Chronic Fatigue and Pain
Is fatigue or pain limiting you from living your life to the fullest? Have you suffered without relief from the mainstream approaches? There is hope…recovery from these conditions IS very possible!
When our physical symptoms impair our ability to be the best version of ourselves, we are not able to live to our full potential. Health is the foundation of our lives, but it’s also the ceiling. It’s not possible to excel in any area of our life when our health is only mediocre or poor. When our health is only a 5/10, how can anything else be more than a 5/10? How can you function at a 10/10 level at work, in your finances, or with your family?…. you can’t.
The things that seem to be most limiting for patients are fatigue and pain. You want to do certain things, probably a lot of things…but your body doesn’t let you. Sometimes it’s your brain that gets tired. That is one of the most frustrating experiences – having the desire to do something but a body (or brain!) that doesn’t cooperate.
I commonly encounter patients who suffer from many of the following issues:
- Chronic fatigue
- Fibromyalgia and other aches and pains
- Migraine headaches
- Sleep disturbances
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Mood issues
- Cognitive issues – brain fog, mental fatigue, etc
It’s common to find patients who have problems with multiple systems – fatigue, pain, mood, sleep and issues with their gut. These things are connected! Often these symptoms can creep up on us and are not explained by any one event. In conventional medicine, the approach is to manage the chronic condition with painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-seizure medications, sleeping pills and muscle relaxants. These approaches, however, don’t address the causes and can lead to serious side effects with long-term use.
When we do a deep dive looking for underlying imbalances in your biochemistry, we often find similar causes for fatigue and for pain. The way chronic conditions arise is this: the body can take a certain amount of “hits” to its well-being and bounce back…until it can’t. It can recover from a certain amount of toxic assaults, depending on our individual resilience. Think of it as a cup…and we’ll call it homeostasis. Over years, or a lifetime, the cup fills up and at some point it can overflow. At this point, we have lost homeostasis and experience the onset of symptoms, or even, overt clinical disease.
Things we find when we look “under the hood” in these conditions can be:
- oxidative stress (rust!)
- immune system dysfunction
- mitochondrial problems
- nutritional deficiencies – magnesium and CoQ10 deficiencies are common causes
- stress (yes, we can measure stress)
- problems with the gut microbiome, gastrointestinal infections, and often abnormal intestinal permeability (aka “leaky gut”)
- hidden gut infections
- hormonal imbalances, particularly of the thyroid. Subclinical hypothyroidism is a common root cause of both pain and fatigue and is frequently a missed diagnosis. Loss of our sex hormones as we age is a big factor as well.
Usually, it’s not just one thing, but several imbalances that have caused the condition to arise.
When you know what’s going on beneath the surface of the diagnosis or label, you can then take action and begin to recover from your condition. The findings we encounter using functional medicine are actionable, empowering you to take charge of your health. The things that caused the cup to overflow can be dealt with and reversed. Balance to your system can be once again achieved.