Drivers of Fatigue
In business and life, fatigue is the greatest enemy to; clarity of mind, creativity and productivity.
Let’s explore some drivers of fatigue so you can combat fatigue at the root cause and live a life of energy and vitality.
Drivers of Fatigue
Only 3% of those afflicted with fatigue demonstrate diagnosed pathology as the cause. As disease is so often not the driver, we need to look holistically to help alleviate this symptom by looking at other potential drivers – nutrition, mitochondrial health, detoxification, thyroid, stress and immune support. By targeting these functional drivers of fatigue, we can help to optimise energy levels and improve the quality of life of those suffering fatigue.
Mitochondria are known as the ‘cellular powerhouse’ and 90% of cellular energy is generated in the mitochondria. These organelles are the major site of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, via the metabolic pathways of the Krebs Cycle (also known as the Citric Acid Cycle), the Electron Transport Chain and Oxidative Phosphorylation. All cell function and physiology depends on efficient production of ATP by these metabolic pathways.
Mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to low ATP production, leading to low energy.
Low dietary intake of iron, protein, carnitine, lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, magnesium and B vitamins can all contribute to reduced energy production.
The thyroid sets the pace for the body’s metabolic rate and is closely related to energy production. Supporting normal, healthy thyroid function is important in maintaining optimal health. There are many factors that can affect thyroid health and these should be identified and addressed individually. If you experience extreme fatigue, weight gain, depression, intolerance to the cold, dry skin and constipation then you could be experiencing hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Speak to your health practitioner about this and investigate thyroid function.
Toxicity from the external environment and lifestyle factors can contribute to fatigue. Increased oxidative stress caused by toxicity can also reduce mitochondrial function, impairing ATP production. Detoxification programs can help to ameliorate this and improve energy levels.
Over-action of the Stress Response System may result in fatigue and deplete magnesium levels. Stress management, such as Meditation and magnesium supplementation play an important role in improving energy as magnesium is required for cellular energy production.
In those who are experiencing prolonged fatigue, it is important to assess and support immune function. Chronic or recurring infections can cause fatigue, possibly due to the inflammatory effects on the mitochondria. Speak to your natural health practitioner to discuss this possibility.
Strategies to overcome fatigue and improve energy:
1. Optimise nutrients that facilitate mitochondrial ATP production.
These include CoEnzyme Q10, Carnitine, B3 (also B1 and B2), iron, magnesium
2. Decrease toxin exposure.
This includes minimising alcohol, smoking, exposure to environmental toxins. This also means understand prescription drugs contribute to body toxicity.
3. Provide nutrients that protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress.
Antioxidants counter oxidative stress (free radicles). Fresh fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants so ensuring you get a good dose of these daily and minimise processed and refined food (white bread, sugar, cakes, pasta etc.)
Resveratrol is also a potent antioxidant to take. Vitamin E protects mitochondria from oxidative stress.
4. Correct Nutrient deficiency
Supplementing with a multi B vitamins is an excellent way to boost energy. Investigate Iron levels as anaemia is a major cause of fatigue.
5. Investigate Thyroid Function
6. Book into an in-residence detox program like Sukhavati Bali to detoxify the mind-body and eliminate fatigue at the root cause.
7. For stress management, ensure you get your twice-daily meditation in to recover energy and purify stress and fatigue from the physiology.
8. Manage chronic and system inflammation and infection. Speak to your natural health practitioner to discuss this possibility.
Author: Tegan Wallis
Tegan is a Naturopath, Ayurveda Health Consultant and Yoga Teacher at Griffith Consulting's sister company, Veda Wellness.
Tegan is one of Griffith Consulting's key program facilitators and specialises in workplace health & wellness.
For more information about Tegan or her services, please go to: www.vedawellness.com.au