At various times throughout our lives, all of us will experience a sense of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes this feeling will last a day or two but, for some people, it can persist for months, years, or even a life-time. It is important to understand that serious fatigue, that is, fatigue that is not attributable to temporary over-exertion, is actually a symptom of some other process going on within the body-mind unit. Prolonged fatigue is not an illness in itself, but a manifestation of a health imbalance.
Fatigue may derive from various causes, including the on-going stresses of daily life, emotional depression masking as lethargy, or it can be an expression of hormonal imbalances such as thyroid, adrenal or menopausal changes. Bacterial and/or viral infections can also be the culprits, as has been documented with the well-known Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Besides these obvious causes, there are more obscure reasons for exhaustion. One of the most common causes of fatigue is Toxemia, a medical condition that results from the retention of substances in the body that inhibit health. These substances may be man-made chemicals introduced into the body through food, water or the environment. They could also be end-products of the body's own metabolism. The question is, why would be body accumulate items that it does not really want?
Inefficent digestion is the most common cause of toxic accumulations in our systems. This occurs because the food we eat may not be the right food for our constitution. The diet may be too rich in fats, carbohydrates, or proteins for one's system, and the body is unable to digest the food properly. Undigested food causes the obvious bloating, constipation or diarrhea with which we are familiar, but it also causes a more insidious weakening of health as undigested food particles accumulate faster than the body can eliminate them.
As it accumulates in our intestines, this undigested food undergoes the chemical processes of putrefaction, creating toxic by-products which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. The resulting physical reactions to this toxic residue can be fatigue, muscle pains, headaches, low moods and a multitude of seemingly unrelated diseases.
Dr. Hans Selye, known as the father of the stress theory of illness, remarks about this process:
"Much of our metabolic debris is readily eliminated, thus re-establishing equilibrium. But a small fraction of the countless chemical processes needed for adaption to the demands made upon us by life results in insoluable waste products which clog up the machinery of the body until it is no longer usable."
The manifestation of toxic residue in the body is different for everyone. One of the symptoms of Toxemia may be the increasingly prevalent Fibromyalgia Syndrome, a chronic muscle disorder which has been linked to what we call Leaky Gut Syndrome (an intestinal disorder related to parasitic overgrowth). Other symptoms might manifest in a totally different display, such as a chronic skin disorder.
Henry Bieler, M.D., author of "Food Is Your Best Medicine," is in total agreement when he states:
"Disease is caused by Toxemia, the presence of body poisons which result in cellular impairment and breakdown in the body. In my estimation, virtually every disease known to man can be cured through the proper use of correct food, neutralizing and eliminating the toxins from the system."
It is therefore advisable to treat the cause of these varied discomforts rather than solely treating the symptoms.There is no simple formula to determine if Toxemia is the cause of fatigue. Specialized laboratory tests can evaluate digestive function. In-office tests such as chiropractic Applied Kinesiology are very helpful in determining the cause of fatigue.
If Toxemia is found to be the source of fatigue, a diet suitable for the individual's system, good digestion, assimilation and elimination are a must. In addition, chiropractic treatment can be of tremendous value in releasing the tensions and physical stress associated with fatigue as well as in helping to promote the body's own healing mechanisms to restore balance and health. To follow are some additional recommendations for the care of fatigue.
For more information about the ways that fatigue, stress and nutrition can affect health, see the following articles in this website: "Stress Syndrome and the Adaptive Response" and "Nutritional Healing" The article, "Logan Basic Chiropractic Technique," specifically discusses the accumulation and release of fatigue poisons.
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