Are you one of the 31 percent of adults who suffer from ongoing fatigue? Tired of being hooked on stimulants that give you little more than a short-term jolt of artificial energy?
If you want to feel great with real and, more importantly, healthy energy, all you have to do is think "S.H.I.N.E.
S.H.I.N.E. is an acronym I've used for years as a physician specializing in treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia — two energy-sapping illnesses. It represents a summary of the five health areas that need to be tended to for optimum energy. These are:
• Nutrition, and
Sleep. You need to get adequate sleep — preferably eight to nine hours a night. Sleep replenishes the body's energy and heals its muscles.
Inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted and in pain, and can lead to a dysfunctional immune system, leaving you less able to fend off viral and other infections that can invade your body and deplete your energy even further.
Have insomnia? Natural sleep aids can be very helpful. These include melatonin, magnesium, and the herbs theanine, Jamaican Dogwood, wild lettuce, valerian, passionflower and hops.
A simple tip? The smell of lavender helps you sleep, so try putting a spray or two of lavender oil on your pillow or upper lip before going to bed.
Hormones. Did you know that labs miss the large majority of people with hormonal deficiencies? They do — particularly for functional deficiencies in your thyroid glands and adrenal glands (your stress handlers).
It's better to go by symptoms. Feeling tired and achy, experiencing unusual weight gain and becoming intolerant to cold temperature suggests a low thyroid.
Both glands can be helped though nutritional supplements. Taking iodine can help your thyroid glands. Exhausted adrenal glands can be improved through a mix of adrenal glandulars, vitamin C, pantothenic acid and licorice — not licorice candy, which has no licorice, but the herbal version or a cup of licorice tea a day (but don’t use licorice if you have high blood pressure).
You should also cut out sugar. But you should not restrict salt. Following this plan can smooth out your energy and moods in just a few days.
Infections. Untreated infections in your body can leave you drained of energy, especially Candida/yeast overgrowth in the gut. Suspect this if you have chronic sinusitis or spastic colon. Taking probiotics and avoiding sugars (yeast grow by fermenting sugar) along with other antifungal treatments can be very helpful in getting rid of the yeast — and will often make the spastic colon and sinusitis go away as well.
For chronic bladder infections, a simple supplement called Mannose can be helpful for both treatment and prevention.
Nutrition. Optimal nutritional supplementation is essential for all-around energy. Widespread nutritional deficiencies are common, and many people lack dozens of important nutrients in their daily diets.
It's almost impossible to meet all your nutritional needs without some amount of nutritional supplementation. Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement every day — I suggest taking a powder drink-mix form, as you can get much more nutritional bang for the buck than the equivalent in pill form.
Meanwhile, cut out excess sugars such as sodas and fruit juices (eat the whole fruit instead) and drink plenty of water. A refreshing and healthy drink? Make lemonade from lemon or lime juice sweetened with stevia.
Exercise. Incorporate a daily exercise program into your lifestyle. You don't have to be a gym rat. Just do what is comfortable for you, even if you're only able to muster a 10-minute walk a day. Regular exercise, even if as little as that, is much more beneficial than no exercise at all.
And if you can do something fun outdoors in the sun—even better. The current "wisdom" to avoid sunshine is actually dangerous and leads to widespread vitamin D deficiency. Better advice? Avoid sunburn — not sunshine!
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