbalances, deficiencies in essential nutrients, heavy metal toxicity, or vitamin deficiencies. Although many people suffer from fatigue, the good news is that fatigue is often manageable or even may be reversible when appropriate therapies are used.
 
Nutrient deficiencies can play a large role in thyroid dysfunction and chronic fatigue syndrome. These include nutrient deficiencies of iodine, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins. A holistic doctor can help advise you on the possibility of these deficiencies being a cause of your fatigue or hypothyroidism. Holistic practitioners trained in integrative therapies can design a supplementation program to correct any deficiency in vitamins or nutrients that may be contributing to thyroid dysfunction and fatigue.
 
Fatigue can also be caused by a buildup of toxins, including heavy metals, in the bloodstream. Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and aluminum tend to accumulate in the brain, in the immune system, and in the kidneys, and can contribute to the symptoms of fatigue.
 
 

Detoxification

 
Heavy metal exposure can also slow liver detoxification processes. Why should a person care about this? Simply put, when the liver is "sluggish," the detoxification cycle may not be processing toxins at a normal and necessary rate. This causes toxins to accumulate in the bloodstream and can contribute to symptoms of fatigue.
 
Many factors can cause your liver to become sluggish, including normal aging. Liver detoxification can be hindered by use of some medications, as well as exposure to heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury. Consumption of large amounts of alcohol, sugar or hydrogenated fats can also slow liver detoxification. In addition, exposure to pesticides and food additives can also negatively affect the liver's detoxification abilities.
 
 

Holistic Management of Fatigue

 
A holistic doctor can advise you on use of integrative therapies to help "cleanse" the liver, including vitamin supplementation and dietary management. These include antioxidants , vitamins such as C, E, B and beta-carotene; and minerals such as zinc and selenium. Herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and schizandra might help protect liver cells as well as help eliminate toxins from our body. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, such as radishes, celery, horseradish, string beans and kale, can replenish your body's store of glutathione. Glutathione is a protein your liver produces that protects against cellular damage. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, citrus fruits and lemon peel oils are recommended to stimulate the liver and aid in detoxification. Broccoli is especially beneficial for people who have exposure to pesticides, exhaust fumes, paint fumes, cigarette smoke or alcohol.
 
Yoga , exercise and meditation have also been shown to be beneficial in treating fatigue; as an aside, don't forget the importance of fresh air!
 
In conclusion, fatigue has many causes, and treatments often times require a holistic approach. You can talk with a practitioner with experience in integrative strategies about management of your fatigue.
 
 
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