In Part I we covered just a few of the reasons why someone could be so exhausted. This Part begins to shed light on the control we have over our ability to get our own energy up and moving.
Sleep is perhaps the most obvious. As with fatigue, there are myriad reasons why you don’t sleep well. Sleep issues vary from person to person. When it’s difficult to fall asleep because the brain isn’t shutting down, it can be a lack of minerals. While calcium lactate and magnesium are well known in their positive effects on sleep, a whole mineral complex from a plant source such as kelp, alfalfa or other green is better than isolated mineral supplements.
If you’re waking during the night for no reason, that could mean you have a blood sugar issue and your glucose levels are plummeting. Avoiding carbohydrates late at night and eating a small amount of protein before bed could help. If that isn’t enough, there’s more you can do, but this is a start.
There are a lot of hormones and chemicals produced by the body that effect sleep. They include cortisol, melatonin, estrogen, testosterone, norepinephrine/epinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, histamine, hypocretin, galanin, adenosine, serotonin and insulin. Imbalances in any of these hormones can negatively impact sleep. The body needs essential fatty acids, amino acids and minerals to make these hormones, so diet can play a big part in sleep.
Neurological disorders related to the brain or with immune origin can play a role in the ability to generate energy. So can endocrine disorders. As with the hormones and chemicals mentioned above, other hormones produced by the endocrine system can influence energy levels too. The health of the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas and ovaries/gonads need to be taken into account when energy levels fall. Acupuncture and specific supplements can really help support these systems if taken properly and with other co-factors needed to help them function optimally.
Chronic infections and connective tissue disorders can certainly be helped with acupuncture, nutrition and supplementation. One food that is getting new respect and surging in popularity is chicken broth made with a real chicken (not from a can or box). Many people add knuckle bones or other cartilaginous parts because it has been found to help collagen/joint disorders when consumed on a regular basis.
Since medications have a reputation for causing fatigue, addressing the issue another way so that it can be managed with fewer medications (or ideally none) will help with energy. However, I don’t recommend you waltz into your doctor’s office and announce you will no longer be taking your medications. Without taking other steps to resolve your condition, you’ll be in a world of hurt. The best way to be able to give up medications is by healing the condition and no longer needing them. Your energy levels will make you happier too!
Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic. Visit Dr. Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Dr. Carling, join our e-mail list and read other informative articles. Dr. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 or [email protected] and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.