I have a special interest in understanding root causes of fatigue because of the toll it’s taking on family members, friends and clients in clinic. We all experience fatigue at times for different reasons. How well we recover our energy and sense of well-being depends on the underlying cause(s), our resilience and our habits of self-care. Not many people are doing this (self-care) well; and fatigue seems to be epidemic. Unresolved causes can be suppressed as the body adapts to cope with stressors – for a while. But we can suffer so much more with the manifestations of chronic fatigue sooner or later in life.
I spent most of September with friends and family in South Africa, eyeballing them and their struggles with fatigue. “Fatigue” walks in our clinic doors with almost everybody. The vocabulary that we’re using to explain fatigue is changing. Less about “adrenal fatigue” and more about “mitochondrial dysfunction” i.e. what’s going wrong biochemically with energy production within each cell, to the extreme of “chronic fatigue” or “mitochondrial disease” that “reduces the ability of mitochondria to produce energy”.
Chronic fatigue has been a diagnosis by exclusion i.e. requires many potential causes of fatigue to be assessed and ruled out or resolved, before the unexplained fatigue is called “chronic fatigue” (CF) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
Very recently reported is the discovery that a lack of calcium ions in cells, due to a problem with the cell membrane channels through which calcium ions should pass, affects cellular ability to function properly (Afshariyan N, 2018). Testing for this may become a diagnostic test for CF/ME, but still doesn’t explain the dysfunction of the calcium channels themselves.
I believe toxins from our environment and the food we ingest, and mineral deficiencies that impair our biochemical processes, including detoxification, are likely to be significant contributors. Hence my special interest in speaking out against agricultural chemicals, including glyphosate; promoting quality fresh food grown by ecologically sustainable agricultural practices; and mineral supplementation with tissue salts or Celloids.
However we don’t all have chronic fatigue or mitochondrial disease; many of us just allow ourselves to become too stressed and too worn out with not enough self-care. That’s what my advice focuses on in the inaugural Clinic Conversation series: more sensible, healthy living and more compassion for self. We’ll move on to the more complicated pathophysiology next year.
Get well script: Meditation in a hammock in the sun and contemplation of nature
When you are (genuinely) sick, you need rest for recovery AND have appropriate nutrition (NOT over-nutriton) ALSO perhaps some herbal medicine, especially good at improving immune function, and supplements for nutrient deficiencies; MAYBE some psychological support for high anxiety and low mood. Energetic healing methods can also be helpful in identifying trouble spots in our bodies and minds. But understand, our bodies need the right minerals, which are charged particles for energetic remedies to work and minerals potentiate herbal medicine. So we still benefit more when we have a foundation of excellent nutrition.
Talking to people about good nutritional habits and access to good quality food and mindful stress management is what I do best.
Afshariyan N, 2018, Your disease in real: Breakthrough in diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, ABC report, http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/breakthrough-in-diagnosis-of-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/10188210