If your energy levels are low, read on for some of the many causes, with some curious twists that only a holistic thinker can delight you with:
- Intro – how to get holistic
- Adrenal fatigue
- Iron deficiency
- Gut issues
- Lowered immunity
How to get holistic
I’ve really only struggled with energy in the last few years. I think major life events and traumatic experiences meant I needed more rest time in order to process them. Or the deep, awakening experience that is perimenopause required massive nourishment and I got depleted, or that simply being older meant I had to change my ways a little.
Whatever it was, I’m grateful for it as I’ve come out the other end, richer, wiser, more in-tune with my body and way, way happier. I also have a much deeper perspective on mind/body medicine and what it means to be holistic.
Here are some hints for you in your worthy struggle with low energy…
Adrenal fatigue is a kind of burn out and one of the many reasons why your energy levels might be down. It’s feeling exhausted…like your battery is running low. Usually you wake up feeling tired and it doesn’t get much better throughout the day.
What causes adrenal fatigue is:
- A lack of exercise to properly oxygenate the body
- A busy mind that leads to constant “doing” mode
- Nutritional inadequacies leading to the depletion of the nutrients required by the endocrine and nervous systems to operate everyday functions eg sodium, B-vitamins, protein, antioxidants, quality fats
- A-type personality
- Not taking time out to rest and reflect properly
- Ignoring or avoiding reality eg hating your job, and not doing anything about it
- Thinking you’re super woman/man, when let’s face it, you aren’t
Iron helps the body transport oxygen, so when you’re iron deficient your cells are kind of “asphyxiating”. They’re suffocating in a way.
Blood tests may indicate iron is in normal range but they may still not be optimal (as we naturopaths would like). We want total iron close to 20 and ferritin up around 80 to be sure.
Injecting iron into the body is only recommended by naturopaths as a last resort (it’s synthetic iron). I recommend it for my clients who’ve had stomach banding for example. But otherwise, like all our symptoms, we want to consider what the cause is.
Root cause medicine is what we do!
What can cause iron-deficiency anemia?
- Inadequate intake (eg those doing a vegan/vegetarian diet but not doing it well)
- Heavy loss of blood eg heavy periods, fibroids, leaking life energy
- Digestive disorders eg coeliac disease
- Bleeding from the gut eg ulcers
Technically, something isn’t inside our body until it passes through the wall of the digestive system. Our gut is simply a long tube from the mouth to the anus designed to prepare our food for absorption.
So if your gut isn’t working properly it’s very likely you’ll be nutritional inadequate.
What causes gut issues?
- Those damn parasites! A huge problem these days and they’re buggers to get rid of. You really must see a naturopath (and I would recommend in conjunction with your doctor) to get rid of these super-resilient, clever, nasty bugs. And it takes months so be patient. Not doing so means you could be miserable for the rest of your life – they are that bad.
- There is a plexus of nerves that a specially for the digestive system, called the Enteric Nervous System. If you’re nervy, highly strung, sensitive to pain, get butterflies easily then this might be causing your IBS.
- Bad food!There is really no bad food, just poor food choices as a little bit of the junk stuff is ok occasionally. But high sugar/fat/flour/salt foods feed the wrong bacteria in the gut setting you up for all kinds of conditions from crazy mood swings to bowel cancer. The good news is, that once you wean yourself off the crap, real food takes really, really good!
Actually, that’s not really fair. Poor immune function is probably more a consequence of low energy rather than a cause. But the two go so well together, it’s worth mentioning.
The immune system is your defence system against pathogens and it’s connected to your liver which helps “defend or protect” you against toxins. Also, metaphysically, our immune system reflects how well we are defended or protected from “toxic” people and situations as well.
So, it’s complicated!
So, if you have anything going on with your immune system eg frequent colds, candida, allergies, autoimmune diseases, some skin conditions, parasites, etc, AND you have low energy then there is a lot you can do.
What can you do?
THE WISEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU IS TO BE CURIOUS.
Your relationship to your body will evolve if you just start listening. Ask questions like:
- I wonder what I might be doing to contribute to this symptom?
- If I tried experimenting with X (eg avoiding dairy) for a month, I wonder what might happen
- I’m paying Brenda to help me get well, I wonder what would happen if I followed her suggestions!
Summary of what to do for adrenal and immune health
Here are 10 easy rules to follow:
- Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
- Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
- Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly coloured ones
- Salt your food to a pleasant taste (celtic sea salt is best)
- Eat mainly whole grains as your source of carbohydrate
- Avoid fruit in the morning or keep to low GI fruits like berries
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh oils or fats (olive, flax, butter, coconut oil, pumpkin see oil, etc.) into grains, vegetables and meats daily
- Eat high quality food; you deserve it
- Use adrenal and immune herbs like withania, echinacea, ginseng, etc
- Consider the air you breathe and keep it chemical free
By following these simple guidelines, your food intake can help support your adrenals and immune system and prevent low blood sugar.
Thanks for reading down to the bottom! You’re a legend!
Being well isn’t easy. It takes education and effort and accountability to keep you on track. Remember to get help if you’re struggling.
Transformational Health Coach and Natural Medicine Practitioner