Chronic fatigue or tiredness

Chronic fatigue or tiredness is a symptom that brings at least one in five individuals to a doctor. Only 20% of these people have a diagnosable or treatable medical condition while the remainder have no obvious physical source of their chronic weariness or exhaustion. An indeterminate percentage of these cases are related to a virus as in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (a.k.a. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or M.E.) and fibromyalgia. In the majority, however, no specific cause is established. What can one do when conventional doctors have ruled out cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism and other metabolic disorders to explain chronic fatigue? Are there any alternatives to learning to live with it?


Although all the following measures are best taken with the guidance of a natural health care practitioner, their safety is high enough for most people to attempt without supervision:

– Revise your diet. There is an adverse relationship between chronic fatigue and the health of the immune system. Since sugar suppresses immunity, eliminate it in all its forms, including the milk sugar lactose. Avoid foods and beverage such as beer, wine, other spirits, cheese, grain-fed animal products (red meats, especially beef and pork, animal fats, milk and other high fat dairy products), caffeine containing products and refined foods. Avoid leftovers and tobacco.

“Pure vegetable oil” used by most restaurants usually refers to shortening or corn oil. The fried foods made from it would most certainly be high in peroxides and other toxins, leading to damage to the cardiovascular system, including and elevated cholesterol. Shortening, lard, margarine and beef tallow are all probably good as car engine lubricants but are unfit for human consumption.

Eat more fish and fish oils, garlic, onions, olives, olive oil, green vegetables, herbs, spices, soy products like tofu, yogurt, psyllium, pectin and milled (ground) flax seed provided you can tolerate them without symptoms. An increased intake of fiber significantly reduces the impact of toxins found in many commercial foods.

– Supplement the diet with high energy producing herbs and other concentrated nutrients:

Whole food concentrates are like bee pollen, beet root powder, royal jelly, kelp, dulse, spirulina, chlorella, barley green, aloe vera juice and others have a naturally occurring high vitamin and mineral content with highly bioavailable antioxidants. They are also low in calories, fats, salts and sugar and high in live active enzymes and soluble fiber. They are a rapid and convenient way of supplying the vital 5+ daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Herbal teas, capsules or tinctures which are well documented to boost energy and enhance a general sense of well being include ma huang (ephedra). ginkgo biloba, Siberian ginseng, ginger, yerba mate, kola nut, fo-ti and licorice root.

Vitamin and mineral supplements which are helpful in combating fatigue include B complex vitamins, especially vitamins, B1,B5,B6 and B12, vitamin C, zinc, copper, manganese, chromium and magnesium.

Other nutrient supplements have energy enhancing properties, especially coenzyme Q10, pycnogenols, amino acids like carnitine, taurine, tyrosine and phenylalanine, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifido bacteria.