Holistic Fatigue Busters This Winter by Svetlana Kogan, M.D.
If you ask your friends and family about their energy levels lately – many will admit to being somewhat or very tired throughout the day. People are shy to admit this to one another, but as a physician, I have observed fatigue to be the most common health issue pervading all sexes, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. Assuming that your doctor has verified that there is nothing
wrong with you from the medical standpoint, here are some tips to help you navigate this annoying lack of energy you may be experiencing.
Get rid of gluten in your diet. Gluten is a protein component of wheat, rye, and barley, and it makes up most of the breads and pastas. The nasty thing about gluten is that it causes inflammation and leads to new or worsening fatigue and foggy brain in the majority of people who consume it. It is very easy to avoid gluten toxicity. Just look for bread and pasta, which are labelled ‘gluten free’. There are some people who are very gluten-sensitive and have to be more cautious, looking out for gluten contamination of things like soy sauce and oatmeal, but their nutrition is best handled by their physician. For most of us, it will suffice to buy gluten-free breads, pastas, and breadcrumbs or crackers.
Take daily non-stop 30 minute walks to improve your circulation and blood flow to the brain. There is no excuse – the nature of Southwest Florida is one of the most beautiful in the world, so pick a cooler time of the day and just walk around your community. Early morning is the best time to do it, as it gets your juices going for the day and you can take a nice room temperature shower following your walk. However, if your work hours do not leave any room for a morning walk – do it in the evening after dinner. The Italians in Europe call it passeggiata. However, try not to stroll languidly as they do in Rome, but instead walk briskly and break a little sweat.
Try to limit your exposure to electric devices like cell phones and computers. Every electronic device emits electromagnetic radiation which affects your entire body. It just so happens that every living cell in your body has its own unique electromagnetic frequency, because as you recall from your biology class, we are in fact a bio-electrochemical factory on the microscopic level. When a person is repetitively exposed to electromagnetic fields from the surrounding electric devices, normal cellular processing is affected. Feeling wiped out is just one of the many outcomes of being a chronic user of electronic gadgets. This topic deserves a dedicated commentary but for the purposes of these holistic tips – just curb your time on the cell phone and computer to when it is absolutely necessary for your work.
Make smart visits to the beach instead of frying your brain and skin in the dangerous ultraviolet radiation. The healthiest time to frolic on the sand and in the Gulf is until 10 in the morning, and after 6 in the evening. It is ironic how most people damage their skin in the sun just to wind up paying thousands of dollars afterwards to get rid of pigmentation and brown spots in the doctor’s office. “But don’t I need sunlight to get Vitamin D?” you may ask. Actually, sunlight is required for processing of only 10% of Vitamin D in your body made in the liver, so the above recommended times for outdoor activities are more than ample to allow for internal Vitamin D activation. Ninety percent of Vitamin D comes in already active form from our diet, and can be easily supplemented in case of deficiency.
Avoid daily alcohol. It is a sedative that clouds the brain and robs you of energy in more ways than one. When your liver is busy processing alcohol – it cannot effectively metabolize the sugar in your blood. Many eastern philosophies like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine smirk upon alcohol intake altogether. Being a holistic physician, I tend to look for the golden balance rule. If you have alcohol dependency – I agree that sobriety is the only solution. However, if you are not an alcoholic, and want to stay focused and productive in the heat of the summer, you will benefit from limiting your alcohol intake (including wine and beer) to 1-2 servings/night on 1-2 nights per week, likely on your days off.
Surround yourself with positive upbeat people and avoid hanging out with the so-called emotional vampires. Have you ever felt exhausted and feeling down after a conversation with someone, even though moments prior to that interaction you were perfectly energetic and happy? There is a simple physiologic explanation to feeling this way. Our cells are made up of mostly water. Recent research shows that cellular activity is affected by sounds, speech, and even thoughts. Exposure to bad news, disparaging comments, and even resentful thoughts from someone you are standing next to does in fact make you produce less happy peptides and neurotransmitters.
So, do yourself and others a favor: Live. Pray. Love. Be Happy
Dr.Kogan is a Concierge Holistic Internal Medicine doctor in Naples. Her website is CustomLongevity.com
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