Fatigue — A Common Clinical Symptom
Written by Toni Baker, Balanced Living Naturopath
Did you know that 1 in 5 patients in our clinic presents with fatigue! And rarely does the patient demonstrate any diagnosed pathology behind it.
As natural practitioners, we can greatly help alleviate fatigue by looking at the possible drivers and improving energy levels and quality of life. As always, in our toolbox we have some impressive nutritional supplements and herbs that can support the body in many ways.
Let’s delve into some of these drivers and what we can do to support them:
Mitochondria are known as the ‘cellular powerhouse’, with 90% of cellular energy generated in the mitochondria. The metabolic pathways of the Krebs Cycle (also known as Citric Acid Cycle) are the major sites of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. All cell function depends on efficient production of ATP through these metabolic pathways.
Our choices for cellular and mitochondrial support are:
Quantum Brain Support – containing herbs such as Rhodiola, Cordeceps , Gotu Kola, Olive Leaf extract, Milk thistle and Turmeric
Let’s go back to the Krebs Cycle here – key nutrients are needed at various stages of the Krebs Cycle in order to produce ATP and mitochondrial function. In the fatigue stakes, low dietary levels of iron, lipoic acid coenzyme Q10, magnesium and B vitamins can all contribute to low energy production therefore fatigue.
Back to our earlier advice, get a full nutritional profile done each year to check for any nutrient deficiencies.
Our picks here for nutritional supplements are the following:
Premier Research Labs – Complete B
I ask most of my female clients to get full thyroid bloods done to check this important gland. The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland at the base of the throat and is responsible for the body’s metabolic rate, and therefore energy production. Fatigue is pretty much the biggest symptom of a thyroid condition, along with weight changes.
The challenge here is to identify the many factors that control thyroid health and support healthy thyroid function.
Let’s look at the bloods needed – do not compromise here, ask your doctor for a full panel consisting of TSH, T4, T3, RT3 and thyroid antibodies. A full nutritional blood panel is also good.
The essential nutrients for the thyroid are; Selenium, zinc, iodine, magnesium and vitamin D.
For some good thyroid support, we recommend the following:
Premier Research Labs – ThyroVen
Toxicity from environmental and lifestyle factors is one of the biggest contributors to fatigue. Increased oxidative stress caused by toxicity can also reduce mitochondrial function, therefore causing the fatigue.
Let’s face it, toxins are everywhere and when it comes to environmental factors it may seem like avoiding exposure is as impossible as avoiding the air you breathe. In reality though, you are more in control than you think!
By making strategic lifestyle changes and taking conscious measures to reduce your exposure will mean big changes to your energy levels.
From a naturopathic point of view, we would go in with an appropriate detoxification protocol from our findings of testing. Clearing out the bowels, anti-microbials for the gut and liver support.
We have superfood range in the Balanced Living store that is perfect to support detoxification:
Healthforce Superfoods - SCRAM
For patients that are experiencing prolonged fatigue, it’s always important that we support their immune function. If there is inflammation affecting the mitochondria due to chronic infections and illnesses, supporting and treating the immune system is essential.
This is where medicinal mushrooms, immune herbs like Astragalas and Milk Thistle come into their own. A good vitamin C is always important here too.
Healthforce Superfoods – Truly Natural Vitamin C powder providing highly-bioavailable, naturally-occurring vitamin C from whole camu camu berry, whole amla berry, and high-quality, whole-food water extracts of acerola cherry.
Finally, I believe we are all aware of the effects of stress on the body. Look back over one of our past articles as to how stress impacts the body. Over action of the Stress Response System (SRS) can definitely result in fatigue and deplete our magnesium levels.
You will hear and see us talk a lot about magnesium and the many ways it supports the body and is required for cellular energy production.
Here are some of the other products that really help with that:
Premier Research Labs – Complete B
Premier Research Labs – Tranquinol for sleep
There are sometimes so many choices to choose from, which then overwhelms us to not choose at all! If you would like to start simply, why not try our Stress Management Essentials Pack, a complete set of 3 products currently on a 20% off.
Final takeaways to beating fatigue are some day to day tips like drinking plenty of good filtered water, moving your body each day and sitting down less. Address any allergies you may have, cut down on the caffeine and try to get some quality sleep each night.
If fatigue is a problem you are experiencing, do seek out the help either from your Doctor or your naturopath to bring back your essential vitality.
- Ruth Schooling