Three Ways To Fight Fatigue

If you find yourself feeling sluggish mid-afternoon, struggling to stay alert throughout the day, struggling with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, or just plain exhausted, then it’s time for a change! Fortunately, here are three easy, affordable ways to fight fatigue — naturally.

  1. Peppermint Essential Oil – One of peppermint’s most important benefits is that the strong smell of peppermint stimulates our senses. It enhances the focus of our thoughts and brain and can provide clarity to our thinking. The best way to use peppermint as an organic mental energy stimulant is to place a drop of oil on the nape of the neck and around the temples. Essential oil should be diluted with another oil before being applied to the skin. If you find that applying the oil causes a skin reaction, you may prefer to inhale the oil directly.  NOW makes good essential oils and it is the brand I use.

  2. Vitamin B-12 – Also known as the “energy vitamin,” B-12 is the most complex of all vitamins. It supports thyroid function and keeps blood cells healthy. If you’re vitamin B-12 deficient, one of the first signs can be lower energy levels.  Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, your body cannot store extra amounts of B-12 and relies on getting the vitamin from the foods you eat or supplements.  The supplement I use is “End Fatigue Daily Energy B Complex” by Integrative Therapeutics.

  3. Adaptogenic Herbs – Adaptogens are herbs that support endocrine and immune functions as well as to defend the body from the ravaging effects of chronic stress. Adaptogenic herbs, often referred to as tonics, enhance the body’s ability to adapt to and cope with mental, physical, and metabolic stress. Healthy adrenal gland function is essential to many physiological functions including energy generation and immune response. Adaptogens are traditionally used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reinforce the entire endocrine system including both the thyroid and pituitary glands.  My favorite product is a mix of adaptogens called “Adaptogen” by Restorative Formulations.

Insomnia (Sleeplessness)

Insomnia is a sleep disorder. It may cause a number of sleep problems including trouble falling asleep, waking in the middle of the night, or waking very early in the morning. It may also be a sleep that is not restful. Insomnia can be a short-term problem, or it can be chronic. Chronic insomnia lasts for more than 4 weeks.

Insomnia can occur for many reasons. Short-term insomnia is often caused by temporary situations or problems with the environment. They may include:

  • A life crisis or stress, including the loss of a life partner, divorce, or loss of a job
  • Environmental noise
  • Extreme temperatures, such as a room that is too hot or too cold
  • Change in the surrounding environment
  • Sleep/wake schedule problems, such as those due to jet lag

There may be no clear reason for chronic insomnia. It may also be due to other medical or psychiatric conditions. Examples of conditions that can lead to sleep problems include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or ulcer
  • Chronic pain

There are steps you can take to improve your chance of a good night’s rest. You may be advised to reduce intake of certain items or avoid them to see if your sleep improves. You may be asked to:

  • Reduce or avoid caffeine, especially late in the day.
  • Reduce or avoid alcohol and avoid drug use.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, avoid doing so near bedtime.
  • Avoid eating or drinking close to bedtime.

Your sleep habits can also affect how well you sleep. Steps that may help you sleep better include:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • If you must take naps, keep them short.
  • Only use the bedroom for sleep or sex. Avoid watching TV or worrying in bed.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and dark. Minimize disruptions, such as pets.
  • If you work at night and sleep during the day, make sure to block daylight from the room. Decrease the amount of noise. Use a fan to block out noise.

Some people use the herb valerian to reduce insomnia. Others take melatonin.

Quality sleep is essential to both mental and physical well-being.

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Infectious Causes

Despite a vigorous search, scientists have not yet identified what causes CFS. While a single cause for CFS may yet be identified, another possibility is that CFS has multiple causes. Conditions that have been studied to determine if they cause or trigger the development of CFS include infections, immune disorders, stress, trauma, and toxins.

Infection

Various types of infections have been studied to determine if they might cause or trigger CFS:

  • Epstein-Barr virus infection, also known as mononucleosis
  • Human herpesvirus 6 infection, a virus that can cause problems for people with impaired immune systems, such as AIDS patients or organ transplant recipients taking immune-suppressant drugs
  • Enterovirus infection, a type of virus that enters through the gastrointestinal track and can have no symptoms, mild flu-like symptoms, or rarely severe and even deadly symptoms
  • Rubella, a viral infection also known as German measles
  • Candida albicans, a fungus that causes yeast infections
  • Bornaviruses, which cause borna disease, an infectious neurological syndrome
  • Mycoplasma, a cause of atypical pneumonia
  • Ross River virus, which causes Ross River Fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease
  • Coxiella burnetti, the agent that causes Q fever
  • Human retrovirus infection, such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, or xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), a gammaretrovirus

The cause of CFS is unknown, but the condition may be related to infection with effects on the immune system. Several viruses have been studied as possible causes of CFS, but no cause-and-effect relationship has been discovered.

Pregnenolone Hormone Testing

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What if I told you there was a “fountain of youth” supplement that promotes mood and memory and improves energy levels?  Well, there is and it is called pregnenolone.  Pregnenolone is known as the mother hormone because it helps to make DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and like those hormones, its levels decline with age.  By the age of 75, most people’s production of pregnenolone has dropped by 65% compared to when they were 35.  Pregnenolone is extremely important for memory, so it is often replaced.  Like DHEA, pregnenolone can be obtained without a prescription in the United States, however patients should be encouraged not to take it unless they have sub-optimal pregnenolone blood levels.  Pregnenolone balances the nervous system, increases resistance to stress, improves physical and mental energy, enhances nerve transmission and memory, and reduces pain and inflammation!  Yes, it does all of those things!  Pregnenolone is used in the treatment of arthritis, depression, memory loss, fatigue, and moodiness. You can have too much pregnenolone, just like any other hormone, and too much causes acne and drowsiness.

For those who want to start the upcoming new year with more energy, vitality, and optimum health, I am offering Pregnenolone Hormone testing at a special rate.  Optimum Health Options uses Quest Diagnostics as our lab service provider, so you can have this done at your local Quest Diagnostics!  The usual price is $129, but until the end of the year, I am offering this testing for $109! 

To take advantage of this offer, click the button below and proceed through the order process.  On January 1, 2017, this price will go back up to $129, so act quick and save $20!

Order now

New Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Discussion Forum

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Hi, folks! There is a brand new fibromyalgia and fatigue discussion forum in the menu above (http://bit.ly/2eUeGB2).  If you could, post in one of the forums. One lucky poster will be chosen at random on December 20, 2016, by Steel City Webs, to win a container of End Fatigue Daily Energy Enfusion Revitalizing Multivitamin Powder (berry or citrus), a $53 value, for participating in the new forum. My goal is to create a 100% free community where people support, inform, and help each other to deal with these serious illnesses. Share this link with your friends and family!

Yeast Overgrowth

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A yeast (fungus) called Candida albicans lives in your gastrointestinal tract. That’s normal and not a problem — until there’s too much of it, which then becomes a condition called “yeast overgrowth.”  When there is an overgrowth of billions of unnecessary yeast, your gastrointestinal tract turns into a churning fermentation tank. These yeast also weaken the immune system.  Yeast overgrowth is common and can be a contributing cause or result of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Normal bowel microflora, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria species, support healthy gastrointestinal function through numerous mechanisms. These probiotic bacteria contribute to a healthy intestinal environment by helping maintain an optimal pH and producing important nutrients and enzymes. However, everyday factors such as poor diet, stress, and travel can disrupt healthy intestinal microflora, contributing to yeast overgrowth. Probiotic Pearls were developed by Integrative Therapeutics to help maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria the body needs, supporting digestive function, and providing immune support.

In order for a probiotic supplement to be truly effective in the body, it must utilize a delivery form that protects the live, active cultures from a wide array of damaging, ever-present environmental factors. Probiotic Pearls accomplish this with a novel encapsulating process, known as True Delivery Technology. This patented, triple-layer coating system results in a convenient, one-of-a-kind delivery form that protects the vulnerable probiotics within from heat, moisture, oxygen, and stomach acid. True Delivery Technology guarantees that active cultures survive stomach acid, arrive in the intestines, and remain alive for exceptional support.

Take one capsule daily, with water or your favorite beverage. May be taken with or without food. Do not chew or crush.  When taken daily, Probiotic Pearls promote digestive renewal.  They combat yeast overgrowth and optimize and nourish your immune system, which in turn, prevents, reduces, and/or reverses chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

DHEA and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often feel so tired that they cannot do even half of their normal daily activities. The feeling does not go away, even with more rest. Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with CFS, and it is more common in people over age 40. It may last a month, a couple of years, or many years. Sometimes symptoms come and go.

Although researchers are not sure what causes CFS, there are ways to manage symptoms so you can still do the things you enjoy.

One way is by using a supplement known as DHEA, a hormone produced by the body that may improve energy levels. Your body uses DHEA to make testosterone and estrogen. It is truly a hormone rather than a supplement.

DHEA levels normally decline with age. Patients often feel much better when their DHEA levels are brought to the mid-normal range consistent with a 29 year old.

As too high a level can cause acne or darkening of facial hair, it is good to have the blood levels monitored by a Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Wellness Coach. Many products have no effect on raising low blood levels (i.e., do not contain DHEA as they claim), so the brand pictured above is recommended.

For adult males above the age of 19, the recommended daily dosage of DHEA is 50 mg, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For females above the age of 19, the recommended daily dosage is 25 mg. The center recommends that females with anorexia and adrenal insufficiency take 50 mg of the hormone daily.

Will you give DHEA a trial to see if it improves your energy levels?

Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Scientists have discovered a potential retroviral link to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a debilitating disease that is estimated to affect upwards of 17 million people worldwide.  Judy Mikovits, from the Whittemore Peterson Institute at University of Nevada-Reno (USA), and colleagues identified a newly identified retrovirus, XMRV, in the blood of 67% of CFS patients (as compared to 3.7% of healthy people participating in the study).  Not only did the blood cells of CFS patients contain XMRV, but they also expressed XMRV proteins at high levels and produced infectious viral particles. The XMRV retrovirus was first discovered in men who had a specific immune system defect that reduced their ability to fight viral infections, and has since been suggested to be a potential trigger of prostate cancer.  While this finding shows there is an association between XMRV and CFS, it does not prove that XMRV causes CFS.  Yet, the team observes that: “We now have evidence that a retrovirus named XMRV is frequently present in the blood of patients with CFS. This discovery could be a major step in the discovery of vital treatment options for millions of patients.”

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Amino Acid Supplement May Help Fatigue Sufferers

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People who suffer from fatigue may benefit from taking a daily supplement of the amino acid l-ornithine, say Japanese Researchers.

Tomohiro Sugino and colleagues examined the effects of l-ornithine supplementation on physical fatigue in a study of 17 healthy volunteers. Volunteers were randomly assigned to take either l-ornithine (2000 mg/d for 7 days and 6000 mg/d for 1 day) or a placebo for 8 days. Each volunteer also had to take part in two fatigue-inducing two-hour sessions on an exercise bike.

Results showed that l-ornithine supplementation promoted lipid metabolism and activated the urea cycle. Furthermore, it reduced volunteers’ subjective feeling of fatigue. However, the effect was only statistically significant in female volunteers.

The researchers concluded: “These results suggest that l-ornithine has an antifatigue effect by increasing the efficiency of energy consumption and promoting the excretion of ammonia. l-ornithine is a free amino acid and is not rich in meats or fish, so it is difficult to obtain amounts of l-ornithine from ordinary meals that would be sufficient to promote the antifatigue effect. We recommend l-ornithine intake as a nutritional supplement in cases of physical fatigue.”

l-ornithine is available from the on-line store at http://bit.ly/2e136Rw .

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Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?

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Less than 20 years ago, patients complaining of fatigue were often given a “tonic shot” by their doctor. Many people claimed this worked like magic to improve their energy levels. What was this miracle tonic? A simple injection of vitamin B-12.

Although the practice of administering vitamin B-12 injections has fallen out of favor, modern medical science now understands why vitamin B-12 supplementation makes people feel better, and the reasons extend far beyond just the “placebo effect” of receiving a shot.

The Far-Reaching Effects of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Vitamin B-12, called “cobalamin” because it contains the mineral cobalt, is required for a staggering number of physical functions and chemical reactions. Best known for its participation in the manufacture of red blood cells, B-12 is also needed for production and maintenance of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves and for production of DNA, the genetic material of all cells. And that’s just the beginning.

The serious health consequences of vitamin B-12 deficiency can adversely affect nearly every system in the body.

Energy: Even minor deficiencies of vitamin B-12 can cause anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness.

The Nervous System: Deficiencies of B-12 can cause neurological changes including numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, balance problems, depression, confusion, poor memory, and Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Long-term deficiencies of B-12 can result in permanent impairment of the nervous system.

The Gastro-Intestinal System: B-12 deficiency can cause decreased appetite, constipation, diarrhea or alternating constipation/diarrhea, weight loss. and abdominal pain.

The Immune System: Vitamin B-12 is necessary for normal functioning of white blood cells. Studies show that B-12 helps regulate Natural-Killer T-cells and prevents chromosome damage.

The Cardiovascular System: Vitamin B-12 participates in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Elevated homocysteine levels are a known independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and thrombosis. Without adequate B-12 levels, homocysteine levels typically rise.

Special Senses: Degenerative changes in the central nervous system caused by B-12 deficiency can also affect the optic nerve, resulting in blue-yellow color blindness.

Other symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include sore mouth or tongue.

With so many physical functions at risk, it is easy to understand why knowledgeable clinicians and researchers consider B-12 supplementation beneficial.

Are You At Risk for a Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

Medical science once believed that few people were vitamin B-12 deficient. This false assumption may stem from the fact that vitamin B-12 is produced in the body by a normal, healthy population of bowel bacteria.

Secondly, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, B-12 is stored in the liver, kidneys, and other tissues. Deficiencies of B-12 often appear so slowly and subtly as to go unnoticed, and blood tests for vitamin B-12 levels miss early deficiency states at least 50% of the time.

So, who is at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency? Recent research shows that a much larger segment of the population is likely deficient than previously thought.

Because assimilation of vitamin B-12 from food requires adequate stomach acid and intrinsic factor, and because stomach acid typically declines with age, people over 50 were once thought to be the biggest “at risk” population for B-12 deficiency. Previous studies showed 3% to 39% of seniors to be vitamin B-12 deficient, but newer studies suggest that number may be as high as 72% to 78%.

Vegetarians and vegans are another population believed to be at high risk for B-12 deficiency, in part because of low animal food intake of vitamin B-12 and also because many vegetable sources such as seaweed must be consumed in large amounts in order to provide adequate vitamin B-12.

Other high-risk groups for B-12 deficiency include:

  • Those who use acid-blocking or neutralizing drugs (such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, and others), or drugs which impair intestinal absorption (such as Metformin, Questron, and Chloromycetin)
  • People who have had gastric surgery
  • And people who have chronic illnesses such as ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, which occurs frequently in people with low stomach acid, is a predisposing factor for B-12 deficiency because the bacteria themselves use vitamin B-12.

The most recent and disturbing studies suggest that vitamin B-12 deficiency is more prevalent in young adults than previously thought. One study found that vitamin B-12 deficiency was similar in three age groups (26-49 years, 50-64 years, and 65 years and older), but that early symptoms were simply less apparent in the young.

This study also found that those who did not take a vitamin B-12 containing supplement were twice as likely to be deficient as supplement users, regardless of age.

Four Forms of B-12 – Which One is Best?

Cobalamin is a collective term for four closely related forms of B-12 – cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin (dibencozide).

Cyanocobalamin, the most common form of B-12 found in nutritional supplements, has the lowest biological activity and must be converted in the liver to methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin before it can be utilized.

Because it can be converted to other forms of B-12, cyanocobalamin can be considered the “mother form” of B-12. However, this conversion is inefficient and some people may not benefit from cyanocobalamin due to lack of assimilation or conversion.

Methylcobalamin is considered by many researchers to be the most active form of vitamin B-12. It protects the nervous system by regulating glutamate-induced neuronal damage (common in aging) and promoting nerve cell regeneration.

Methylcobalamin is the only form of vitamin B-12 that participates in regulating circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycles). It has been shown to improve sleep quality and refreshment from sleep, as well as increasing feelings of well-being, concentration, and alertness.

Adenosylcobalamin (dibencozide), the second highly active form of vitamin B-12, is essential for energy metabolism. It is required for normal myelin sheath formation and nucleoprotein synthesis. Deficiencies are associated with nerve and spinal cord degeneration.

Hydroxocobalamin is a unique form of B-12 that participates in detoxification, especially cyanide detoxification. Cyanide levels are often elevated in smokers, people who eat cyanide-containing food (like cassava), and those with certain metabolic defects.

Excess cyanide in the tissues blocks conversion of cyanocobalamin to methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin. In such instances, hydroxocobalamin may be the vitamin B-12 of choice. Hydroxycobalamin is FDA-approved as a treatment for cyanide poisoning.

Oral Vs. Injectable: Which Delivery System is Preferred?

Although many people including some physicians still believe that injectable vitamin B-12 is the preferred route of administration, it is well-known and widely accepted that oral vitamin B-12 is equally as effective as injection in treating pernicious anemia and other B-12 deficient states.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency is far more widespread than previously thought, with up to 30% of young people affected and possibly as many as 78% of the over 50 population suffering from deficiency.
  • Those at special risk include:
    – Seniors
    – Vegetarians and vegans
    – People taking acid-neutralizing drugs or various other drugs
    – Patients with cognitive impairment and/or chronic illnesses
  • The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends that adults over 50 obtain their vitamin B-12 from supplements.
  • Because symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency often manifest months or years before B-12 blood tests become abnormal, early deficiencies are often missed.
  • Symptoms and side effects of B-12 deficiency are many and varied, can mimic other diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and can produce irreversible changes of the nervous system if not corrected early.
  • Oral vitamin B-12 supplementation is extremely safe, as effective as injections, comparatively inexpensive, and more convenient than injections.
  • Those at risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency or with symptoms suggestive of B-12 deficiency should consider adding this important nutrient to their supplement protocol.

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