Almost every one has to work long hours on certain occasions, sacrificing rest and sleep. This may cause temporary fatigue,
Causes and Symptoms
Fatigue refers to a feeling of tiredness or weariness. It can be temporary or chronic. This condition can be remedied by adequate rest. Chronic or continuous fatigue is, however, a serious problem which requires a comprehensive plan of treatment
A specific character trait, compulsiveness, can lead to continuous fatigue. Many persons constantly feel that they cannot take rest until they finish everything that needs to be done at one time. These persons are usually tense and cannot relax unless they complete the whole job, no matter how tired they may be.
The main cause of fatigue is lowered vitality or lack of energy due to wrong feeding habits. The habitual use of refined foods such as white sugar, refined cereals, white flour products, and processed foods have very bad effect on the system in general. Foods ‘denatured’ in this way are deprived, to a very great extent, of their invaluable vitamins and minerals. Certain physical and mental conditions can cause fatigue. These include anaemia, intestinal worms, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, any kind of infection in the body, liver damage, allergy to foods and drugs, insomnia, mental tension, and unresolved emotional problems. Poisons and toxins resulting from air, soil, and water pollution can also lead to fatigue.
Cereal Seeds: The patient suffering from fatigue should eat nutritious foods which supply energy to the body. Cereal seeds in their natural state relieve fatigue and provide energy. These cereal seeds are corn seeds, wheat seeds, rye seeds, maize seeds, barley seeds, and oat seeds. They must be freshly milled. In uncooked cereals we have a perfect food for perfect health which contains the essential vitamins and energy creators. In addition to cereal seeds, fresh raw nuts should be taken directly.
B Vitamins: The patient should also take natural vitamins and mineral supplements as an effective assurance against nutritional deficiencies as such deficiencies cause fatigue. Lack of pantothenic acid, a B vitamin, in particular, leads to extreme fatigue as deficiency of this vitamin is associated with exhaustion of the adrenal glands. A daily dosage of 30 mg of pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is recommended. However the entire B complex group should be taken, with the recommended quantity of pantothenic acid, so as to avoid imbalance of some of the other B vitamins. In fact the entire B complex group protects nerves and increases energy by helping to nourish and regulate glands. Foods rich in vitamin B are brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, rice polishings, and liver.
Minerals: Minerals are also important. Potassium is essential for protection against fatigue. Green leafy vegetables, oranges, potatoes and lentils are rich in this mineral. Calcium is essential for relaxation and is beneficial in cases of insomnia and tension, both of which can lead to fatigue. Milk and milk products, green vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, oats, and walnuts are rich sources of calcium. Sodium and zinc are also beneficial in the treatment of fatigue. Foods such as celery, cucumber, lettuce, and apples are good sources of sodium; while legumes, wholegrain products and pumpkin seeds contain ample quantities of zinc.
Dates: Dates are an effective home remedy for fatigue and those suffering from tiredness should consume them regularly. Five to seven dates should be soaked overnight in half a cup of water and crushed in the morning in the same water after removing the seeds. This water with the essence of the dates should be taken at least twice a week.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit has been found valuable in allaying fatigue. Taking a glass of grapefruit and lemon juice in equal parts is an excellent way of dispelling fatigue and general tiredness after a day’s work.
Lemon Balm: The herb lemon balm is also very useful for brain fatigue or mental tiredness. A cold infusion of the balm should be taken freely in the treatment of this condition. This infusion is prepared by placing thirty grams of the herb in half a litre of cold water and allowing it to stand for twelve hours. It is then strained and taken in small doses throughout the day.
Nutritional measures are most vital in the treatment of fatigue. Studies reveal that people who eat snacks in-between meals suffer less from fatigue and nervousness, think more clearly, and are more efficient than those who eat only three meals daily. These snacks should consist of fresh or dried fruits, fresh fruit or vegetable juices, raw vegetables, or small sandwiches of wholegrain bread. These snacks should be light and less food should be consumed at regular meals. The snacks should also be taken at specified timings such as 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and before retiring.
Chronic fatigue caused by poor circulation can be remedied by daily physical exercise. It will help relieve tension, bring a degree of freshness, renew energy, and induce sleep. Brisk walking, bicycling, gardening, playing tennis or golf are all good forms of exercise.
Massage, cold applications increasing in degree gradually, or alternate hot and cold baths, stimulate the muscles to renewed activity, thereby relieving fatigue. They do not simply deaden the sense of fatigue as follows the use of tea or coffee, but have a real tonic effect.