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Holistic Medicine and Chronic Fatigue, Page 2 of 2

Continued from page 1. Link to page 1

Other major causes of fatigue:

digestion and fatigue hcl stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes and liver gallbladder function Digestion

We are not what we eat. We are what we eat, absorb and utilize. If we can't get basic nutrition from our food, it's going to be hard to have much energy.

Proper digestion depends on:

  • Chewing
  • Sufficient HCL production in the stomach (this is decreased by stress and age)
  • Pancreatic enzymes
  • Liver and gallbladder function to absorb fats

Nutritional deficiencies due to poor digestive function is a huge cause of fatigue.

By changing eating habits and taking supplements to aid in digestion, people can improve digestion, nutrition and increase energy. Taking some simple steps to improve digestion can have a surprisingly huge impact on energy levels.

leaky gut, hyperpermeability picture Leaky Gut Syndrome

In “leaky gut” or gut hyper-permeability, large food particles and microbes that are not supposed to pass through the gut lining and be absorbed into the body, are absorbed into the body.

This lead to fatigue, allergies and even auto-immune disease, as once these allergens get into the body the immune system is going to be excessively activated.

Bacterial dysbiosis, parasites and candida are other digestive concerns. Parasites are under diagnosed. They are often not even considered unless there is severe GI symptoms, but they are problems for many people.


food allergies that cause fatigue Food Allergies
Generally people are allergic the what they east the most. Therefore the most common food allergies in this country are to: wheat, corn, soy, dairy and eggs. Food allergies are often hidden with symptoms only happening several days after the allergenic food is eaten. So allergies can become difficult to figure out, but sometimes are critical in alleviating fatigue.

In celiac disease, gluten (found in wheat and some other grains) causes intestinal damage, but effects other organs as well, such as the liver and brain. Undiagnosed celiac disease is common cause of chronic fatigue and many other illnesses.


multiple chemical sensitivities caused by toxicity effect the liver and cause chronic fatigue Toxicity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Today our world is overloaded from toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, genetically modified foods, plastics that mimic estrogen, and even radiation.

Toxins may over load the body's major detoxifying organ, the liver. Some people seem allergic to everything due to multiple chemical sensitivities. They need to avoid going out to certain places and may or may not have a history of known exposure to toxins.


Detoxification is essential in helping people with multiple chemical sensitivities improve their health. However, even without obvious symptoms of toxicity, this is still a problem everyone faces to some degree. In the modern world full of so many chemicals and toxins, we are all exposed.

toxins disrupt mitochondria and cause chronic fatigue Mitochondria Dysfunction
Mitochondria are tiny organelles in each of our cells which produce our body's stored form of energy called ATP. Toxicity or nutritional deficiencies can disrupt this process. If our cells can't produce energy then we will have low energy and feel chronically fatigued.

Even the foods people eat can be a major toxins, especially on the standard American diet. Sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are all major toxins.


poor immune function leads to chronic fatigue The immune system

Infections, including hard to diagnose sub-acute infections are another concern.

But infections are about more than just taking antibiotics. We are all exposed to viruses and bacteria, but not everyone gets sick from them. Therefore to truly recover from fatigue and chronic infections, it's necessary to repair the body's own immune system.

However there are some virulent infections such as Lyme disease that do require antibiotics.


Lifestyle Considerations

Additional considerations center around lifestyle. Is someone a workaholic? What about exercise habits? The, use of recreational drugs? Exposure to hidden environmental allergens? Weep habits and even family situation.






doctors often ignore disease states that come up on their own labs! Disease states ignored by doctors
Any time you have lab work done you should get a copy of the results and look up anything that may be abnormal yourself. Sometimes chronically sick people are told that all their labs are normal when even by conventional standards they are not!

Abnormal values may be highlighted in bold on lab reports yet go totally ignored and unmentioned by doctors. Sometimes these over looked abnormal lab results really are nothing, but other times they truly are significant.


In conclusion

Hormones, digestion, detoxification, nutrition, lifestyle, sub-acute infections and other factors can have a cumulative effect when things go wrong. Often people have several of the above mentioned functional problems and the conventional medical doctors are not looking at any of them.

With so many factors to consider, chronic fatigue can seem very complex. The good news is that more often than not, recovering from chronic fatigue is not about finding the disease, and getting the right drugs to suppress symptoms. Recovery is about health, and returning the body to a state of wellness.


More in depth information about chronic fatigue and the approach to treating it at Naturopathic Wellness can be found on the various articles on this web site ( is also frequently updated). Some links are:

Hypothyroidism treatment guide

What is fibromyalgia?

Adrenal exhaustion and chronic fatigue

Conventional medicine and chronic fatigue: the failed paradigm