8 Ways to Beat Fatigue

Over two million Americans complain of being fatigued each day, not to mention the four Million who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. With the chronic tiredness often comes lack of focus, feelings of being overwhelmed, flu-like symptoms, pain, memory loss, chronic aches and pains, unrestful sleep, short temper and even depression.

While many people accept their tiredness as part and parcel of their daily lives, it needs not be the standard way of life. Yes, we are more over-worked and stressed out than ever, but the following 8 lifestyle changes can make all the difference.

Balance carbohydrates

If you eat lunches that are high in carbohydrates but low in protein, you may find yourself feeling tired in the afternoon. That's because carbohydrates increase the brain's production of calming chemical serotonin. Research suggests that protein, by limiting serotonin production, can boost carbohydrates-induced sleepiness. You may not need to decrease overall carbohydrates or increase your protein consumption (carbs should make up the bulk of a healthy diet, and most of us consume plenty of protein). Instead, try to make sure your meals contains a balance of carbohydrates and protein. This should help you avoid those mid-afternoon slumps.

Do not snooze – till – noon weekends

Some clever work drone may have once said, "I'll catch up on all of my sleep the first year I'm dead." But most of us opt for Saturday mornings. Bad move, for we each have a biological clock that determinates when we are sleepy and when we are alert. When you wake up every morning at seven but sleep until noon on the weekends, you can upset your biological clock and end up feeling even more fatigued.

If partially has to do with the body's release of cortisol, a hormone associated with alertness, which begins for seven – o'clock risers between three and four in the morning and peaks at about eleven. When you lie in bed past this time, you suppress the level of cortisol. This can dump your brain into that weekend twilight zone. Catch up on weekends by going to bed early, not sleeping late. To keep your biological clock happy, it is best to wake up every morning at about the same time.

Compartmentalize your time

One of the main reasons people feel overworked, stressed out and unhappy is because they do not prioritize their time. They often feel a greater obligation to their job than to their family, themselves, or to friends. And this is draining physically, spiritually, and emotionally and can lead to an unpleasing home life. The key to maintaining harmony and prevent burnout is to set time each day for work, family, social occasions and for your own quiet time. All of these areas need to be met to maintain a whole life that is full of love, happiness and energy.

Drink more water

Once you feel thirsty, you're already begun to lose a significant amount of fluid, according to sports nutritionist Kristine Clare. As your fluid level decrease, you'll start to notice a decline in physical performance. It makes sense. A lack of water can cause a decrease in blood volume, and that can bring on fatigue. Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, or more if you exercise heavily.

Drug side effects

Sure, you know that certain antihistamines, cold medications and cough syrups can make you drowsy. But you may not have known that the list of potential energy sappers features many other familiar drugs that can cause drowsiness in some people. These include certain blood – pressure medications and even some diuretics. If you feel tired or run – down, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication you're taking may be the cause, and what alternatives may be available.

Stress

The pressure of a deadline can leave you wiped out for the afternoon. Fear makes you tende your muscles, which leads to fatigue, just as if you were out chopping wood. Fear can also make you hold your breath, depriving you of oxygen. This, too, can lead to fatigue.

Next time you're in the hot seat, close your eyes and envision yourself in a tranquil setting. Concentrate in breathing deeply and slowly. Whenever possible, you schedule some discomforting event in the morning so you do not spend the other day worrying about it.

Eyestrain

If you're having a hard time focusing, you're probably twisting your body into awkward position, leading forward into the computer screen or hunching over your desk. Vision problems also hamper concentration, which can cause fatigue. Have your vision checked, and take a five – minute break from your computer or paper work every hour. Use the time to do other tasks, such as making phone calls.

Somber colors

Surrounding yourself with nothing but somber colors can make you both fatigued and depressed. Add warm colors to your environment such as yellow, orange and especially red. These are the colors of fire. After eons of association, we are programmed to respond to them. If you want a quick cure for fatigue, focus on something red. A few items placed nearby should do the trick. But do not overdo it. Your environment can become too stimulating, ant that, too, can be exhausting.

How I Cope With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a controversial condition with no precise definition or single known cause. Various things can cause it and the only way known to diagnose it is through a diagnosis of exclusion of all other pathologies known to cause chronic fatigue such diabetes, depression, anemia, leukemia, malnutrition, etc. However there are some specific terms or conditions associated with CFS such as encephalomyelitis, post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), Epstein-Barr virus, adrenal fatigue, etc. The condition must also be present for more than 6 months for it to match most diagnostic criteria.

More women than men are said to have this disorder and it has been more commonly diagnosed in young children and especially teenagers. Many other symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening such as cardiac problems, asthma, muscle fatigue, pain, spacey feelings, digestive problems, depression, immune weakness, and oversensitivity have been reported by those suffering from CFS but are not officially a part of this ailment. Some get better over a period of time and some cases do respond to various treatments.

The main symptom of CFS is an unrelenting tiredness not relieved by rest and greatly exaggerated through even the smallest amounts of exertion. One often feels like one is walking through molasses with weights tied to every part of one’s body. Some days are so bad that one may need to stay in bed and sleep all day. Also not only physical body is affected, the mind and emotions are equally thwarted. CFS is an extremely serious and very frustrating condition to deal with as all aspects of one’s life are seriously compromised if not ruined. It may take four times as much effort to accomplish one tenth of what the average person can achieve.

I suffered periods of what seemed to be CFS throughout most of my life starting at very early age. I was considered “lazy” and inattentive at school and used to “daydream” during class. I was actually going into deep meditative states even though no one, not even myself, realized it at the time. After a long day at high school I would often feel so exhausted that I would immediately go to sleep the moment I entered my room at 3:00 in the afternoon (school usually started at 8:00 AM and finished around 2:35 PM). I had a tough time finding enough mental energy to get any homework done and needed 14 hours of sleep!

My symptoms were quite worrisome and this problem continued in various degrees of severity throughout my life and had very little sympathy, only accusations of being “lazy” which really upset me. I never was able to overcome this problem until I regularly took the correct amounts of the right combination of certain herbs, vitamins and antioxidants. Like I said in so many other articles I have written on health, drinking loads of alkalized water also seemed to help. Not surprised because alkalized (negatively ionized) water acts as a buffer to neutralize acidic toxins of metabolism. Quercetin helps because it protects the potency of adrenalin in the body, therefore increasing overall energy efficiency.

If you or someone you care about appears to be suffering from CFS, you are going to have to get a thorough diagnosis to rule out all kinds of possible causes. I was checked and double-checked and it turned out my anxiety-disorder was to blame. I found out that my CFS would tend to get much worse after very stressful days. Depression also greatly effected it. Therefore even though I had definite symptoms of fatigue, they may not been the official, bona fide form of CFS. Instead, my chronic fatigue was most likely a “spinoff” of other problems I was presently suffering from such as my anxiety disorder and depression while developing agoraphobia. But none of this knowledge satisfied my main concern as to how to really get rid of this devastating problem, which alone was making my life miserable.

I proved to myself it was a part of my depression by noticing that when my moods would swing back toward anxiety, I would seem to have more energy. After all, even though high anxiety is not at all a positive energy, at least it was some form of energy nevertheless forcing me to get things done to distract me from the sheer terror of the highly undesirable thoughts and feelings I would often suffer from.

It was not until much later that I came across two books by Patrick Holford: Natural Highs: Feel Good All the Time and Optimum Nutrition for the Mind that I found out I was pyroluric and suffering from a common metabolic disorder known as pyroluria. There is actually a one in ten chance that you, the reader of this article could actually have at least a trace of this condition, however, not everyone reacts to it the same way. Strangely enough, some may actually have no depression, anxiety, or fatigue whatsoever, just a greater tendency toward contracting lung cancer. Anyway, I saw my entire life story written all over the symptoms related to pyroluria. After taking the zinc, B6, niacin, and many antioxidants regularly things got somewhat better. Now I feel much more emotionally balanced, however, it did take a few months and I’m still not 100% perfect. Trying to find complete wellness and maintain it is very tricky business.

My search never really comes to an end, there always seems to be something more I need to learn and use to improve my condition even further. I recently learned that chronic fatigue syndrome can also be a symptom of one or several endocrine gland disorders involving mainly the adrenal glands, sometimes the thyroid and even the pituitary and hypothalamus. Recent saliva and blood tests revealed that indeed I have adrenal and thyroid insufficiency which is a result of massive emotional stress starting from very early in life.

Fibromyalgia Concerns & Care

Painful and puzzling, fibromyalgia primarily strikes women. Why? No one seems to know, for sure. And with details scarce about its cause and treatment, dealing with the condition can be frustrating, to say the least. Hopefully we can help with some of the answers.

1. What causes fibromyalgia?
Genetics may play a role in developing fibromyalgia. But no one really knows what causes the syndrome and there are no known risk factors. The most prevalent theory is that fibromyalgia results from a disturbance in the central nervous system called central sensitization, which may intensify pain signals. Linked to that theory is the notification that patients have higher amounts of a compound called substance P in their spinal fluid, which increases their sensitivity to pain. Another theory: There may be two types of fibromyalgia: "primary" fibromyalgia, which occurs spontaneously, and "secondary" fibromyalgia, which may be triggered by trauma – such as a car accident – or by certain infections, such as Lyme disease and hepatitis C. Some researchers think that the primary type is caused by a sleep disturbance, but it's also possible that the sleep disturbance is a symptom of fibromyalgia.

2. Sometimes you will hear fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and lupus mentioned together but are they similar?
Although the three are separate conditions, symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome overlap. And fibromyalgia and lupus both involve the muscle and bone network in our bodies, which can cause confusion between the two illnesses. Fibromyalgia is characterized by many symptoms including muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and, in some people, depression. Despite its consistent general characteristics, it can be tough to diagnose because symptoms vary from person to person.
The main symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) include:

o Overwhelm fatigue
o Memory loss
o Muscle soreness
o Swollen glands
o Sore throat

3. What are warning signs or symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Sorry, the symptoms arrive without warning. They can include muscle and joint soreness, fatigue, sleep problems, irritable bowel symptoms, morning stiffness, depression and brain fog.

4. How is it diagnosed?
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to be misdiagnosed or have to see several doctors before a diagnosis is made. Your best bet is to see a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting muscles and joints. He or she will look for symptoms and physical findings that may lead to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
For instance, a patient must have 11 out of 18 specific tender points on her body (neck, shoulders, back, hips, and upper and lower extremities), and she must have had widespread pain in her muscles and joints lasting for three months or more without explanation.
The doctor will also try to rule out other diseases that have similar symptoms, such as lupus and polymyalgia rheumatica (another autoimmune disease).

5. What lifestyle changes can I make to help alleviate the symptoms?
Get plenty of gentle aerobic exercise (like swimming or walking briskly), working up to at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Weight gain commonlycompanies fibromyalgia (thanks to the fatigue, muscle pain and poor sleep). Regular exercise will give you more energy, boost your mood, lower your weight and help you sleep better.

Eating well with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and dairy also will give you more energy, lower your weight and improve your overall health as you battle fibromyalgia. You can also try eliminating the following foods, which appear to bother some people with fibromyalgia:

o Food additives like MSG and nitrates (the conservative in hot dogs and bacon)
o Aspartame (NutraSweet)
o Sugar
o Caffeine drinks

But remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

6. What are the latest treatments?
Pregabalin (Lyrica), a fairly new medication, is the first to be approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia. Studies suggest that it advances pain and improvements sleep by slowing the release of chemicals associated with pain.

Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and muscle relaxers can treat pain, also. Antidepressants – especially tricyclics (amitriptyline or Elavil) – boost mood as well as less pain and improve sleep.

Supplements such as 5-HTP and SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) may also be useful. An amino acid, 5-HTP, converts to serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter that helps boost mood and sleep. SAM-e is an enzyme already present in the body that affects mood and lessens pain.

D-Ribose, a simple sugar in powder form, may less pain and fatigue when dissolved in water and taken two to three times daily.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and biofeedback may also be worth trying.

D-Ribose, a simple sugar in powder form, may less pain and fatigue when dissolved in water and taken two to three times daily.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and biofeedback may also be worth trying. Because of the fact that fybromyalgia is associated with the spine I know some wpmen who have had great results with chiropractic care as well.

7. What is the long-term outlook for a woman with fibromyalgia?
The good news is that fibromyalgia does not cause damage to muscles and joints that can lead to debilitation, immobility or joint replacement.

The bad news is that the symptoms typically do not resolve. Many women simply must learn to live with fibromyalgia.

The key is finding individual or combination therapies that help. Not all treatments help all patients with fibromyalgia; discovering which help you is a matter of trial and error. Good Luck.

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Answers to Fatigue and Tiredness

Fatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, lack of energy, or exhustion. Fatigue can be simply a result of a very busy lifestyle, or it may be the symptom of a serious medical condition. Fatigue is different from drowsiness which is feeling the need to sleep, while fatigue is a lack of energy and motivation. Drowsiness and lethargy, a feeling of indifference or not caring about what happens, can be symptoms of fatigue.

If you are constantly feeling tired it is important for you to determine whether the symptoms are lack of sleep, or whether they are physical or muscular tiredness. In some cases, these two may overlap or cause each other.

Fatigue can be a normal and important response to physical exertion, boredom, emotional stress, or lack of sleep. When fatigue is not corrected by sleep, good nutrition, or a reduction in personal stress, it should be assessed by your doctor. Because fatigue is a common complaint, sometimes a potentially serious cause may be overlooked.

There are many possible physical and psychological causes of fatigue, including:

Infection – when you have an infection, the body uses extra energy to fight the infection, which can contribute to fatigue.

Medication – certain medications may also cause drowsiness or fatigue, including antihistamines for allergies, blood pressure medicines, sleeping pills, steroids, and diuretics.

Anemia – important because it may cause fatigue or shortness of breath, and may exacerbate or cause other medical problems, such as a heart condition.

Hypoglycemia – or low blood sugar almost always causes tiredness and can cause chronic tiredness.
Lack of physical exercise – The human body is designed for movement and it needs to move so that blood can circulate properly, muscles are fully utilized and the cells well oxygenated lack of exercise will lead to tissue fatigue and tiredness. Unfit people are more likely to feel tired as they simply do not get enough exercise. Whilst you may feel too exhausted to start any exercise, in time, regular exercise will make you feel less tired and give you more energy. Start out slowly, aiming to eventually do half an hour a day, even if you need to break this half hour into several shorter bursts.

Diet – People who have a well balanced diet tend to sleep better than those who do not. Crash dieting can cause you to have sleeping problems and can leave you feeling tired. Poor diet is likely to bring about a deficiency in important vitamins and minerals. If no cause can be found then take up regular exercise – in the fresh air if you can. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Caffeine – You should not consume alcohol and / or caffeine in the evenings. Caffeine makes us feel more awake, but when the effect runs out it can leave you suddenly deflated and very tired. Coffee, tea and some soft drinks contain caffeine. Gradually eliminate all caffeine and drinks over about a three week period an try to stay off caffeine completely for a month. You may be surprised by the improvement in your energy levels and stamina. You may find that stopping caffeine gives you headaches. If this happens, just reduce your caffeine in intake more slowly.

Stress – As a consequence of our busy and stressful modern lifestyles, most of us will at some time experience tiredness. However, when stress levels are too high they are commonly trigger fatigue – stress and worry are two emotions that most frequently cause tiredness. Stress, pain, anxiety, or depression can cause stress or result in sleep deprivation, causing increased chronic fatigue. If the stress is too great you may need to consider making some significant changes in your lifestyle, career, or general situation. Finding the right work-life balance is a key to beating fatigue completely and forever.

Stress – Pathway to Chronic Disease

When was the last time you experienced stress? Chances are you are under stress right now. Are you worried about what time it is right now? Where are the kids? Trying to meet an upcoming deadline? Need to get dinner on the table? Our society continuously shows the effects of chronic stress; it rarely slows down. Stress is present to greet one around every corner.

Stress is mandatory and inevitable; it is a great motivator to help one accomplish various tasks. Although important, stress has a unique effect upon the well-being and vitality of one's body. In a society rampant with diseases such as obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, and depression, the time has arrived to examine the effects stress takes upon the body.

An immediate danger or an upcoming deadlines one's body in the mode of fight or flight , or the stress response. Fight or flight deals with hormones being released from the adrenal glands – epinephrine , norepinephrine , and cortisol . The release of such hormones results in diluted pupils, decreased digestion, increase in heart and breathing rates, and the shaking of blood to muscles for increased activity.

If an individual experiences a continuous amount of stress, their body will remain in a destructive state of fight or flight; the body never regenerates with the opposite response of resting and digesting which is vital for healing and repair. Similar to walking on a balance beam, it is essential that one's body contains a continuous balance under stress and then treating in preparation for the next stressor. This balance of stress levels is essential to avoid the "fall off the balance beam" of stress left unchecked.

As previously mentioned, the adrenal glands produce and release the hormones associated with the fight or flight response. The adrenal glands are one of the most important organs of the human body – if they failed to work in times of stress, an individual would actually die! The adrenal glands are factories that work around the clock; they never rest and rarely take a break. In fact, the adrenal glands are so vital to human survival that raw materials are stolen from elsewhere in the body (ie the thyroid, thymus, and ligaments) to support their continual function. This robbing of raw materials from other vital organs of the body results in regular health decay and chronic disease.

Therefore, remaining in a stressful state for prolonged periods of time is highly destructive to one's body. Long-term stress can result in changes in body temperature, weight gain, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, increased sweating, decreased ability to think and reason, hyperactivity, digestion disturbance, and reduced immunity.

Thus, by small and almost unnoticeable processes, stress has a unique effect on the health of individuals worldwide. Stress is an epidemic manifesting itself in the form of debilitating diseases such as diabetes, obesity, depression, high blood pressure, ADD, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.

What can be done to decrease the effect stress has up the body? What can be done to prevent debilitating, chronic diseases and treating the ones that are currently affecting you? Give yourself a much needed break!

Begin by allot twenty to thirty minutes each day dedicated to meditation and relaxation. Enhance your nutritional content; eat fresh, raw, whole, ripe vegetables and fruits that provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals and the materials necessary to maintain a healthy body. Start walking! Bodies were made to move and also function better when allowed the opportunity to be active – motion is life! Get adequate amounts of sleep; your body needs time to repair and regenerate. Supplement your nutrition with specific products to assist the repair and proper function of the adrenal glands. These products must also be designed to decrease cortisol levels within the body.

Above all else, simplify your life; rid your lifestyle of any unnecessary stress. The worldwide epidemic of stress can be reversed by properly caring for the body and monitoring stress levels. An enhanced state of well-being and health is waiting for you and the world.