Lack of Energy
Energy loss is defined in a number of ways. Exhaustion, lethargy, tiredness, weariness, listlessness, lassitude and fatigue are just some of the terms in common usage. All these refer to a state where the body runs out of steam. You may lack vitality, feel drowsy, lack general interest and concentration and remain inactive.
Lack of energy may be temporary, from overexertion, or your body sending a message that it needs to rest.
In a society where overwork and sleep deprivation are normal we all feel tired from time to time. However, the lack of energy (or fatigue) referred to here is more than just a few hours of tiredness. Although it is not a disorder in itself, severe energy loss can be a symptom of disease or bodily imbalance and can occur at any age. It may be a first indication that your body is not working as it should and needs attention.
If energy loss is prolonged, no matter how much rest you take, with constant feelings of fatigue after only short bursts of activity, it is an indication of a more serious imbalance.
Nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition, malabsorption and lack of exercise all contribute greatly to energy loss, as does almost every illnesses and disease. As well as this fatigue can also be a side effect of many medications and chemical imbalances.
Neurons (unique cells that process and transmit information) in your brain and nervous system communicate millions of electrical messages per second. You need essential nutrients to be fully and properly absorbed for this electrical system to work correctly. When an imbalance occurs these nutrients stop being replaced. When your energy is directed elsewhere, such as an inadequate or diseased digestive system, you will have no energy for your other vital systems.
Left uncorrected your system will overload and malfunction, nutrient levels plummet and you begin to slow down, become forgetful and of course lose energy.
Age-Related Energy Loss
The main reason for loss of energy in aging is due to the continual lack of nutrients over years of insufficient dietary practice, an inadequate lifestyle, surrounding environmental factors and years of long-term medication. These all lead to a progressive decrease in muscular strength and flexibility, immune deficiency and disease vulnerability, making your body fight harder day-by-day to remain healthy.
By adulthood your resting metabolism has already decreased by 10%. In older age, along with your oxygen intake, your metabolism continues to decrease by a further 10%. Most of your total daily energy comes from this resting metabolism, therefore nutrient intake must be sufficiently increased and/or adjusted accordingly as we age to maintain sufficient energy use.
Many conditions list ‘lack of energy’ or ‘fatigue’ as a symptom, in fact almost all of them!…
- Respiratory disorders
- Arthritic disorders – ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis
- Mood disorders – depression, bipolar disorder
- Gastrointestinal problems – celiac disease, constipation, diarrhea
- Musculoskelatal disorders – fibromyalgia
- Sleep disorders – insomnia
- Menopause and premenstrual syndrome
- Obesity, and, of course…
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Many medications also list energy loss or fatigue as a side effect. See Causes below.
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Causes of Energy Loss
Common examples of conditions causing loss of energy include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Anorexia and other eating disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Colds and flu
- Premenstrual tension
- Chest infections
- Glandular fever
- Gastrointestinal disorders.
Certain medications cause loss of energy too:
- Blood pressure medications
- Sleeping pills
- Beta blockers
- ACE inhibitors
- Heart medications
- Narcotics, and
- Muscle relaxants
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Diagnostic tests may also be performed to help in a diagnosis. These may include blood tests and urinalyses (e.g. for anaemia, thyroid function and possible infections).
The pattern of energy loss itself usually gives away any significant problem and healthcare practitioners may rely on your presentation and severity of symptoms for their diagnosis.
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Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of 'serious' energy loss are pretty much universal, regardless of the cause.
- Blurred vision
- Dry skin
- Intolerance to cold
- Restless, disturbed sleep
- Feelings of muscle weakness
- Slowed movements or central nervous system reactions
- Shortness of breath
If you are taking medications (including over-the-counter medicines) these may cause similar symptoms and drowsiness too.
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Prescription drugs are often given to try to increase energy levels. Many treat the symptoms that are apparently causing the fatigue, but suppressing these doesn’t generally deal with the actual cause.
There is really very few if any successful drugs that will restore the loss of the energy you once had. You really need to go back to 'basics' and review your lifestyle, diet etc.
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To restore natural levels of energy in your body you must start at the 'beginning'. In other words examine every aspect of your diet and lifestyle. Make adjustments to improve these, and take steps to give your digestive system the best detox and support you can. This will help. However, you will still need to do more.
Because it is likely that the lack of energy is primarily as a result of nutrient deficiencies then an effort should be made to replenish any shortfall, and make sure that these replenished nutrients absorb in an optimally functioning digestive system. The specific nutrient deficiencies are almost impossible to define as there are so many nutrients that contibute to the millions of processes that take place in your body every day and for which different nutrients are needed for this to effectively take place.
Below are some essential nutrients that contribute to 'energy' but there are many more that are needed to build a strong 'energy' foundation.
|Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and muscle tissue. Studies show that even a single amino acid can specifically elevate general circulation within 15 minutes, providing a source of energy. They sustain energy-protein metabolism and promotes immunity and energy. |
|Bee Pollen |
|A natural energizer helpful against the aging process, shown to consistently increase energy levels. It contains various vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and protein. Increases in strength as high as 40-50% have been recorded in those taking regular doses of bee pollen...but, it has to be prepared in a specific way in order to be effective. |
|Siberian Ginseng Extract ||Boosts energy and alertness in older people. It contains polysaccharides and other natural sugar components, lipids, fatty acids, flavonoids and alkaloids. These ingredients alter blood flow to the brain and modify levels of neurotransmitters. |
|Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC) ||Derived from lysine and methionine and synthesized in the liver and kidneys. It is essential in fatty acid oxidation and a key energy source for the body. Has shown an increase in metabolic rate and energy in cells exposed to toxins and treated with ALC. |
|Acetyl L-Cysteine ||A stable form of l-cysteine used to produce glutathione, an antioxidant needed to fight free radicals. Increased Glutathione levels have found to increase health and energy status in elderly subjects. |
|Inositol Hexaphosphate ||Found in whole grains and seeds. It assists in the regulation of various cell functions and has antioxidant properties. It is shown in clinical trials to inhibit free radicals and boost immune system activity. |
The above ingredients are available individually and each has significant capabilities in their own right. However, to initiate effective treatment experts note these ingredients are not individually potent enough to combat energy loss issues and prevent reoccurrences.
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