Millions of Americans struggle every day to recover and maintain health. Chronic stress, lack of sleep, and poor eating habits (piled on top of a possible health condition) set the average individual up for chronic disease. Though you may not have a chronic condition, you are still likely walking around with adrenal fatigue, low energy levels, or brain fog, struggling to get through your day. If you’re like most, you push your adrenals daily with excessive caffeinated stimulants. If you want to maintain health, you must be able to recover.
What is chronic fatigue?
Chronic fatigue, in it’s simplest form, is decreased cellular energy. Energy production is the primary force for providing the means for life. Located in the cell are the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce ATP, a molecule that gives life to the cell and drives all the body’s processes. ATP is the crucial currency, and if your mitochondria are not working properly, you spend more ATP than you earn. Abundant and efficient mitochondria are characteristic of optimal health and longevity. Here are some symptoms associated with chronic fatigue:
- Brain Fog
- Decreased Libido
- Decreased Mental Stamina
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Hair Loss
- Joint Pain
- Lack of Focus
- Morning Fatigue
- Muscle Tension
- Sugar Cravings
- Weight Gain
You can see how this can turn into a negative feedback cycle. As you find yourself unable to sleep, craving terrible food, depressed and suffering from an inflammatory response in the body, then your adrenal glands will remain unable to keep pace with the demands of fight-or-flight arousal, worsening your fatigue.
Why You Can’t Recover
Ignorance is bliss. Or is it? In regards to your health, ignorance is deadly. Our genetic expression in our bodies is a result of our lifestyle choices (epigenetics). This genetic expression is the determining factor as to whether you suffer from fatigue or whether you thrive. I’m going to uncover the major determining factors that will determine your level of health, and from there, give you some solutions.
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Chronic Stress- The nervous system has two operating branches, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. A parasympathetic state is where our bodies rest and recover, whereas the sympathetic state is a stress response. When we live in a state of chronic stress, we over activate the sympathetic nervous system. In turn, this activates chronic stress hormones, increases inflammation, insulin resistance, down-regulates the immune system, and decreases sex hormone binding globulin, increasing your risk of site-specific cancers.
Stress hormones sustain increased cardiac output, which in turn is going to raise heart rate and blood pressure. These same stress hormones raise blood sugar from glycogen stores in the liver in order to provide rapid fuel for this fight or flight basic survival state. Stress hormones also cause insulin resistance, which results in increased blood sugar, decreased fat burning, increased cravings and eventually disease. Imagine trying to lose weight while all of this is taking place in your body! Almost impossible.
Unfortunately many people today are sympathetic dominant and are prone to all the above-mentioned health concerns. I want to point out that stress does not simply come from long days at work, finances, lack of sleep and poor relationships. Stress goes far beyond the psychological and can be solely physiological. In fact, it is estimated two of the biggest stressors people face today are nutrient deficiencies and toxicity. So not only is important to maintain the psychological aspect of stress, but also the physiological by reducing toxic exposures and taking proper nutrients daily.
Chronic Inflammation– When I speak on inflammation, I am referring to the 30+ trillion cells in the body. When they become inflamed they will not only produce less energy through mitochondrial dysfunction but also changes in gene expression. Chronic inflammation is the causal factor in virtually every chronic disease that exists. Chronic inflammation is due to chronic toxicity, sedentary lifestyle, and chronic deficiencies. As the cells become inflamed, good nutrients can no longer flow into the cells and bad nutrients can no longer get out. This ultimately leads to the mitochondria being starved of essential nutrients needed for basic function. At this point, you will see the body struggle in all aspects. In order to have high-energy levels, you must have healthy functioning cells.
Deficiencies Are Destroying Your Body
Anything our bodies lack is considered a deficiency. The biggest deficiencies faced in society today are sleep, movement, and nutrients. Let’s address them in that order.
Sleep: In a culture where it is a badge of honor to sleep the least and work the hardest, it is crucial to realize the importance of sleep. Every professional I work with prides themselves on how hard they work and how little sleep they can function on. These are the same people who can’t lose weight, whose bodies are inflamed, and have a myriad of unresolved health concerns.
When you sleep, it’s like putting your body on the charger. During this time, you are fortifying your immune system, balancing hormones, decreasing inflammation, allowing your brain to store/process thoughts, detoxing, and ultimately healing your body.
Movement- As the editor and chief of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, James Rippe, MD, states in his 2012 paper, “Physical activity and health: the time for action is now: It is said that there are no magic bullets in healthcare; however, physical activity comes as close to a magic bullet as anything we have.” I agree wholeheartedly. The human genome was formed in a habitat that required physical activity, and since our genome hasn’t changed, neither have the requirements. Sitting in an office chair all day lands us in a maladapted state that clinically manifests itself as a disease.
You must make the transition to viewing exercise as a daily requirement for health, happiness, and quality of life. You must develop daily exercise habits. In turn, you will improve your health, energy, happiness, body composition, and weight, appearance, physical, intellectual, and emotional comfort and function, ability to recover from illness, and lastly your ability to prevent illness.
Diet: The diet that most Americans consume is not conducive to human life. If we think back to the time of our ancestors, they never consumed anything that wasn’t found in nature. Our ancestors were eating from the land meaning they got adequate doses of probiotics, nutrients, enzymes, and ate food as it should be. It was almost impossible for our ancestors to overconsume sugar, simply because they didn’t isolate it from its natural source. An example of modern society eating poorly would be your bleached white flour pizza sitting next to your soda that is loaded with artificial sugars, dyes, and preservatives. Where in nature do you find that?!
Unfortunately, even when we do make better decisions by eating balanced meals, we are still shortchanged. This is because food is being grown in depleted soils that essentially decrease the nutrient density of the final product, your food. For people looking to clean up their diet and learn the ins and outs of healthy eating, I recommend my Heal Yourself Cookbook that educates and shows you haw to start eating in a congruent manner that supports your genetic code.
The Biological Wellness and Prevention Solution
First and foremost, it is crucial to straightening out all the above lifestyle factors. If you’re not exercising, it is important to start moving with a 30-minute walk per day. If you’re not eating right, it’s important to start on a non-inflammatory diet today. If you’re not sleeping well, it’s important to start making changes every day and monitor your quality of sleep through the use of your Biostrap and see what moves the needle. Furthermore, daily essential nutrients are a must.
Supplements are human genome determined essential nutrients that are not ingested in sufficient amounts because they are unavailable or difficult to acquire in industrial food sources. There are a million supplements on the market that dupe people into thinking that they are all necessary to take in order to experience health. This, of course, is far from the truth and where people need to start is with the daily essentials. These are a group of supplements that have a body of scientific evidence supporting the necessity of these nutrients in order to support your genetic code. They also must have evidence that a deficiency will cause the body to be unable to adapt (adaptive allostasis), illness, and evidence that your cells require these nutrients for proper function.
The Required Nutrient Supplement List For Recovery & Repair
The Celarity Daily Supplement package is designed to support systemic bodily function. It supports gut health through high-quality probiotics. It promotes neurological and cardiovascular health through high-quality omega 3, 6, 9, DHA nutritional supplements. Through the multi-mineral and vitamin D3, you support all other systems of the body. This comprehensive package gives your body what it needs for daily health.
There are some individuals who require further supplementation for recovery. Other advanced supplementations I frequently use with my clients are:
Adrenal Revive: Many people need this due to hormone imbalance and stress.
Neurocalm: Used to put the nervous system at ease in stressful environments.
Amino Repair: For recovering after a workout.
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Final thoughts on recovery
Whether it is a hard workout, a bad night of sleep, or just daily life, our bodies must recover to express health. When our cardiovascular system, nervous system, or any other system does not repair itself efficiently, then this is when the disease presents. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and so many other diseases are at record numbers. If you are someone who lives like the average person, your health will likely suffer like the average person too. Make small changes today for a brighter future tomorrow.