Treating Fatigue

menopauseTHOUGHTFULFatigue is the most common problem brought to medical practitioners/  There are many contributing factors since fatigue rarely has a single  cause:

  • Under-active Thyroid. Your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone or you have an improper utilization of what thyroid you do produce.
  • Under-active Adrenal. Our adrenal glands respond to stress. If we are under constant stress with no time to relax, the adrenal glands get over stimulated and begin to function irregularly. Eventually they cannot function normally.
  • Hypoglycemia. 
  • Allergies.  One of the main symptoms of allergies is fatigue.
  • Medications.  If you are taking allopathic prescriptions, a side effect of many of them can be fatigue.
  • Stress. If you are living  a very stressful life and feeling overwhelmed, you will also feel fatigued. This is caused by stress effects on the biochemistry of your body. Stress also causes problems for the immune system. All of your hormone secreting glands are sensitive to stress. Modern life can be very stressful. Some positive stress is necessary  to function properly. There are two main ways we respond to stress: fight or flight.  Once away from the threat, we then relax, talk about our experience and celebrate our escape. Current stresses do not usually show up as obviously as events that can be run from or fought over. If there is not enough time to reset our nervous system’s response,  we go into adaptation. In adaptation we experience the biochemical response to stress but none of the symptoms. Remaining  in adaptation without addressing the problem causes exhaustion. The farther you are into this continuum, the longer it takes to reset the system and feel better.
  • Mixed viral infections. We are finding that unlike bacterial infections, viral infections don’t clear up. Viruses can continue to live in our bodies quietly. We know this about herpes simplex and human pappaloma virus. I believe this is also true of other viral infections such as influenza and mononucleosis.
  • Man made and natural toxic build up in your body. I have a free questionnaire for people who are not responding to treatment for fatigue. I have found that if you have a lot of toxins in your body, nothing is going to resolve your problems until a detoxification program is completed.  Read more
  • Malnutrition. If you have improper digestion or inflammation in your intestines, you are unable to digest nutrients. A body without the necessary nutrients cannot function well.
  • Depression. It is possible to be clinically depressed and feel tired all the time. Depression is not sadness; it is a lack of emotion and interest in life.

Work Up For Fatigue

Fibromyalgia   We test thyroid function by checking:

  •      pituitary with a thyroid stimulating hormone
  •      thyriod production with a FREE T 4
  •      enzyme conversion with a FREE T 3
  •      improper conversion with a REVERSE T3
  •      antibody activity with a ANTI-TPO ANTIBODIES.

This give us a good overview of the functioning of your thyroid system.

I check adrenal function first with a questionnaire that reveals the kind of adrenal problem that exists and likely herbal approaches.  If the questionnaire is positive for adrenal dysfunction, we can discuss other means to  investigate your adrenals that is best for your situation and your pocketbook.

We offer blood tests for fatigue caused by allergies.

Medications are evaluated by looking at what you are taking. You should discuss your medications with your pharmacist if you are on more than one prescriptions to see if the drugs might be causing fatigue.

Blood tests for antibodies for various viruses such as herpes(HSV), human papaloma virus(HPV), Mononuclosis  or Epstein Bar  are available. I do not usually do them as they are expensive and many people will test positive and not have fatigue. Treatment for mixed viral infections is based on your medical situation, not blood work.

Treatment for Fatigue

  • Thyroid.  Possibilities for thyroid treatment include:
    • A mixture of T4  and T3, either pharmaceutical porcine (which is bio-identical) or compounded by your pharmacist.
    • T4 ( Levothyroxine)  also available as a pharmaceutical or compounded by your pharmacist.

    Six weeks after beginning thyroid medication you will need another TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 test to verify proper balance.  Once you reach the correct balance, we will check your levels yearly.

  •  Adrenal function. There are excellent supplements to support and correct adrenal function. These differ if your adrenal  swings between over responsive/ under responsive,  or is exhausted and unable to respond.   My experience with glandulars, which are chopped up animal organs, is they often supplant normal glandular function. You may feel better but in the long run your adrenal cannot return to proper function. If your adrenal is severely  exhausted I may use a glandular for  only  three to six months. Then we attempt to wean you off to allow the adrenal to function normally again.
  • Allergies.  I prefer to use herbal supplements,  such as QBC Plex by Solaray, a combination of Quercetin, Bromalin and Vitamin C. Each is a natural antihistamine working in a different way so the three act synergisticly for better results. It is important to wash hands frequently during allergy season as pollen is picked up on our hands and passed to the nose and mouth.  A Nettie-Pot used with warm saline water washes the pollen out of our sinuses and can be a huge help.  You can  use a saline nasal spray if you find the nettie-pot uncomfortable. Allergies can be treated with over the counter antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Alegra or Claritin. In the desert, it is not good to use decongestants of any kind,  with or without antihistamine. Decongestants tends to dry out  mucous membranes and make the condition worse. I have an herbal decongestant that does not dry you out.
  • Medication. If you are taking prescription drug,s please check with your pharmacist to see if fatigue is a side effect of that medication(s).  If so, you may want to speak with me about other options. Please do not just stop medications without discussing it with me first. Some medications need to be gradually reduced over time.  Some conditions require you to be on a medication which can be changed if you are having a problem. Once the medication  is changed wait at least a month to see if it  was causing fatigue.
  • Stress. Classical treatments for stress include meditation, aerobic exercise, and rest.
    1. If you are having anxiety attacks as a part of your stress, aerobic exercise of any kind for 10 to 20 minutes can stop the anxiety attack. Attitude has a great deal to do with how your body responds to stress.
    2. If you have a poor self image (most of us do so don’t feel alone) stress is more damaging. Stress and anger is more likely to do you damage than stress alone.
    3. If you are a worrier and spend a lot of your time trying to control what is causing you stress, I suggest the following practice:
      •  Set aside 15 minutes twice a week.  Have a timer with you.
      •  Spend 5 minutes writing down everything that is bothering you. Don’t go into detail, just  enough so you know to what you are  referring .
      •  At the end of 5 minutes stop.
      •  Take the next 10 minutes to divide the list into three categories. (1.) External things you can  change. (2.) External things you  cannot change.  (3.)  External things you are not sure about.

My expectation is the things you can change will be a short list. Do something about these things. If you are not successful chances are they belong on the list of things you can’t change. I believe that trying to control things outside of yourself can cause illness. You can release these issues, and it seems to work best if you can turn them over to whatever you believe in spiritually. Whenever  worry arises, you can remind yourself  not to waste your “chi”.  The issues you are unsure about can be observed for a while to see if you can come up with a solution. If after a week you have no solution, it probably belongs in category two, external things that you can not change.

  • Meditation. I won’t write much about mediation as there are more ways to meditate than people doing it. You can do a formal meditation, a walking meditation or many other options. I was taught that meditation is listening. It is a time to turn off my thinking and be quiet so I can hear life around me. It takes me deeper into my nature. So I feel I am meditating any time I am listening and not thinking.
  • Rest. Our bodies seem to do best with intermittent rest and activity. Studies on meditation have shown that twenty minutes of stillness is equal to a two hour nap. Lying around being inactive for more than two hours during the daytime is not good for you. People who do this lose vitality and increase fatigue. Resting and then being active until you feel tired again and then resting again seems the most effective way to build stamina and a sense of well-being.
  • Mixed Viral Infections are best treated with an  intravenous vitamin mixture called Meyers Cocktail. It is given as an IV, slowly injected through your vein. Meyers Formula includes Vitamins C, B5, B6, B12, and B complex, Calcium, Magnesium and a buffering agent. These are all mixed together and slowly infussed into a vein.  We do weekly treatments until you can go a week without fatigue. Then we do every other week again until you don’t feel the fatigue and then extend to every three weeks. Once you  have no fatigue for three weeks we stop, and you come back for another treatment if the fatigue  begins to come back.

For an appointment contact us.