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The rise in the diagnosis of chronic disease in the country over the past 10 years is staggering. We are at an all time low in our placement in the world in our health. Statistically, we are 37th out of the 39 first world countries in overall health as a nation in the United States. As far as I am concerned in being a 30 year veteran of the health care industry, this is pathetic. The worst part about it is the fact that most of the chronic diseases from which Americans suffer are totally avoidable!! The chronic diseases of which I speak are brought on mostly by poor lifestyle choices and bad decisions regarding what we eat, what we drink, whether or not we exercise, and how toxic our environment is. We set ourselves up for chronic diseases tomorrow by the lifestyle choices we make today.
In this article, I would like to discuss a topic that plagues our society- so much so that it has been given its own diagnostic code in the national index of diseases and conditions. The condition that I am referring to is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So many Americans suffer from the condition that we call chronic fatigue and an ongoing state of low energy that it is astounding. Chronic Fatigue is a debilitating combination of symptoms and problems associated with having to do with the lack of energy. You've lost your "zip" and your "get up and go" has gotten up and went!! Does this sound familiar? If so, read on, because there is hope!
This is a very complex topic, one I could spend hours teaching on, or writing about in an entire series of articles, so I will do my best to simplify it for you. I will briefly describe several of the leading causes of fatigue or lack of energy, and then try to provide some simple steps to apply toward improving your overall state of health and your energy levels.
Fatigue, tiredness, and low vitality are the most common symptoms for which people seek medical care. In other words, more people go to doctors in an attempt to solve their lack of energy issues than they do for pain! A recent survey found that 25% of all adults who use doctors and clinics to treat them, answered the survey question of "How often do you feel tired" with the response that they "ALWAYS feel tired". 25% is an astounding percentage!
First and foremost is the importance of an accurate diagnosis to determine the cause of your fatigue. This must be based on a series of examinations and tests coupled with discussions of your history and lifestyle to assist the doctor or specialist in making a specific assessment and diagnosis. The doctor will then have the appropriate information from which to make recommendations to help you on the road to recovery from this common condition that plagues so many Americans.
Let's talk about a few of the major causes of chronic fatigue and low energy levels. One of the most common is a deficiency in the vitamins and/or minerals necessary for the body to function the way that it should. Many might say "but Dr. Bolan, I eat three square meals a day. Isn't that enough to provide the vitamins and minerals that my body needs?" The answer is NO! In this day and age of our highly processed and refined foods, especially the "junk foods" that most Americans are so fond of, most of the nutritional value has been completely lost. They are not only devoid of any nutritional value, these foods actually REQUIRE more energy to digest and process in the body than they actually give back in return! This is what we refer to as "empty calories" or "negative calorie foods".
The packaged, boxed, and canned foods that most people live on in our society are devoid of most of the vitamins and minerals contained in foods that are closer to their natural state such as raw fruits and vegetables. Even then, you would have to eat more of the right kinds of foods than you may want to due to our soils being depleted of their valuable contents through over planting, fertilizers, and failure to let the land "rest" every few years like the Bible describes. Farmers are pressured to produce more than the land can yield year after year, and this has robbed our soils of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health.
Let me give you a prime example of what I am talking about. A research project was conducted in the fruit farming industry. When the results came in, even those conducting the research were astounded. They were studying the nutritional value of an ordinary peach today as compared to the nutritional value contained in a peach 40 years ago. For those of us "baby boomers" forty years ago just isn't that long ago! What they found is that ONE peach forty years ago had enough nutritional value contained inside, that today would require you to consume 54 peaches to get the same value!! 54 peaches compared to 1 peach in nutritional value and benefit from just 40 years of having depleted our soils and overproduced our crops.
Another primary cause of Chronic Fatigue syndrome is living under a level of stress greater than the body and mind can handle sustained over a long period of time. Stress, whether mental or physical, robs the body of vital energy reserves. You can think of it this way- under stress your body has to work much harder than it is supposed to just to accomplish our normal daily activities. There are only so many "energy units" to go around for each day, and once they are used up, your body is literally running on "empty". You can have a great engine in your car, but without having high grade fuel in the tank, the car won't run. Stress robs the body of the energy reserves that would normally exist, so that when you need them, they just aren't available. Your body then makes you aware of this energy reserve depletion by allowing you to "feel tired" so that you will go rest or lay down to replenish your energy reserves. The problem is that being under high stress over a long period of time causes your body to lose the ability to "refill your tanks" by simply resting.
Physical inactivity and the lack of proper exercise can also result in a state of low energy as well. This is a "catch 22" situation because you might ask "How can I become more active to offset my low energy when I am too tired to add even one more activity to my day?" It is a fair question and one that I hear daily from those who seek my counsel on health and healing. The problem is that without consistent cardiovascular exercise to stimulate your heart and circulation and to provide life-giving oxygen to your cells, the entire body becomes sluggish and does not get the vital nutrition to the cells that they so desperately need. Without proper circulation, the waste products in your cells back up and get clogged making them very inefficient producers of energy.
Over time, this inefficient production of energy adds up and results in further depletion of the reserves that your body needs to draw from when required by increased activity or higher levels of stress. It starts to use your reserves of energy for performing normal daily activities which further drains the tanks as I mentioned earlier. Combine this with eating foods that don't replace the nutrients that your body is craving and the viscous cycle spins out of control and feeds on itself in a very destructive way.
Other causes of Chronic Fatigue include such things as food allergies, being overweight, overuse of antibiotics, prescription drugs side effects, chemical toxicity, heart disease, thyroid trouble, elevated cholesterol, depression, and many, many others. Any or all of these are capable of being diagnosed or ruled out by the testing I was describing earlier in the article. If you suspect that you may be experiencing any of these, tell the doctor during your consultation and history review so they can run the appropriate tests to help you in the best, most accurate way available.
In the meantime, let's address some practical solutions regarding a few of the most common causes of Chronic Fatigue that I mentioned in this introductory article. The first is very simple and something that everyone on our planet should make it a point of implementing. That is taking a high potency multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement with each meal. You can think of it in terms of "health insurance" and prevention. It is an investment in making sure that your body gets all of the nutrients and "fuel" necessary to run at peak performance in addition to the foods that you eat. Or for some of you, I would have to say BECAUSE of the foods that you eat! But that is another article. The source of the nutritional vitamin and mineral supplement is important. You must make sure that the nutrients in the product that you are taking are capable of being absorbed by the body. If you have questions regarding which supplement to take, you can contact me personally at my email address or go to your local health food store and ask one of the clerks that are knowledgeable in this area. They are usually more than happy to help educate you in this area.
To offset and manage the effects of stress, nothing is any more important than a properly functioning nerve system. As many of you know, the Chiropractor specializes in the nerve system working at peak efficiency. A condition known as subluxation prevents the nerve system from working properly and thus causes the body to malfunction. It makes you more susceptible to the effects of stress. The solution is simple- go to a qualified Chiropractor and have your body checked for the presence of subluxation. There is no guessing involved. You either have this condition in your spine and nerve system or you don't. If you don't, great! If you have subluxation, the Chiropractor is the only health professional capable of finding and correcting this condition which can rob you of the vital energy needed in your nerve system to be the best you can be.
With regard to physical activity and the lack of proper exercise, this could come in the form of something as simple as walking or riding a stationary bicycle for 20-30 minutes a day. The key is consistency. You must find enough energy initially to commit to this type of exercise knowing that you are investing in the bank of building energy reserves. The payoff comes in as little as 30-60 days when instead of making you more tired, it provides a significant boost in your vitality, giving you what you the energy you need to make it through the day with greater ease! You'll wonder how you ever got along without this type of activity.
The last point that I will make in this article is probably one of the most important health topics that you will ever read about. It has been proven time and time again by a myriad of clinical research that the NUMBER ONE CAUSE of up to 90% of ALL Chronic Fatigue is mild dehydration. Our bodies and our cells are made up of over 70% water, so there is no other area of your health that is more important than making sure you are drinking enough water on a daily basis.
That's right. Simply not drinking enough good, clean, purified water is the number one cause of fatigue which is the number one reason why most people seek medical intervention for the symptoms or health problems that they are experiencing. Mild dehydration is said to be present in over 85% of all Americans on a daily basis! That is an astounding statistic! Just by drinking enough water during the day (which 99% of the population does NOT) you can virtually eliminate fatigue from your life.
Now, don't get me wrong. It is not enough to simply drink enough water. It has to be a very high quality of water. You can't go to the tap in our society today and get good, clean, pure water any longer. Our municipal water sources are full of toxins, poisons, all the drugs that people throw down their toilets, bacteria, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that you don't want to know about. Yes, the chlorine they put in the water at the local municipal plant kills most of the bacteria, but it does nothing for the other things in our water supply listed above. Fish and frogs are mutating in our streams and creeks that feed our water supplies because of all the drugs and chemicals in our water!
Bottled water may be a start, but since this is not an area of commerce regulated by the FDA, you have to be careful of the source of your water. Many of you have read that the company Dasani was caught putting tap water into their bottles and labeling it as "purified water". Test your bottled water by adding a few chlorine detection drops that you can get from a swimming pool supply store and see if the water that you are drinking is as "healthy" as it claims to be.
By far the best and most cost-effective solution is to have your own purification water unit in your home. They are very cost effective and over a year's period of time, it would more than pay for itself in the money that it saves you in having to buy your water one bottle at a time. Do your homework and decide which unit you feel best serves the needs of your family, but GET YOUR OWN WATER PURIFIER in your home! Many of the top companies offer financing options that allow you to make monthly installments or payments to help make it more affordable.
Don't trust what you are being "sold" by commercial television about the quality of the water you are drinking from their bottles. This is just too important to put your trust in a marketing campaign instead of knowing for yourself that you are getting the highest quality water available today. Invest in a home unit and you'll be glad you did. Your body will thank you for it!
If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy reading more about Dr. Tom Bolan. He is a 30 years veteran in the field of alternative healthcare having multiple degrees in several different disciplines of health care. He is a sought after speaker all over the country and is available to speak to your group as well. He has spoken to over half a million people over the past 10 years. For further information, you can contact him at http://www.drbolansbeyourbest.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.