Hidden causes of chronic fatigue

Part one

These are difficult stressful times we live in. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t seem to feel they are struggling with more stress fatigue; the continued busy nature of our office is testament to that fact. Some of us have been dealing with fatigue for so long that it feels like the norm. We go to bed tired, we get up tired and born out of that fatigue can come depression make life seem at times feel less than worth living.

First things first before you just assume that you are working too hard, worrying over not working or dealing with some emotional crisis you need to take a look at your physical health. If you have not had a thorough check up with your doctor in the past year it’s time to check in.

Hidden low-grade infections are high on the list of energy zappers. Low-grade bacterial or viral infections can be present without other obvious signs of infection such as fever, pain, drainage or high white blood cell count. Other less obvious symptoms that can accompany these kinds of infection besides fatigue are muscle and joint aches, headache, low-grade intermittent fever, low back pain and an inability to concentrate.

Women notoriously struggle with urinary tract infections (UTI) that are not causing any real symptoms other than some minor local irritation and frequency, but are making them feel physically wasted. A low grade UTI will many times be chalked up to menopause or a yeast infection. The prescribed antifungal brings minimal relief but the fatigue never really seems to leave. Men can struggle with the same or a smoldering prostitis. The symptoms aren’t much but again the fatigue feels overwhelming.

Unfortunately a urinalysis is not usually a test ordered when a patient complains of fatigue, or the urine can appear normal. If you are struggling with fatigue and other minor complaints that may accompany this kind of low-grade infection try using cranberry concentrate tablets, juice will not work. The hippuric acid produced in the urine inhibits bacterial growth by making the bladder walls so slick the bacteria cannot imbed. Cranberry concentrate alone has been a sure-fire cure for many of my clients over the years.

Other hidden infections worth mentioning that can lead to fatigue are sinus and ear infections, Lyme Disease which will in time with out a doubt lead to a lot more than just fatigue, an infected tooth including bad root canals and the various forms of hepatitis. All of these need treatment first by a trained professional. Following treatment you can seek alternatives that can help keep you well and energized.

Other causes of chronic fatigue can be linked to allergy, environmental and chemical sensitivity, yeast infections and hormone imbalance. These hidden causes of fatigue will require more self investigation and correction as they are not necessarily recognized or have traditional treatment protocols.

Next week in part two I will take a look at the single biggest cause of fatigue poor or inappropriate diet.

part two

Last week in part one I discussed some of the more obvious yet still hidden causes of fatigue. This week in part two I want to talk about the single biggest yet overlooked cause of fatigue, poor diet.

Norman Walker inventor of the modern day electric juice extractor, known at the "juice guru" was the first person to coin the term auto- induced intoxication or self-induced intoxication. He wasn’t referring just to alcohol but to all the highly processed foods as well that America just can’t seem to get enough of.

Jack LaLane the self made exercise guru from the 50s has jumped on the juice bandwagon promoting the virtues of fresh vegetable juice while condemning the use of highly processed foods. In fact I can’t seem to turn on the television without seeing Jack and his juicer. One has to admit he looks much less than his 80-some years.

As much as I dislike reducing the human body to its parts and pieces or refer to it as machinery for the purpose of my discussion I think it’s what will work best. Overuse and abuse your joints running on pavement and they will need replacing. The same thing will happen with the heart, the kidneys or any of the other body systems that are over used or abused.

The use of nutrition-poor foods and too much food not only wears the digestive tract out trying to take them apart for use. Every cell in the body is effected negatively and it eventually becomes the equivalent to a slow starvation. Many times the first symptom that the body is struggling with nutrition poor food is fatigue.

Some of the worst and most abused foods (mostly empty carbs) that cause fatigue are: coffee, colas and other soda pop, beer, deserts and breads made with processed sugars, fried foods, bacon, snack foods including chips and candy. The caffeine and processed sugars contained in these foods cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket and then plummet. Although most experts do not agree with the controversial Atkin’s diet because of the over use of animal proteins it does eliminate the use of all empty carbohydrates which brings balance to blood sugar levels.

Other kinds of fatigue causing foods are: highly processed oils, white rice and flour, animal protein used in excess, over use of salt and fruit juices in excess. These foods do not have the same immediate effects as the others but will cause fatigue, especially when over used.

Another overlooked fatigue factor is the underuse of good water. Water is the solvent for every chemical reaction that takes place in the body. Without enough water it’s a constant struggle for the cells to move nutrients in and remove waste. Starving the body of good water is like trying to whitewash a wall with a half filled bucket of dirty water.

Chronic fatigue robs us of our joyfulness, our productivity and can isolate us as well. Sometimes finding our answers will take more work than we want to invest, especially if we’re fatigued. I can only encourage youto keep looking your answers are out there.

Till next time, Rebecca