Are you feeling tired, even though you’ve been getting a full night’s sleep?
Have you been suffering from headaches, dizziness, or experiencing muscle and joint pain?
Does exercise make you feel worse, not better?
You might be suffering from chronic fatigue.
Thankfully there is help.
Our Toronto naturopathic doctors can work with you to get to the bottom of your symptoms and offer solutions to help you heal.
Is It Chronic Fatigue, Or Am I Just Tired?
We all know what it feels like to be tired.
Perhaps you were kept up late by noisy neighbours, or a crying baby.
Maybe you stayed up to finish a report for work or a class at school.
When you feel tired, you usually know why.
This is acute fatigue – it’s there for an obvious reason, it’s generally short-lived, and it goes away once you get a chance to have a proper night’s sleep.
Chronic fatigue is when you can’t explain the reason for your constant tiredness.
If you have been having trouble falling or staying asleep, or otherwise have been feeling tired and fatigued without an explanation, you may be experiencing chronic fatigue.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue?
There is no one single cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, but many different factors which can contribute.
Some of these include:
- A thyroid disorder
- Viral infection
- Nutrient deficiency, including vitamins D and B12, magnesium and potassium
- Anxiety and Depression
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hyper-reactive immune system
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue
So if you have chronic fatigue, you will be tired – that much is obvious.
However, there are other symptoms to watch out for as well.
Some of these include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Tender lymph nodes
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Unusually severe headaches
- Poor sleep quality
Naturopathic Treatments For Chronic Fatigue
If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, there are a number of ways you can address it naturally.
Here are some of the ways that can help you stop feeling so tired all the time.
1. Address Your Lifestyle
One of the best ways to begin to address chronic fatigue is to look at lifestyle factors that can affect how you’re feeling.
One of these is living a high stress lifestyle.
Some amount of stress is good – when the body experiences stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline which cause you to become more alert, and ready to face danger.
If this happens too often, it can result in a strain on your adrenal gland, which may lead to chronic fatigue.
Another factor can be a sedentary lifestyle.
If you’re tired all the time, your instinct might be to try to sleep as much as possible.
However, getting some exercise may help you to feel less tired.
Just 20 to 30 minutes of low-to-moderate activity, such as walking, at least five days per week can help you to lessen fatigue and start regaining your energy.
2. Address Your Nutrient Deficiencies
One possible cause of chronic fatigue is a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals.
According to an article review from 2019 in Science Direct, deficiency in the following nutrients can make chronic fatigue worse:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B complex
- Coenzyme Q10
- Essential fatty acids
- Folic acid
A naturopathic doctor can order bloodwork to determine if you’re lacking in these or any other important nutrients, and offer natural solutions such as supplementation or diet to help make up for anything you may be lacking.
3. Take Valerian Root
A herbal supplement which has been used to help treat chronic fatigue, in addition to other ailments such as sleep disorders, anxiety and depression and restlessness is valerian root.
Valerian root has sedative properties, and can help promote better sleep quality; it’s benefits have been known for thousands of years, as it has been used since at least the periods of ancient Greece and Rome.
It should be noted that valerian root has a number of side effects, including;
- Heart issues
- Withdrawal symptoms after long term use
- Itchy skin
Additionally, it has adverse interactions with a number of drugs, and should not be used by individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For these reasons, if you are looking to incorporate valerian root into your routine, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor or naturopath first.
4. Take Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng is a plant which grows in Asia, including northeast China, Korea, and eastern Siberia – it’s different from some types of ginseng which grow in North America.
A 2013 article in the journal PLOS One showed Panax ginseng helped to improve mood and cognitive performance in subjects.
This is relevant as both of these are factors which can be impacted by chronic fatigue syndrome.
Side effects of taking ginseng can include insomnia, menstrual issues, tachycardia, hyper- or hypotension, headache, rash and dizziness.
Additionally, it can interact with caffeine and alcohol, as well as a number of medications, so it’s a good idea to discuss with your doctor or naturopath before starting use.
5. Increase Your Intake Of Antioxidants
To understand antioxidants, we need to understand oxidative stress.
To understand oxidative stress, think back to your high school physics class.
You have oxygen molecules within your body, which normally should have eight electrons.
However, some oxygen molecules have an uneven number of electrons – these are called free radicals.
Free radicals are far more reactive than regular oxygen molecules, which means they’re more likely to interact with the other chemical elements in your body.
That’s where antioxidants come in.
Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to the free radicals in your body, stabilizing them and reducing oxidative stress.
Recently, studies have revealed the role oxidative stress plays in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Some of the more common antioxidants available include, but are not limited to:
- Vitamin C
- Ginkgo biloba
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Flavonoids and isoflavonoids
A 2010 study by Bing and Zhaobao found ginkgo biloba extract helped increase antioxidant activity in the livers of mice.
Another study, this one in 2012 by Singh Et Al, showed mice with symptoms which mimicked chronic fatigue benefitted from taking antioxidants.
Book An Appointment With Mahaya Health
Do you suffer from chronic fatigue?
Are you tired all the time, with no good reason for it?
Mahaya Health Services, an integrative natural health clinic in Toronto, can help.
Our naturopathic doctors can help you find the root cause of your chronic fatigue and provide treatment for your symptoms so you can get on with living your life without feeling tired all the time.
Contact Mahaya Health for more information today.