If you are fatigued, you are not by yourself. Fatigue is one of the most common complaints presented to healthcare practitioners. Just look around on the shelves in checkout lines in the grocery stores. They are filled with energy support products. Better yet, visit your local convenient store and look in the cooler. You will see an entire section devoted to energy drinks. Are we all fatigued? Indeed we are.
I often ask my new patients if they experience mid-afternoon fatigue. A surprisingly high number answer that they definitely see a slump in energy in the afternoon. Many times they will go on to tell me about fatigue happening at other times as well. Knowing that I have hit on a key concern that they might not have even realized was a problem, the quote that I often get in response is, “Why am I always tired?” There are many answers that could be given for this question. However for many, the answer starts with the diet.
The Forgotten Effects of Fatigue
I am going to share something with you that most professionals know about, but rarely think about in terms of fatigue. If you feel fatigued on a day to day basis and are asking yourself, “Why am I always tired?”, something that you should know about that is the fatigue that you are feeling is happening in all areas of your body. For example, the brain is not producing energy and your mental function is not 100%. This results in things like brain fog and lack of mental clarity. Another good example would be the cells of the liver, which are needed for detoxification and removal of harmful chemicals from our body, would not be able to work as efficiently.
The Link Between Diet and Fatigue
Are you eating real food? That may seem like an odd question to ask, but unless you are eating a diet of unprocessed foods that have a high nutrient content, your diet is likely part of the problem. The diet is directly related to fatigue. Foremost, conquering fatigue means having a steady source of nutrients that the body can use to produce energy. These include such things as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Diets low in these types of foods leave the body lacking in its ability to function. If you don’t have adequate vitamin and mineral status, you don’t produce energy. The key to producing energy is being able to take living food and convert it to molecules of energy. When you are consuming a diet high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you will produce energy more readily. All of those quick fix solutions you see on the shelves will be a distant memory.
This is not the only way that diet is related to fatigue. Diets high in carbohydrates promote fatigue also. This happens for multiple reasons, but one of the most common reasons non-Paleo diets create fatigue is as a result of the blood sugar roller coaster. Eating more carbohydrates than you need on a daily basis causes highs and lows in blood glucose that prevent the production of consistent energy by the cells. If this pattern continues, it can lead to diabetes. Yet well before the development of diabetes, you will notice lulls in energy.
Are You Fatigued?
Here are a couple of key questions to ask yourself. 1. Do I have less energy on a day to day basis than I did 1 year ago? 2. Am I less productive during the day than I have been in the past? 3. Do I still feel unrefreshed when waking in the morning? 4. Do I have a drop in energy either mid-morning or mid-afternoon? 5. Do I often start my day with a cup of coffee to get me going? 6. Do I routinely consume energy drinks to give me a pick up during the day? 7. If I start reading, do I easily fall asleep? 8. Do I get tired when I drive?
Take the First Step to Battling Fatigue
The first step to beating fatigue is changing your diet. Energy is a product of good bodily function. Just like you are not going to get the best function out of your car with inferior components in it, you are not going to get optimal function out of the body without putting the best foods in. This is where the Paleo Diet fits in. High in nutrients critically needed to support energy production and devoid of non-living foods that rob your body of nutrients, you will soon find that the Paleo Diet will have you feeling like a fine tuned sports car. Moreover, the blood sugar highs and lows that are so commonly a part of fatigue will soon go away and you will find yourself more productive and feeling like your old self again. Now, if you are not sure where to start, the best advice I can give is to have a resource that will provide you with several Paleo options to get you started on the right track. When you do this, you will soon wonder why others aren’t making the change and feeling the same new spark of energy that you have found!