Fatigue. It is something that plagues us more often than it should, and stands before us in ways and reasons we least expect. Tiredness is an all-encompassing umbrella of symptoms we use when we don’t know what is wrong with us. Some common things we tell ourselves typically are:
* I’m getting older.
*Work is getting the best of me.
*Maybe this is how life is supposed to be.
Let’s get real and talk about it. Not just chalk it up to “this is how life is.” So before filling that next prescription, or reaching for caffeine, let’s look at some causes.
- Hormonal imbalances. The female cycle begins entering peri-menopause around the age of 35 as it prepares to head into menopause. The fluctuating and many times irrational hormonal swings disrupt the adrenal, thyroid and insulin metabolism. This then causes an imbalance in the hormonal ecosystem. Similarly, declining testosterone levels in men results in hormonal fatigue. Pay attention and make note of any symptoms. While blood work doesn’t always confirm hormonal shifts, the body can clue us in on the upcoming changes.
- Food sensitivities. Just like with environmental allergies, the attack on our GI tract triggers an immunomodulated response via the mast cells. When the body is exposed to foods that it may be sensitive too, histamine is released causing a catalyst of inflammation. If you experience itchy skin, rashes, joint swelling, sudden depressive symptoms for no reason, headaches, runny nose, itchy eyes, etc, instead of checking the mold count, start looking in your pantry as to what might be causing it. Many times the tiredness we are experiencing starts in our own kitchen. Assume everything and anything is causing it, UNTIL you prove it othewise.
- Change in prescription manufacturers. This can be an entire blog by itself. In my 20 years of practice, I have never seen more symptoms arising from the very treatment that was designed to help the initial complaint. Regulations for quality control of medications that enter the U.S. are expected to maintain a level of “purity.” A single generic medication can be manufactured by multiple different companies. If you notice your medications look different from month to month, look at the label for the manufacturer name. All prescription labels will have either MFG or NDC#. The NDC# is the number given to each manufacture company. While the same generic medication you have been taking for years, now looks different, that very well could be exactly what is leading to more time spent on the couch. I advise all of my patients to keep a log of every single medication, the manufacturer, the appearance of the medicine, date filled and any corresponding symptoms. Having all the information in one table helps rule out a simple manufacturer change as a source. So before adding another thing to help you feel better, take out the possible offenders.
- Supplements. Since when did we need to start taking so many extras to slow down aging? Generations before us only needed what nature provided to live. So what has changed that we now require a pill box to keep our supplements straight? That is right, we don’t! First of all, ask your body what it is lacking that only replenishing with external sources will help. Next, check those levels. If levels are low, find out why they are low before adding another to the list. Most of the supplements we consume are not even necessary. Bring the body back to basics. Bring it into its natural healing. The fillers, binders, preservatives, and other chemicals dilute the active component. So we are again intoxicating our system with sources that is worsening the very symptom we thought was improving.
- Movement. It’s such a catch 22. We are so tired, we become sedentary. By being sedentary, we are adding to the fatigue. So how to stop this hamster wheel? Simple. Take the first step. Being inactive causes more than just a few lazy days. Studies have shown limited activity increases risk of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases and so on. You don’t have to go run a marathon. But you do have to lace up those shoes and take one step. One step will lead to two, and then three and then before you know it, your life will transform into a haven of energy and healing. I have friends who I have encouraged to get active, but they resist. I have better luck getting them to the gynecologist! I tell them this very same thing. At some point in each of our lives, we are ALL going to have to climb this mountain. It is inevitable. It is better to climb it now when it is not that steep and you have more people on your team to give you a hand up. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes and the lonelier it feels. May as well do it while you can. Work smarter! Not harder!
- Poor sleep. This seems obvious but I am going to bring it to you from an unconventional angle. YOU CANNOT CATCH UP ON SLEEP! We sleep so the human vehicle is able to” pull into the gas station” and fuel up and be ready to go the next day. If we compromise on our sleep, the body is expected to operate like it was on a full tank of gas but only half full. The great human machine’s only purpose is to keep us alive and operating. If it runs low on fuel, it pulls its resources from the hormones. Ahhhh……now you get it……..another way your hormones are affected!! You can’t expect the body to guzzle down a full tank so it can “catch up.” Just the same, each night we compromise on our sleep, is another opportunity lost. Turn off the screen and restore your life.
Fatigue is not some rare disease that we are trying to discover. It is an everyday symptom that is often times self-induced, knowingly or unknowingly.
Heal the body by taking things out. Remove the strangulation from gimmicky health promises. Escape the trap of fearing something is wrong with you. Allow this glorious physical existence to talk with you. Everything you need to know and hear is being conveyed to you. The human body has an enormous unimaginable ability to heal. Look 365 degrees in every direction and you will see that you have the ultimate power to discover and accept exactly what you need to live an optimal, healthy and flourished life!
Dr. Raman’s Concierge Medical Practice is focused on holistic care and good health maintenance. For more information on natural ways to relieve stress, CONTACT our office today to schedule your appointment.
Have you ever stopped and thought maybe your healthy diet of superfoods could actually be a source of your weight gain? Food sensitivities can be lurking in the background and derailing your weight loss efforts.
As you stand proud of the rainbow of anti-oxidants in your diet, or eager to brag of eating only things that end in “berry,” or wouldn’t dare even considering eating anything that has a shelf life of more than a few hours, maybe this blog is for you.
Now don’t get me wrong. Our foods should be super, colorful, and “berriful.” But if you are following all of the nutritional “do’s” and “don’ts”, why do you struggle?
In July 2007, Diabetes, published jaw dropping results of HOW the inflammatory nature of foods is to blame for the obesity rate in the United States. The study took thin mice and placed them on a high fat diet for few weeks. It was then analyzed the high fat meals altered the gut pH, producing “leaky gut syndrome.” The weakening of the gut wall subsequently caused the mice to produce a bacterial toxin called “LPS”. LPS was secreted into the blood stream, which triggered a massive release of inflammatory molecules (TNF, Interleukin, Cytokines). These molecules caused insulin resistance, hormonal disruptions, fatty liver and metabolic breakdown.The researchers took it one step further and injected normal fed mice exogenous “LPS.” This response produced the SAME inflammatory mediator release response as the mice that were fed the high fat diets. It was concluded that eating a healthy diet can also cause inflammation, if the right foods are not consumed.
The American diet, the overuse of antibiotics, the hormonally laden crops, the over zealous need for medication have all contributed to our obese nation. We have disrupted the ecosystem of the natural gut flora into a battlefield of good vs. evil. The bad bacteria have taken over and laid roots into the very chakra of our health! THE GUT!!
You may be eating the correct number of calories, burning the desired amount of fat, consuming the perfect ratio of water, but how do you know that the very source of fuel you think is sustaining your well-being isn’t actually the cause of your symptoms?
Countless research has exposed gluten, dairy, sugars, and grains for their inflammatory properties. Properties that have had a direct hand in causing much of the heart diseases, diabetes, cancers, and auto-immune processes. As we look at “super foods” that seem to be so heavily marketed, we begin to wonder how good are they really? The underlying issue lies in the WAY these crops are blanketed with pesticides, toxins, and pollutants. As the food enters our GI tract, so do the chemicals that come with it. These toxins have played a direct role in super sizing our nation.You want to lose weight??? Then question EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth-good and bad.
Food Reactions vs. Food Sensitivities
When we talk about reactions to food, there are different gradients of a “reaction.” True food allergies may present as a rash, trouble breathing, GI upset or anaphylaxis, to name a few.
Food sensitivities are not so obvious. Some symptoms may include sudden fatigue after eating, itchy skin without a rash, headaches, sudden shift in mood, menstrual changes, hair loss, skin dryness, muscle or joint aches, constant fatigue, mental fogginess. Identifying the sensitivity is not an overnight process. It takes patience, perseverance, and intuition. So where do you start?
Step 1: Begin a food journal. You can use any nutrition tracker to make this necessary first step. Again, you may think you are eating healthy, but you have to assume everything is causing your symptoms until you prove it otherwise.
Step 2: Pick ONE food or ingredient to eliminate for 3 weeks. Don’t stop everything all at once. Trying to find the trigger is like finding the needle in the haystack. You know it is there, but if you scattered the hay all at the same time, you will have a bigger mess to clean up. Take it one ingredient at a time.
Step 3: Start a pro-biotic. Restoring the gut’s natural flora keeps the “bad” gut flora from multiplying. When the good guys are there, the walls of the leaky gut can begin to heal and realign the natural hormonal pathways.
Step 4: If you are wanting to be more aggressive with your health, consider having blood work done to identify potential pathogens. One such test is the LEAP Mediator Release Test (MRT) for food sensitivities.
The LEAP diet, which stands for Lifestyle, Eating, And Performance is done in conjunction with the Mediator Release Testing and is an ImmunoCalm Nutrition Program. Dr. Raman is specially trained to help you reduce or eliminate symptoms due to food or chemical sensitivities, have a healthier lifestyle, well balanced nutrition, and optimum performance. It has helped many individuals eliminate chronic health problems.
MRT stands for Mediator Release Test. MRT is a blood test that checks your immune system response (or non-response) to 150 foods and chemicals. MRT is a functional live cell analysis that identifies foods and chemicals which provoke the release of mediators that cause pain and inflammation. The results of the blood test are used to create an individualized healthy eating plan (the LEAP diet) for significantly reducing or eliminating symptoms. Dr. Raman then works with you, teaching you how to eat using the LEAP protocol, and sleuthing out any potential allergies or intolerances that may also be present.
Not only does MRT give insight into inflammation provoking foods and food-chemicals, but more importantly MRT identifies your BEST foods – the foods that form the basis of their LEAP Eating Plan.
All of this is provided from a simple 4 vial blood test drawn in our office and sent to an outside lab with results available in 10 days.
If this is the last year weight loss is going to be named at the top of your resolution list, then fix the problem where it is broken – in the gut.