We all experience the common stressors from work, environmental toxins, not enough sleep, worry, relationship problems and long-term stress from illness. These put us into a constant "fight or flight" mode for far too long -- much longer than Mother Nature ever intended from a natural standpoint. Experts say that 10% of people globally at any one time are suffering from persistent tiredness. Persistent tiredness affects females more than males. The National Institutes of Health, USA, informs that approximately one in every five Americans claims to have fatigue that is severe enough to interfere with daily normal life. The result is that your body, faced with excessive stress and burden, becomes overworked and fatigued. Some of the more common factors that do this are:
- Emotions; anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, depression and other negative issues
- Overwork, including physical or mental strain
- Excess exercise
- Sleep deprivation
- Light-cycle disruption (such as working the night shift or often going to sleep late)
- Surgery, trauma or injury
- Chronic inflammation, infection, illness or pain
- Environmental temperature extremes
- Toxic exposure to air, food or water
- Nutritional deficiencies or severe allergies
Fatigue, also referred to as tiredness, exhaustion, lethargy, and listlessness, describes a physical and/or mental state of being tired and weak. Although physical and mental fatigue are different, the two often exist together - if a person is physically exhausted for long enough, they will also be mentally tired.
When somebody experiences physical fatigue, it means they cannot continue functioning at their normal levels of physical ability. Mental fatigue, however, is more slanted towards feeling sleepy and being unable to concentrate properly.
Fatigue is a symptom, rather than a sign. A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as a headache or dizziness, while a sign is something the doctor can detect without talking to the patient, such as a rash. Fatigue is a non-specific symptom, i.e. it may have a variety of possible causes.
Causes Of Fatigue
Physical - the person's muscles cannot do things as easily as they used to. Climbing stairs or carrying supermarket bags may be much harder than before. Physical fatigue is also known as muscle weakness, weakness, or lack of strength. During a physical examination a strength test may be performed to help find out the causes of individual cases of physical fatigue.
Mental - concentrating on things may become harder. When symptoms are severe you might not want to get out of bed in the morning, or perform daily activities. Mental fatigue often appears together with physical fatigue, but not always. Some may feel sleepy, have a decreased level of consciousness, and in some cases show signs similar to that of an intoxicated state. Mental fatigue may be life threatening, especially when the sufferer has to perform some tasks, such as driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery.
Metabolic or Endocrine - Cushing's disease, kidney disease, electrolyte problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, anemia, kidney disease, and liver disease.
Drugs or Medications - Some antidepressants, antihypertensives, steroids, antihistamines, medication withdrawal, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs.
Heart and Lung Conditions - Pneumonia, arrhythmias, asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart disease, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure. Statin medications are among the most widely used prescription drugs sold worldwide. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, published a report in Archives of Internal Medicine showing that statins can cause fatigue.
Chronic Pain - Patients with chronic pain typically wake up tired, even after having slept for a long time. For many, pain disrupts their sleep, which also leaves them tired. The combination of disturbed sleep and having to endure persistent pain can be extremely draining, leaving the patient exhausted for much of the time. Some diseases and conditions where pain is the main symptom, such as fibromyalgia, are also linked to other conditions, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, which further worsen symptoms of fatigue.
Enviromental Toxicity - the necessity of body detoxification is now of utmost importance. Our bodies have become virtual dumping grounds for the hundreds of thousands of toxic compounds that invade our air, water, and even the soil that nurtures our food. (77,000 chemicals are in active production in North America.) More than 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply; and more than 10,000 chemicals in the form of solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives are used in food processing, packaging, wrapping, and storage.
Every day, all of us ingest tiny amounts of these chemicals. The EPA estimates there are more than 20,000 chemicals that our bodies cannot metabolize. Chemicals not metabolized are stored in the fat cells throughout our bodies where they continue to accumulate.
We must detox our bodies because as these chemicals build up, they alter our metabolism, cause enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, create hormonal imbalances, damage brain chemistry, and cause cancer. Because the chemicals accumulate in different parts of the body and at different rates and in different combinations, there is a disturbingly large variety of different chronic illnesses that can result.
To help identify the root cause of a health problem from a Functional Health and Euro-Asian approach, there are 3 questions to ask;
Is there a problem with my…
- Biochemistry? Specific blood and urine testing will be ordered.
- Energy System? A Meridian Imaging Score & Analysis will be completed.
- Structural System? A Physical Evaluation will be completed.