4 Ways to Help Chronic Fatigue
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue occurs when the body is under excessive strain over an extended period of time and therefore is unable to function at full capacity. This causes exhaustion that manifests physically and emotionally. The fatigue might feel like a subtle and constant cloud over you, or a crushing weight that impairs your life.
The source of the excess strain can be from a wide variety of things - including chronic illness, life circumstances, inadequate nutrients, emotional exhaustion that affects the physical body, and everything in between.
*It’s important to always consult your doctor to rule out anything medically that may be a root cause of your fatigue.
In case definitions aren’t your thing….here’s a photo definition of “chronic fatigue”…..
So let’s jump in, step in, or deliriously crawl in, depending on how applicable the topic feels at this very moment…
Important ways to support your body in restoring energy:
The good news is that there are a lot of ways to partner with your body in making big strides to restore your energy and vitality. I shared these things with my grandma who was having trouble leaving her chair and even standing to make a sandwich without feeling unsteady, and after diligently implementing them she saw a huge difference in her energy and physical stability. This is important stuff! Share this information if you know someone who could benefit as well!
1. Consume a nutrient dense diet.
Fatigue is a lack of energy in the body. The definition of a calorie is “a unit of energy”….Food = Fuel. This means the food that you put into your body is the actual fuel it uses to provide energy. If there isn’t ENOUGH fuel, the body will suffer like a car running out of gas. If there isn’t QUALITY fuel, the body will suffer like a car running on apple juice instead of gasoline. What you eat directly impacts how your body functions.
-During times of extreme fatigue, it can be very helpful to eat every 2-3 hours to keep a constant stream of energy in your body. This means 5-6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 large meals which would take more energy to digest.
-Include carbohydrates and fats in each snack and meal. Carbohydrates are directly converted to energy, and fats allow your body to optimally absorb all nutrients, while also keeping your blood sugar stable.
-Eat a diet primarily of food that grows - vegetables, fruit, whole grains, potatoes, legumes, etc. A plant-based diet contains the highest nutrient density of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and antioxidants that your body needs. Processed food and processed sugars do not contain the same nutrient purity and often create more fatigue and inflammation in your body. Digesting meat can also be an issues for fatigue because meat takes significantly more energy for your body to break down and absorb, therefore leaving you with less energy for other life processes.
What happens if you don’t consume proper nutrients?
Without enough or the right nutrients (calories, food-based vitamins and minerals, etc), your body is not about to function properly and it can ultimately lead to disease and dysfunction. The food you eat is the fuel your body uses to LIVE, so it needs QUALITY fuel to repair and restore!
2. Drink half of your body weight in oz daily. (or more)
(example: if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 oz of water daily)
-Water moves toxins out of your body. If toxins store up, they cause fatigue, inflammation, and pain.
-Water lubricates your joints, which can become tight during chronic fatigue.
-Water makes up 90% of blood and the blood carries oxygen through your body. Without proper blood/oxygen flow, the body feels very fatigued and can’t function properly.
-Water helps your body absorb the vitamins and minerals found in your food, and moves them into various parts of the body to be used efficiently so that you feel more energized!
-After you calculate how much water you need daily (your body weight divided by 2 = how many oz you need), find a measured bottle or cup and sip it through the day.
-Try to consume the majority of your fluid prior to three hours before bed, so that you aren’t waking to use the bathroom more in the night.
-If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add a squeeze of lemon or lime or put some berries or cucumber into it to add flavor.
What happens if you don’t consume enough water?
Without enough water, your body is much more likely to feel fatigued, achy, inflamed, cause brain fog, prohibit detoxification and nutrient absorption, affect every organ, and increase risk of disease.
3. Supplement with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D
-It’s important to be getting all of your proper vitamins and minerals, but I’m highlighting B12 and D for the following reasons….
-No matter what type of foods you eat, the majority of people are deficient in B12 and need to supplement with it. A lack of B12 causes weakness and fatigue, as well as many other symptoms. B12 is important for the health of blood cells, which transfer oxygen and nutrients through your body to maintain energy. Of any supplement I’ve taken, B12 is the one that I can definitely tell an effect on my energy if I don’t take it.
-A deficiency in Vitamin D can cause weakness, fatigue, weakened immune system, inflammation, swelling, and other symptoms, and therefore is vital in maintaining energy.
-Talk with your doctor about what vitamins and minerals you may be deficients in, and what type and amount of vitamin B12 and D would be best for you based on your daily needs, blood tests, medical history, and age. Be educated when you supplement, as every body is different and taking excess of some vitamins and minerals can cause negative complications.
What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin B12 and D?
If you have deficiency of any main vitamin or mineral, your body will suffer from various symptoms and not be able to function at optimal capacity. It will also drain energy from your body as it’s trying to function without a key player.
4. Move your body at least every 2 hours.
Moving your body gets your blood flowing more efficiently. The increased blood flow moves oxygen through the body so your organs can function better, lubricate joints, stimulate the nervous system, and provide more energy to the body.
-Every hour - Stand/stretch/move around for at least 5 minutes
-Every 2 hours - Take a short walk or get your body moving doing tasks, etc.
-Daily - Move your body for 30-60 minutes (talk with your doctor if you need recommendations for your specific needs). This could be a walk, yoga, sports, or a more intense exercise depending on your age and your body’s condition.
What happens if you don’t move your body?
If the body stays stagnant, blood flow suffers, which means oxygen isn’t getting to your organs and brain as efficiently, which increases fatigue. Lack of movement also affects proper function of your organs, metabolism, and optimal function of all of your body’s systems.
So maybe you’re thinking…..
“Yaaaa.…I’ve heard all that before, Christina”…. But here’s the deal, these things are SO IMPORTANT to your overall health, and we can’t take them lightly. What’s one step you can take to improve in one of these areas this week? Your health and energy is so worth it, for you, for your family, for your world. We don’t get days back, and they’re precious. Whether it’s from a 1 to a 2 or from a 6 to a 10 on your “energy scale,” every small increase matters.
“I don’t know how to eat a nutrient-dense diet in a way that I ENJOY, and I’m too busy and too tired to do things that make me less tired…ya know?” I so hear you. Being tired is….exhausting. Book a 60 Minute Focused Personal Session and I’ll partner with you in creating a game plan for your nutrition needs and give you the tools you need to succeed. You don’t have to do it alone.
“I’m tired of being tired in ALL the ways. I want my light and my life back.” You’re not alone friend, I’m already rooting for you. Book a FREE 60 minute phone consultation to decide your next best steps. You are precious, worthy, and capable of greater wholeness.
Rooting for you and sending lots of light and love today,
***The above information is based on my research, education, and personal experience and is not to be used as a medical diagnosis. You should always consult your doctor and find what works best for your unique body.