Fatigue

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Q & A With Dr. Michael Wald

stresssleeping1. True or False: A depressed immune system is the primary cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

ANSWER: False – A depressed immune system is not the only cause of CFS, and may not be affected at all. Factors such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, heavy metal toxicity, food allergies, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, blood sugar problems, cancer, various anemia’s, under-nutrition and/or malabsorption syndromes are just some of the possible causes and/or contributors of CFS.

2. Which of the following is the most likely cause of chronic fatigue syndrome?

a. Stress
b. Poor nutrition
c. Food and environmental toxins
d. Viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites
e. All of the above

ANSWER: D: However, all of the above can cause and or worsen CFS. There is no exact test that can diagnose CFS, a combination of tests that expand over several medical and nutritional specialties is often required. If a holistic, well-rounded approach is not used, the underlying, often hidden, cause(s) of CFS are undiscovered and thus improperly treated.

3. Which of the following are symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

a. Lack of energy, malaise
b. Joint pain, muscle soreness, tender points (with or without fibromyalgia)
c. Irritable bowel syndrome
d. Autoimmune reactions (allergies, rashes, etc)
e. All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above

4. True or False: Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome should consist of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and/or
aspirin to relieve physical symptoms associated with CFS.

ANSWER: False, if you want to treat the underlying cause of the CFS. A person suffering from CFS does not have a “deficiency of aspirin,” for example. Remember, CFS is merely a “label”, a diagnostic term, and nothing more. Natural therapies focused on the underlying cause’s offer the potential for healing and not merely covering up symptoms. Often, medications for CFS often fail by nature of their non-specificity and have inherent risks, and should be considered last and not first resorts, for managing CFS.

5. True or False: Coconut oil may be one of the best solutions to chronic fatigue syndrome.

ANSWER: True – The fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric, capric and caprylic acid all have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can be used as a natural treatment to CFS.

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.

Fatigue – The Many Misconceptions

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qaQ & A With Dr. Michael Wald and Dr. Nilay Shah

Test your knowledge regarding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

1. True or False: A depressed immune system is the primary cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

ANSWER: False – A depressed immune system is not the only cause of CFS; and may not be affected at all. Factors such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, heavy metal toxicity, food allergies, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, blood sugar problems, cancer, various anemia’s, under-nutrition and/or mal-absorption syndromes are just some of the possible causes and/or contributors of CFS.

2. Which of the following is the most likely cause of chronic fatigue syndrome?

a. Stress
b. Poor nutrition
c. Food and environmental toxins
d. Viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites
e. All of the above

ANSWER: D: However, all of the above can cause and or worsen CFS. There is no exact test that can diagnose CFS, a combination of tests thatnexpand over several medical and nutritional specialties is often required. If a holistic, well-rounded approach is not used the underlying, often hidden, cause(s) of CFS are undiscovered and thus improperly treated.

3. Which of the following are symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

a. Lack of energy, malaise
b. Joint pain, muscle soreness, tender points (with or without fibromyalgia)
c. Irritable bowel syndrome
d. Autoimmune reactions (allergies, rashes, etc)
e. All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above

stresssleeping4. True or False: Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome should consist of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and/or aspirin to relieve physical symptoms associated with CFS.

ANSWER: False, if you want to treat the underlying cause of the CFS. A person suffering from CFS does not have a “deficiency of aspirin” for example. Remember, CFS is merely a “label”, a diagnostic term, and nothing more. Natural therapies focused on the underlying cause’s offers the potential for healing and not merely covering up symptoms. Often, medications for CFS often fail by nature of their non-specificity and have inherent risks; and should be considered last and not fi rst resorts, for managing CFS.

5. True or False: Coconut oil may be one of the best solutions to chronic fatigue syndrome.

ANSWER: True – The fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric, capric and caprylic acid all have antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties that can be used as a natural treatment to CFS.

– Dr. Michael Wald, Brain-Energy Blast

Part 2 – Fatigue Prescription – Renew-O-Meter

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Continued from Part 1 of this article…..

By Dr. Linda Hawes Clever

friendsTHE RENEW-O-METER
Your answers to these questions (one answer per question) will help you measure how deftly you juggle your commitments and how much you could benefit from renewing.

ONE: HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU REALLY LAUGH YESTERDAY?
0 (0 points)
1–2 (1 point)
3–4 (2 points)
5–6 (3 points)
7+ (4 points)

TWO: HOW OFTEN DO YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW?
Haven’t learned a new subject in the last year (0 points)
I’m focused exclusively on my field (1 point)
I read or search widely beyond my field (2 points)
I take courses outside my field (3 points)
I teach others (4 points)

THREE: HOW MANY TIMES IN THE PAST THREE DAYS DO YOU (OR OTHERS) THINK YOU OVERREACTED, LET A LITTLE THING GET TO YOU IN A BIG WAY?
0 (4 points)
1–2 (3 points)
3–4 (2 points)
5–6 (1 point)
7+ (0 points)

FOUR: HOW OFTEN IN THE PAST MONTH DID YOU FEEL TRAPPED, A PRISONER OF CIRCUMSTANCES?
Never (4 points)
Once or twice (3 points)
Three or four times (2 points)
Five or six times (1 point)
More than seven times (0 points)

FIVE: HOW OFTEN DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS OUTSIDE OF YOUR PROFESSION?
Every day or two (4 points)
Once a week (3 points)
Every other week (2 points)
Once a month (1 point)
A few times a year (0 points)

womantwistingSIX: WHEN DID YOU LAST FEEL BOLD ENOUGH TO TAKE A RISK?
Within the past week (4 points)
1–2 weeks ago (3 points)
3–8 weeks ago (2 points)
3–6 months ago (1 point)
Can’t remember (0 points)

SEVEN: HOW MANY SIT-DOWN DINNERS DID YOU HAVE WITH YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS IN THE PAST WEEK?
0 (0 points)
1–2 (1 point)
3–4 (2 points)
5–6 (3 points)
7+ (4 points)

EIGHT: HOW MANY TIMES IN THE PAST WEEK DID YOU SPEND MORE THAN ONE HOUR REFRESHING YOUR BODY OR SPIRIT (NOT COUNTING EATING OR SLEEPING)?
6+ (4 points)
4–5 (3 points)
2–3 (2 points)
1 (1 point)
None (0 points)

NINE: HOW OFTEN DO CONSIDER YOUR OWN ASPIRATIONS WHEN YOU MAKE DECISIONS?
My what? (0 points)
Rarely (1 point)
Sometimes (2 points)
Frequently (3 points)
Always (4 points)

TEN: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ENCOURAGED SOMEONE?
Today (4 points)
This week (3 points)
This month (2 points)
Two or three months ago (1 point)
Six months ago or more (0 points)

YOUR SCORE =

SCORE & DIAGNOSIS

31 – 40
Superstar juggler. You’re doing great. Keep renewing yourself and others.

25 – 30
All-star juggler. You have plenty of balls in the air, but you’re paying a price. What will you do to renew?

20 – 24
Two-star juggler. You’re probably worried about how you will keep all those balls in the air. This is a splendid time to reflect and renew.

0 – 19
No-star juggler. You seem to have too many balls in the air, or you could be discouraged or overwhelmed. Think about making a quick U-turn toward renewing!

– Linda Hawes Clever, MD, attended Stanford University, where she earned her medical degree. Linda is known for “firsts,” which include: first woman Governor in the American College of Physicians; and first woman editor of the Western Journal of Medicine. She is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. In 1998, she founded RENEW, a non-profit organization that aims to help busy, devoted people regain—or maintain—their effectiveness and creativity. Linda has chaired the board of KQED Public Radio and served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees for fourteen years. She is the author of The Fatigue Prescription: Four Steps to Renewing Your Energy, Health and Life from Viva Editions.

Part 1 – Fatigue Prescription – Renew-O-Meter

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By Dr. Linda Hawes Clever

womanTired? Feeling pressed and under-appreciated? Low on energy? Grumpy? Often grumpy? Sighing a lot? Head-achy? Back-achy? Losing your creative edge? On the edge? Calendar more of a wishlist than a schedule?

You are not alone. I will show you how to get beyond fatigue.

I have spent years as a multitasking physician. I’ve tried to be a good wife, parent, speaker, counselor, and community volunteer while working to prevent people from getting sick or injured. I tried to heal them when prevention didn’t work. I’ve seen people get sicker and more tired despite my best efforts and theirs. I have come to realize that, along with hazards, habits, and jobs, the lives of most of the people around us demand almost too much of us.

I didn’t think much about overdoing it except to apply bandages to patients and friends—until the wheels fell off of my own life. In one eighteen-month period, my parents died, our house was burglarized, I lost two jobs, and my husband Jamie was diagnosed with cancer. One ray of light was our daughter Sarah. My spirits went from flying high to sinking forty thousand leagues under the sea. Not only was I devastated and overwhelmed, I was tired.

Many devoted, capable people with plenty of good things going on and lots to look forward to are felled by fatigue. My fatigue came from too much sorrow. Yours may, too. Or from overreaching and overworking. Or all of the above. You long to do more for your family, your work, and the world, yet you can’t get up the steam to get going; you’re just too darned tired. The dangerous endpoint is to shut down.

After months of mourning and hoping, it became clear to me that the people and structures I had counted on had vanished.

After months of mourning and hoping, it became clear to me that the people and structures I had counted on had vanished. I saw that I needed to renew, refresh, and rebuild my whole life. When I was finally able to look around, I also saw that too many other people were suffering. Some had losses; others had anxieties and uncertainties. Most were soldiering on with huge loads of work and responsibilities, no longer bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Some wondered if they could keep on at their pace without losing their zest; Something had to be done. There had to be a better way.

My good friend and mentor, John W. Gardner, former Secretary of the Unites States Department of Health, Education and Welfare and founder of Common Cause, had written on leadership, excellence, and renewing. I decided this was the time to put John’s theory of renewing into practice. But how?

First I revisited the values that underlay my commitments and therefore my calendar. The things that matter most to me include family, friends, and wanting to make a difference through medicine. Early on, I didn’t know how to get beyond re-certifying my values, but with John’s advice and prodding, I started to give talks at meetings and seminars for doctors, nurses, teachers, volunteers, churchgoers, executives, and other leaders. I asked questions and listened as people attested to the importance of renewing. Then I asked them to list the ways they did it. I kept track of all the answers. As ideas crystallized, some friends and I organized the not-for-profit RENEW. John gave a rousing keynote speech at our first one-and-a-half-day gathering. He pointed out that meaning is something you build into your life. The link between finding meaning in your life and conquering fatigue is to renew yourself—your spirit, energy, dreams, and relationships. Paying attention to others and myself, I took on a do-it-yourself project to do just that.

womanarmupOver the decade since starting RENEW, I have determined that most of us go through four steps to restore ourselves. It isn’t a direct path from the first to the last step, either. You may well meander, take a rest, double back, or detour. That’s all right, because you have a tested, successful approach to guide you. This approach has worked for thousands—including me—and I believe it will work for you. I call it the Fatigue Prescription.

The tried and true Renew-O-Meter is a good starting point. We designed it to help jugglers like you gauge your feelings and behavior. Fill in the blanks and begin to think about how pleased you are with your life—or how tired you are. And how you would like your life to be.

To view Part 2 of this article, and to try the Renew-O-Meter, Click here.

– Linda Hawes Clever, MD, attended Stanford University, where she earned her medical degree. Linda is known for “firsts,” which include: first woman Governor in the American College of Physicians; and first woman editor of the Western Journal of Medicine. She is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. In 1998, she founded RENEW, a non-profit organization that aims to help busy, devoted people regain—or maintain—their effectiveness and creativity. Linda has chaired the board of KQED Public Radio and served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees for fourteen years. She is the author of The Fatigue Prescription: Four Steps to Renewing Your Energy, Health and Life from Viva Editions.

Adrenal Fatigue: A Stealthy Culprit Setting Us Up To Be Sad, Sick, Fat And Older Faster

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By Genie James

Adrenal Fatigue: A Stealthy Culprit Setting Us Up to Be Sad, Sick, Fat and Older Faster

(Or, What Happens When Superwoman Stubs Her Toe!)

stressStress can make us tense and sick. It can also make us fat. Worst of all, it will accelerate our aging. I should know…I am unfortunately the “poster girl” for repeat bouts of adrenal fatigue. Let me first define adrenal fatigue, then explain how you and I get set up for it. In upcoming weeks, if you are interested, I will also share a few tips for turning adrenal fatigue and the ravages of stress around.

Our adrenal glands produce three stress hormones: adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA. Short-term, urgent stress – such as seeing your five year old reach for a hot skillet or having your husband ask you to watch him sky dive – triggers a rush of adrenaline. Long-term, chronic stress has a different impact at a cellular level.

Chronic stress is defined as a circumstance that exists for three months or more. Some more common chronic stressors for women include ongoing financial pressures, single motherhood, caring for an ill and aging parent, attempting to juggle a heavy workload and home life, or attempting to discipline an irascible teenager. Chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to, first, produce an overabundance of cortisol; however, once this supply is exhausted, cortisol levels plummet.

Clinical studies show that too high or too low cortisol levels pack pounds around the waist. And, according to American experts from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), “Persistent or chronic stress has the potential to put individuals at a substantially increased risk of depression, anxiety and many other emotional difficulties.” Randy (C.W. Randolph, Jr, MD) cautions: “Long-term adrenal exhaustion is dangerous because it can:

• Slow down healing and normal cell regeneration.

• Co-opt parent molecules needed to make other vital hormones.

• Impair digestion, metabolism and mental function.

• Interfere with healthy endocrine function.

• Weaken our immune system.”

stresssleepingI was first diagnosed with adrenal fatigue in 2002. At the time I was to the outside world a successful corporate get-it-done-girl, heading the sales team for multi-million dollar healthcare company. Unfortunately, high-pressure expectations combined with dawn-to-midnight seven day work weeks and none-too-glamorous jet-setting from meeting to meeting ultimately did me in. I was depressed, constantly sick with colds and/or flu, and had the vitality of an old mushroom. In the mirror, I sadly saw how I also resembled that mushroom.

My second adrenal collapse occurred in 2007 on the heels of the death of one of my best friends, Smiles Randolph (Randy’s mother). As any of you know who have cared for an ill or dying parent, love cannot neutralize the brutal effects of the worry and inevitable thirty-six hours days. Even though my caretaking stint was of much shorter duration than that of Smiles’s loving three daughters, I was once again down for the count. It took months before I felt like myself again. The new wrinkles around my eyes, however, were there to stay. Honestly, that’s okay. I think of Smiles’s twinkly eyes and a few creases on my own face are a small price to pay.

This last time I should have known better, seen the warning signs. In late September I was feeling in high-cotton having wine and cheese with female venture capitalists in Silicon Valley while I pitched my new women’s health business idea. Then word came (and I got your emails!) that there were serious customer service issues back home in our medical practice. I debated and delayed for a few days. How can I finish my new book, continue to champion my new business idea while also stepping back into day-to-day operations? I wondered. A chorus of well-meaning friends and colleagues encouraged, “Of course you can do it all.”

I listened. Wrong choice. Let me assure you that I, for one, am testimony that fifty-three year old wannabe Superwomen end up with headaches, hemorrhoids, depression, droopy jowls, listless days and nights…and adrenal fatigue. Is there hope for the hyper-achieving me, and possibly you? Yes, there is.

It would seem as if I am finally becoming wiser. I do wish that were the case. The truth is that for months I ran around like a crazy woman moving mountains and pulling miracle-level achievements out of my bazoom; then something unforeseen brought me to a screeching, hobbling halt.

I’ve just had labwork done to determine just how suppressed my adrenal system might be. After my labwork is in, I will look to my personal physician, Lori Leaseburge, MD, to advise me if additional nutritional supplementation is recommended. In the meantime, I have finished my new book but am putting my new business idea on hold for now. “Doing it all” was about to “do me in.” Instead, I am resting more and taking more and more “good and needed” activities off my plate.

It would seem as if I am finally becoming wiser. I do wish that were the case. The truth is that for months I ran around like a crazy woman moving mountains and pulling miracle-level achievements out of my bazoom; then something unforeseen brought me to a screeching, hobbling halt.

I broke my big toe in a yoga class. Don’t laugh. It hurt, and still hurts, but Divine intervention or not, this toe-thing has slowed me down to a crawl. Irregularly, I am finding myself grateful. It is forcing me to make different, better, more discerning choices…

What will it take for you to slow down and live the one life the best woman in you has to live?

– Genie James is an Author, Speaker, Business Owner and Liftoff Activist for women and girls.
As a trailblazer in natural women’s health, personalized medicine and relationship-centered care, Genie first turned the traditional medical community on its ear with Making Managed Care Work (McGraw-Hill, 1997) and Winning in the Women’s Healthcare Marketplace (Jossey-Bass, 2000). She is the co-author of From Belly Fat to Belly Flat (Health Communications, Inc. 2007; now in five languages), and From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well (Health Communication, Inc. 2009; winner of the 2010 National Consumer Health Information Bronze Award) with her husband C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., R.Ph. Genie’s fifth book In the Mood Again (Simon and Schuster 2010) offers hope and solutions for the over forty million American women and men living in low-sex, no-sex relationships. THE FOUNTAIN OF TRUTH! Outsmart Hype, False Hope and Heredity to Recalibrate How You Age (Health Communications, Inc. April 2013) is a recommended toolbox that every woman will need to healthily and happily navigate the decades. For more information: agelessandwellness.com