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5 Fatigue Myths You Don’t Want to Believe, but Do

5 Fatigue Myths You Don't Want to Believe, but Do

Can you believe without even realizing it, you have been buying into the biggest fatigue myths.  I know, you just wanted more energy, and you thought you were doing what was right.  Don’t feel too bad.  Many others out there right now continue to believe the same myths you do.  The only difference is you found this article and after reading it, you will know they truth about these myths.  More importantly, you will know how to overcome fatigue not for a day, but permanently.

Sleep Will Make It Better – #1 of All Fatigue Myths

If we are going to talk about fatigue myths, we might as well start with the biggest one of all.  More sleep is going to give you more energy.  Now, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water so to say here.  There is extreme value in sleep.  So let’s not lose that fact.  If you are only sleeping 5 hours per night, you need more sleep.  Yet, if you struggle with extreme fatigue to the point that you are making up in the morning just as tired as you went to bed, then sleeping 9, 10 or even 12 hours is likely to offer no benefit.  In fact, it is possible it will make it worse.

When you have reached this level of fatigue, you need to be consistent with your sleep, but not sleep excessive amounts.  Sleeping too much starts to work against your body’s natural rhythm that is closely tied to daylight.  The key is to get the right amount of sleep at the right time.  If you are waking up tired, the issues is much bigger than needing more sleep.  Hormones, nutrients, neurotransmitters are but a few of the items you should investigate.

Why the “Energy Nutrient” Is Not Giving You Energy

Ah yes, B12.  The classic energy nutrient.  Many a hope and dream of a quick “pick me up” has rested on this fatigue myth.  Ask almost anyone which vitamin they should take for more energy and they will tell you B12.  I even talk to clinicians routinely that tell me they bring patients in for their weekly B12 booster to give them more energy.  Ironically, these same patients need to continue B12 shots.  Umm?  If B12 was the answer, would it not eventually resolve the fatigue.  Now don’t get side tracked.  This is not about B12 shots or doctors recommending them.

The myth is that B12 is the answer.  What if I told you B6, folate, B5 and magnesium were equally likely to give you energy.  Would that not make you question what you have been told about using B12 for energy.  It should.  There are several “energy nutrients”.  Don’t fall into the trap of guessing about which one you need.  Instead, take a micronutrient test to find your exact need and gain your energy back faster.

Exercise More = Energy Less

Need a boost of energy?  How about we go for a workout.  That would be a good pick me up, right?  Not so fast.  I cannot tell you the number of individuals I have seen relapse back into an energy crisis because they told themselves they had to go exercise.  These next few comments are for the energy deprived, not the motivated person that feels good or the high caliber athlete.

If you are lacking energy, doing more energy draining activity is not going to create energy.  Exercise can promote energy production when it is scaled to the state of a person’s health.  Pushing yourself beyond what your body can accommodate is recipe for failure.  The key point is that what works for one person to create energy will not work for another.  The person not struggling with energy can likely do a reasonable workout and feel better afterwards.  They may even feel stimulated.  In contrast, if you are dealing with routine fatigue and follow this pattern, you are asking for a crippling outcome.  Start slow.  I have worked with several patients that had to start at 5-10 minutes per exercise session and no more.

Shhh!  This Could Cost Them Millions

If you feel bad because you want to be active, but fatigue is holding you back.  Imagine if your paycheck or future depended on it.  Over my years of practice, several college and professional athletes have reached out for help.  Their issues are no different than yours.  They cannot perform at their highest level.  In the athletic world, we tell them they are over-trained, which is a sophisticated way of saying you need be reasonable in your expectations and give your body what it needs daily to properly function.  Ironically, this is not different than what you need.  Bottom line, don’t exercise beyond your current state of health if you expect to overcome fatigue.

Hormones Will Help

As fatigue myths go, this one is well deserving of a spot on this list.  The myth is not that hormones will help your fatigue.  Absolutely not.  In fact, they are extremely critical.  They fallacy that I see created by patient’s own desires or well meaning clinicians that don’t see the whole picture, is that hormones alone will resurrect your energy.  This is not reality.  If it does happen, I would shortly anticipate a downturn in your energy nearly just as quick.

Hormones are a single arm of the regenerative process.  They are not the process.  Hormones can act as an adjunct to diet, nutrition, sleep and lifestyle to help improve fatigue.  Hormones cannot supersede any of these though.  That goes against the integrated nature of how the body works and the paradigm of functional medicine.

You Can Push Through Fatigue

I am not sure which macho paradigm this thought process evolved out of, but if you have reached the point that you routinely have to push through fatigue, there is a bigger problem.  Fatigue is not going to suddenly resolve.  More so, the logic behind pushing through fatigue is illogical.  Fatigue is a depleted state of the body.  To do activities requires resources such as nutrients, hormones, neurotransmitters and a sound diet.  These are not adequate with fatigue.  When you are fatigued, you don’t have adequate resources.  You are starting from a state of deficit.  Now you are thinking about adding activity on top of your present fatigue state which will require even more resources that you already don’t have.  How exactly are you going to push through fatigue?  Logic would say you are not.  This one is common as fatigue myths go.

Fatigue myths abound everywhere.  They are even perpetuated with the idea that energy drinks and shots are going to really help.  They might help for a short period of time and give a false boost.  If you are reading this however, you are not looking for a boost, but a solution to your energy woes.  That solution can only come by dumping common fatigue myths and depending on core elements of health such as diet, nutrition, quality sleep and sound lifestyle choices.


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2 replies
  1. Teresa White
    Teresa White says:

    Yes, been reading Dr. Walsh and Glidden. Do you use their methods? I’ve been looking for a naturopath near me that I could actually make an appointment with. I’ve read a lot of your information, blog etc. just can’t find where you are located. Thank you.


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