If you're suffering from chronic fatigue, you can put an end to the aches and yawns naturally. Let us show you how!
In an ever going, fast-paced, nonstop acceleration society the rise in chronic fatigue cases each year seems to be on the rise. Clinically, chronic fatigue is defined as “a disease characterized by profound fatigue, sleep abnormalities, pain, and other symptoms made worse by exertion,” and it affects about one million Americans each year. Generally, chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS for short, lasts at least 6 months and can persist for years following. Classic symptoms include, but are not limited to: unrestful sleep and/or insomnia, generalized pain throughout the body, GI problems, exercise intolerance, night sweats or body chills, cognitive impairment, mild fever and persistent flu like symptoms, and the list goes on. It can often overlap with fibromyalgia, lupus, and other autoimmune type diseases and syndromes.
With the demands of workplace, family, and social life, healing from CFS can seem daunting and overwhelming, but the good news is there are proven methods and treatments that have been shown to be effective at minimizing and reversing the symptoms of chronic fatigue. While this can be a complex topic, let’s take a look at four key ways to combat CFS.
1.) Fill in Nutritional Gaps
Dealing with CFS can leave a body depleted of vital nutrients and minerals. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you fill in any nutritional gaps with proper supplementation and diet.
Focus on the critical nutrients:
Although it’s well-known for its positive effect on the heart, CoQ10 will also work on the mitochondria and rebuild and restore energy pathways, healing fatigue at the cellular level. If supplementing, choose the ubiquinol form over ubiquinone for the most benefit. This fat soluble compound is found in small amounts in brassicas such as cauliflower and broccoli. It is a component of many of today’s popular supplement blends aimed at treating those with chronic fatigue.
Both B12 and B complex vitamins are ultra-important for energy production, blood, and cell metabolism. Many find intramuscular injections of B12 to be very helpful and effective, as they bypass the GI system, however, sublingual and oral tablets can work well also. Additionally, loading up on food sources of B vitamins can provide benefit on top of supplementation. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian opt for seaweed sources such as spirulina, nutritional yeast, legumes, some nuts and seeds, and some fermented foods. Eating fresh, lightly or unwashed organic produce from the garden or local farmers is always best. If getting fresh is hard to do, make sure to get your B vitamins in a supplement you can trust. Sunwarrior’s Vitamin Mineral Rush, Sunwarrior Vitamins for Him, and Sunwarrior Vitamins for Her have got you covered there!
With the depletion of our soils in this modern day and age, it is essential to make sure that the body’s mineral levels are replenished. Along with eating a plant-rich, organic diet, taking a mineral supplement is a smart way to keep the body functioning at its peak. Proper mineral balance will affect nerve signaling, muscle, and soft tissue health, and assist in other ways that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue. Sunwarrior Liquid Light or Vitamin Mineral Rush make great options to choose from for supplementation.
Provides a double whammy of bolstering immune function as well as countering the effects of depression and fatigue. It has been anecdotally shown to help with sleep disturbances which can further exacerbate CFS symptoms. Those living in the northern hemisphere may need to look into supplementation, and also choose food sources high in this key vitamin. For vegans, a good amount is found in many mushrooms, and to some degree in fermented soy. Of course, sunlight is always an enjoyable and free way to get some quick absorbing vitamin D! Aim for 10–15 minute intervals either before or after peak sunlight.
2.) Use Herbs
Often called the “king of herbs,” this well-studied adaptogen has been shown to reduce fatigue in as little as 4 weeks. It is generally regarded as a nutritive, restorative, and homeostatic shifting herb.
Similar to its cousin, Panax ginseng, eleuthero or “Siberian ginseng” will have much of the same effects as its Asian counterpart, and is equally effective at reducing chronic fatigue.
Another adaptogen, Rhodiola is often used as an adrenal tonic, thereby having positive effects on the endocrine system and reducing fatigue. It also is helpful in treating brain fog, depression, as well as recovery from physical exertion, all important bases to cover when treating CFS.
This common household herb is one of nature’s most potent antibiotic. As an immune booster and blood cleanser, it is important to have in one’s arsenal when fighting chronic illness. Eat a couple raw cloves a day incorporated into meals to get the most benefit from this powerful herb!
Called the “Indian ginseng,” this well-used herb will help manage stress levels, improve cognitive function, and regulate the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal) axis which is crucial in treating CFS. Extremely safe and virtually non-toxic, this wonderful herb can be added into the diet in pill or powder form.
This popular herb will help balance hormones, which contributes to overall endocrine functioning, and provide a boost of natural energy when taken regularly.
3.) Exercise Moderately and Appropriately
This is not the time to sign up for any marathons or triathlons. Engage in light to moderate exercise 3-5X per week, making sure you don’t overdo it or overexert yourself. Unlike the model many personal trainers use in the gym, you do not want to push your body to muscular fatigue.
Instead, move in meaningful ways, with the intention of lubricating the joints, warming the body, and increasing range of motion. Safe activities include walking, leisurely swimming, bicycling, easy hikes, stretching, Pilates, light resistance training, and so on. Avoid running, heavy weight lifting, high-intensity exercises, and the like, which will all exacerbate chronic fatigue. Slow and steady goes the road to recovery.
(NOTE: If you're struggling to find useful workouts to combat your fatigue, try joining Sunwarrior's Fitness Challenge. We have a variety of workouts and meal plans to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Join here.)
4.) Adequate Sleep!
Maintaining a regular sleep cycle is key to ensuring you prevent CFS from progressing. Give your body enough hours of rest to rebuild and recover. The most important hours for rejuvenation are between 10pm and 2am, so make sure you turn off any screens or electronic devices you might be using at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed to prevent any disturbances keeping you from sleep. It’s also a good habit to make the bedroom a place for rest and sleep and to keep work out of the room. Aim for 8–10 hours or more if your body is demanding more.
All in all, there is hope for those suffering from chronic fatigue or other chronic illness which may overlap. Consistency is key in seeing results; stick with these lifestyle and diet changes. Results will come over time. More than anything, try to keep stress to a minimum and believe that given the right ingredients, time, and hopeful expectation, the body will recover.