Do you ever wake up tired in the morning even after sleeping for 7-8 hours? Feel like hitting the bed after 2 PM? Need 3 cups or more of Starbucks coffee just to make it through the day? If this sounds like you, you need help. Millions of people suffer from some form of fatigue but have idea what to do about it.
Fatigue is a common complaint for patients in my office. It can either be the primary issue or a secondary effect. Many people, especially teenagers and young adults, are turning to artificial energy boosters such as energy drinks or coffee. These, however, have very detrimental effects upon your body (energy drinks).
Some people think that all they need to do is get more sleep, but then they find difficulty trying to fall asleep or stay asleep. So during they day they feel sleepy and at night time they can’t get rest. This becomes very detrimental to your body and mind.
What I am about to recommend will help about 70% of the people suffering from fatigue. (If your fatigue is chronic in nature – the other 30% – you’re going to need something above this, but you can still use this as your base.)
7 easy steps to end fatigue
Step one: cut out the stimulants (coffee, teas, caffeine supplements). You must let your adrenal glands rest. Stimulants drive your adrenals too hard and will cause further dysfunction. You may go through a caffeine withdrawal in the first day or so, but the benefits will out weigh this. Sometimes you will need to “ramp down” on your caffeine intake rather than just going cold turkey. So if you’ have 3 cups of coffee per day, start by cutting down to 2 during your first week, then your second week drop down to 1 and do this for about a month or so.
Step two: cut out the refined sugars and eat clean. Refined sugars are the devil for your adrenal glands. It causes a rapid rise in blood glucose which in turn causes an abnormal production of insulin. Cortisol counteracts insulin. If this goes on for prolonged periods of time the adrenals become fatigued. Low levels of cortisol will induce chronic fatigue. Eating a diet rich in dark greens and lean proteins is key to helping repair the adrenal glands. Zucchini and mushrooms should be a staple part for helping in fatigue. (Subscribe to our blog as we’ll have an updated post on how to help your adrenal glands out).
Step three: get good quality sleep. 6-8 hours is essential. Try turning down the lights as the sun goes down. This will decrease the cortisol response. If you have to work on the computer late at night every night use red tinted glasses. This will stop the cortisol response to light. There are apps out there like the FitBit which will track your sleep patterns. (we’ll have a more in depth article on sleep)
Step four: get hydrated. Water is key for proper biochemical function. The rule is 1 Liter per 50lbs of body weight. That’s your baseline.
Step five: take wholefood B-complex & vitamin C These are key for adrenal support and repair. Pantothenic acid and Vitamin C are significantly depleted during times of stress.
Step six: take herbal adrenal adaptogens. Some of the ones I typically put patients on are ashwaganda and Siberian ginseng. Adaptogens help to balance adrenal function. If the adrenals function is too low it will boost it up. If adrenal function is too high, it will lower it. So basically it will bring your adrenals back into balance.
Step seven: get your body moving. This comprises getting enough exercise and making sure your body is moving properly. Seek out a highly competent doctor of Chiropractic to have him analyze your spine and extremity joints.
Pretty simple! It will take your body about 6-9 months to go through the healing process and start to make changes. Note that when you begin this, your body may not like it…keep going.
We’re going to do a more in depth article on how your body get’s to this point. Because if you understand how your body breaks down, you will understand how to build your body back up.
Latest posts by Dr. Mike Okouchi (see all)
- Episode 61: How to Choose a Nutritional Supplement - August 8, 2018
- Episode 60: The 5 Overlooked Causes of Low Back Pain - August 1, 2018
- The primary systems of body control - November 26, 2017