Many people will experience either temporary or more long-standing problems with having enough energy. It is important to be able to identify an energy problem, determine the cause and figure out how to improve it.
If you do not have enough energy, you may feel a sense of fatigue and you may have difficulty pushing through your day. Exercising may seem like a struggle or you may not be able to exercise at the same level as you did 6 to 12 months ago; your aerobic or weight lifting abilities may seem decreased. If you are an athlete, you may notice that your performance is not as good. If energy problems become severe, it may be difficult to get basic activities done, such as work, grocery shopping, etc.
Medical conditions and fatigue
There are numerous medical conditions that can lead to fatigue. You should be evaluated by a medical practitioner for medical causes of fatigue, and if one or more causes are found, you should consider getting treated.
Hormones and energy
The most important hormonal systems for maintaining energy are the thyroid and the adrenal glands.
The most common fatigue-inducing problem with the thyroid is an under active thyroid, or hypothyroid condition. You can help boost thyroid function by taking a multivitamin and mineral product that contains selenium and iodine. If your thyroid is truly low, you may benefit from taking a thyroid medication. Your medical practitioner can test thyroid function with a TSH blood test. Occasionally a free T3 test is also useful.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys, on both sides of your body. They are crucial in maintaining blood pressure and they support many different body processes. Excessive stress that goes on for weeks or months can compromise the adrenal glands. There are a number of stages of adrenal dysfunction. In the early stage you may feel over stimulated, stressed and tired; eventually, you feel low energy most of the time. A saliva test to measure adrenal gland output over an average day may be useful. This test can lead to more specific diagnosis and treatments of the adrenal problems.
The cellular level
A number of biochemical processes in the cells contribute to making energy. You should consume healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Your body can break down this food into smaller chemicals which can enter the mitochondria and be used to make energy. There are many enzymes involved in different aspects of energy production, and these involve other vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, copper and zinc.
Supplements to aid in energy production
If you lack energy consider the following supplements:
A high potency multivitamin and mineral complex in the full dose (three to six per day) to supply B complex vitamins and minerals;
An antioxidant combination with alpha lipoic acid;
Coenzyme Q10 in doses of 100 to 200 mg per day;
Nutrients to support detoxification, such as N-acetyl-cysteine in amounts of 500 mg once or twice per day; and
L-carnitine in doses of 500 mg once or twice a day.
What can go wrong in the cells?
Besides having low levels of vitamins or minerals, your mitochondria can be damaged by toxic metals, viruses and by free radicals. Free radicals are extra electrons that are highly reactive in your body. You are exposed to them from pollution in the air, water and food as well as from household products. Free radicals can also increase with radiation from x-rays and airplane trips. Your body does have some internal antioxidants to quench the free radicals, but often this is not enough. It is important to decrease your exposure to things that will increase free radicals.
Lifestyle and diet recommendations
Decrease your exposure to toxins when possible: Use low VOC (volatile organic chemicals) products in remodeling and painting. Try to eat organic foods when possible to decrease pesticide and toxic metal exposure. Decrease your consumption of large fish such as tuna and swordfish to decrease metal consumption and decrease your exposure to sprayed pesticides and herbicides.
Eat a diet rich in natural antioxidants: Consume organic berries and citrus fruits. Eat a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables and the onion family of vegetables to support your bodys natural detoxification systems. The Truestar meal plans contain all the best foods to keep you healthy.
Maintain optimal immunity: Get enough sleep and plenty of exercise to keep your immunity healthy. Limit exposure to crowds and sick individuals and consider supplements to improve your immunity, including echinacea. See the Truestar Healthy Immunity Plan.
Getting adequate sleep is very important in maintaining your energy level. Refer to the Truestar Sleep section for more information on sleep.
Get moving: Regular aerobic exercise can help you feel more energetic, as long as you have enough energy to exercise. If you are not currently exercising and feel you have enough energy to do your daily tasks, then you can start an aerobic exercise program. Start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. If you are exhausted the day after a workout, you have progressed too quickly. Complete the Truestar Exercise Profile for a customized exercise program.
Maintaining your energy is important for good health. If a complete medical evaluation finds no medical reason for your lack of energy, the suggestions in this article may help. The lifestyle suggestions can be very helpful in maintaining the energy systems of your body.