One point or another, you’d probably admit to feeling fatigued. It’s easy to understand why given the stress of our fast-paced lives these days.
But are you simply a little tired from being busy, or are you actually living in a state of fatigue, and what can you do to feel like yourself again?
Who Suffers from Fatigue?
Fatigue is usually defined as a lack of energy, which can be mental, physical, or both. Fatigue is not the same thing as being drowsy or sleepy, although the desire to sleep can be a component of fatigue. Apathy can also accompany the fatigue.
Those who suffer from fatigue may describe themselves as listless, exhausted, weary, tired, or simply feeling “run down.”
According to E Medicine Health, about 20% of all Americans say they have fatigue which is intense enough to interfere with day-to-day living. In some of these individuals, there is a physical cause; in others there is a mental cause. For some, there are both mental and physical causes for fatigue.
When fatigue is temporary, the reduction of physical and/or mental activity can refresh the individual. Some people experience fatigue after eating a large meal, which can last from half an hour to several hours.
There are also medical conditions that contain fatigue as a primary symptom: Epstein Barr, post-viral infection fatigue syndrome, and adrenal fatigue are among the most common.
Those who have a medical condition related to fatigue could also have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Tender lymph nodes
- Sore throat
- Chronic headache
Fatigue almost always has an underlying cause, however, that cause is not always easy to determine.
Energy Comes from Mitochondria
Mitochondria are the energy factories of our cells. ATP is produced in the mitochondria, using energy stored in food. Cells may have as many as 1,000 to 2,000 mitochondria, therefore, have the capability of producing high amounts of energy.
The ATP production by mitochondria is done through the process of respiration—using oxygen for the process of generating energy. One of the benefits of aerobic exercise is that it improves the body’s ability to rapidly produce ATP.
All living cells have mitochondria, although some cells have more than others. A body’s fat cells have a significant amount of mitochondria because they store a lot of energy. Muscle cells also have mitochondrial, allowing them to respond quickly to the need to move.
Can the Wahls Diet Help?
Dr. Wahls notes that fatigue is one of the most common problems seen in her primary care clinic and that fatigue is often a symptom of depleted and starved mitochondria. The mitochondria in your cells are the energy makers and may be lacking in certain nutrients needed to function at optimal levels.
Any medications being taken can also exacerbate nutrient deficiencies, and, in turn, fatigue. Foods you are eating—or not eating—could be contributing to your fatigue as well. The mitochondria in your body requires B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Co-Q10 to make energy.
When you lack nutrients, not only are you left fatigued, you may also have an increased risk of chronic disease.
However, for some people, eating their way out of feeling fatigued is easier said than done. Plus, some people have serious nutritional deficiencies that cannot be solved by diet alone. IN cases like these, nutritional supplements pay a big role.
What are the Best Nutritional Supplements for Fatigue?
Some of the best supplements to help reduce fatigue include the following:
- Co-Q10—Particularly if you take a statin drug for high cholesterol, it is imperative that you take Co-Q10 supplements; this antioxidant is used by aging mitochondria, as well as mitochondria which need a boost.
- Acetyl-l-carnitine—This is an amino acid that helps build muscle mass, aids in weight loss, and is great for your brain, as it supports healthy mitochondria.
- Alpha-lipoic acid assists the body in detoxification, supporting energy levels, and also builds collagen.
- PQQ and nicotinamide riboside are the latest supplements for enhancement of mitochondria and to give you an instant energy boost.
- Folate, B12, and all the B vitamins also boost mitochondria, in turn, lessening fatigue.
- D-Biotin is a naturally occurring form of the B Vitamin and provides support to many functions throughout the body including fatty acid synthesis
- NAD+ enhances energy & fatty acid production earning the nickname “the fountain of youth” among supporters.
Gaining Synergy with Biotin & NAD+
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