10 Integrative Points on Fatigue

  1. Beware of quick fixes, especially hormones. Too many doctors will use questionable tests to justify their prescribing. You will get a bit of energy AT FIRST. Of course, thyroid and testosterone are stimulant-like hormones, much like Speed. Don’t risk your future health.
    Hormonal treatment is necessary in some cases. It is best to get it from reputable doctors who do not promise hormonal treatment for all conditions.
  2. Beware of excessive testing. While a small number of patients end up with a legitimate diagnosis after testing, the overwhelming majority of them do not have an undignosed serious condition. It is best to get simple standard testing while changing one’s lifestyle. See below.
  3. Poor diets and stress account for over 80% of fatigue cases.
  4. The rest are due to poor diet AND poorly controlled chronic diseases. Often, they are treated with drugs that only address symptoms, not the root issues. For example, patients with metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol) get oral medications and insulin, but they do not change their lifestyles.
  5. Do not blame the Epstein Barr Virus. Many doctors look for it in your blood to use it as an easy way to avoid doing the work that needs to be done to treat you properly. EBV is a common cold virus that most of us have had. If it affected you more dramatically at the time it was due to your immune system not being in optima shape.
  6. Make sure your gut bacteria are well balanced. It constitutes 2/3 of your immune system. Due to poor diets, stress, toxins, and drugs (antibiotics, acid-blocking pills, alcohol, tobcco) our gut flora does not process food/energy well. This is THE MAIN REASON people are fatigued.
  7. Give your liver and adrenal glands a break. Simple testing assesses this possibility fairly well. Fatty Liver is often seen in fatigue patients. However, subtle dysfunction of these organs may not show up in testing.
  8. Unmitigated stress. Try sitting with all your muscles contracted for a while. See how long you last. Subconscious stress consumes enormous amounts of energy.
  9. Depression. While it is true that depression can cause fatigue beware of a quick diagnosis and treatment with an anti depressant as treatment. You may end up with yet another chemical burdening your liver. Antidepressants are also prescribed to avoid facing the above issues.
  10. Lack of sleep. If you are jolted awake by an alarm clock every morning you are not getting enough sleep. Graveyard workers and leg-setters are specially at risk

Selected References

Study identifies bacterial blueprint for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

According to the New York Times (7/7, Bakalar) “Well” blog, a study published in Microbiome “has identified a bacterial blueprint for chronic fatigue syndrome [CFS], offering further evidence that it is a physical disease with biological causes and not a psychological condition.” In the study, which involved 39 healthy people without CFS and 48 people with CFS, researchers found not only that “stool samples of those with C.F.S. had significantly lower diversity of species compared with the healthy people,” but also that “people with C.F.S. had higher blood levels of lipopolysaccharides, inflammatory molecules that may indicate that bacteria have moved from the gut into the bloodstream, where they can produce various symptoms of disease.”

Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with metabolic syndrome: results from a case-control study in Georgia, Journal Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 2010;59:1351

Fatigue in liver disease: Pathophysiology and clinical management, Can J Gastroenterol. 2006 Mar; 20(3): 181–188.

Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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