Fatigue is a common symptom of a number of pathologies, so it is often essential to undergo extensive medical testing in order to determine the underlying cause.
Disorders that can cause general fatigue include:
– recurring nose or throat infections (rhinopharyngitis)
– liver problems
– hormonal imbalances
Fatigue can also be a preliminary symptom of a wide range of more serious diseases, which only a doctor is qualified to diagnose. Once you know the underlying cause, you can start applying the appropriate dietary measures here.
In many cases, however, fatigue is the result of improper nutrition. A balanced diet is indispensable if your body is to function well. As we explained in the introduction, you have to absorb the right amounts of:
– proteins (meat, fish, eggs);
– dairy products, which contain proteins and lipids;
– glucides (bread, carbohydrates and starchy foods);
– lipids (fat) contained in oil, nuts, butter, etc.
Diets which lack one or another of these three essential elements can, over time, result in serious organic imbalances.
Many digestive disorders are caused by an unbalanced or insufficient diet. These in turn cause changes in the makeup of intestinal flora. Ingesting too much sugar (glucides), for example, causes fermentation in the intestines; ingesting too much protein causes intestinal putrefaction.
An unbalanced diet can therefore cause a variety of disorders, often accompanied by fatigue:
– chronic diarrhoea or constipation
– excess gas (air in the colon)
– bloated stomach
– abdominal heaviness and / or pain
– back pain and chest pain, both of which have a negative impact on the mind and nervous system.
Secretion of the right amounts of digestive juices also depends, to a large extent, on a balanced, varied diet.
You have to learn to nourish yourself intelligently. Simply not eating at the right times can cause your body to become fatigued. If you skip breakfast, you start to become hypoglycemic around 11 in
Fatigue the morning. A heavy lunch will make you sleepy in the afternoon, and a heavy evening meal can prevent you from sleeping well.
Let’s take a look at the various excesses and deficiencies that are most likely to cause fatigue.
– Too much protein inhibits digestion and tires out the body. A protein deficiency (especially of carnitine) also causes fatigue or asthenia, and weakens the organism as a whole.
– Too much or too little sugar (glucides) produces the same harmful effects.
– A long-term Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause digestive problems, diarrhoea, nervous depression and fatigue. Good sources of Vitamin B1 include wheat germ, whole grains and yeast. Other foods contain smaller amounts: walnuts, pork, milk and dairy products, egg yolk and the green part of vegetables (very small amounts). Vitamin B1 is destroyed by caffeine, alcohol and the contraceptive pill.
– If you are under a lot of stress, you need more Vitamin B2. One of the main symptoms of a B2 deficiency is chronic fatigue. Good sources of Vitamin B2 include yeast, liver and kidney, wheat germ, cheese, oily fish, oleaginous fruit and egg yolk. The vitamin is altered by exposure to light, and destroyed by alcohol and the contraceptive pill.
– Vitamin B5 plays an essential role in metabolism:
– transforming lipids and glucides into energy;
– synthesizing hormones;
– combating fatigue and stress;
– strengthening the immune system and participating in the synthesis of antibodies.
Good sources include cabbage, oysters, honey, milk, eggs, soybean, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, beef, poultry, grains and sprouted grains, spinach, royal jelly, molasses, rice and wheat bran, liver, kidney and brewer’s yeast.
Vitamin B9 helps prevent and combat all types of anaemia, which is a major cause of chronic fatigue. Some metals (iron, copper, manganese), as well as sulfonamides and contraceptive pills, destroy this vitamin.
Vitamin B9 and its active ingredient folic acid are primarily found in spinach, broccoli, endive, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, peanuts, almonds and liver. Larger amounts, in the form of polyglutamate, are found in sweetbreads, kidney, beef, poultry, cheese and legumes.
Vitamin B15 is recommended primarily for athletes, but also for persons who tend to become fatigued during the course of the day. B15:
– enhances oxygenation of tissues
– combats various forms of intoxication;
– increases resistance to fatigue;
– speeds up recuperation time by economizing glycogen, the body’s main energy fuel;
– protects the body against pollution;
– disintoxicates the organism.
Good sources include whole grains and rice, sesame seeds (very rich in B15), horse liver and beef (cooked rare).
Vitamin C, which is easily destroyed by cooking, tobacco (a single cigarette destroys about 25 milligrams of Vitamin C) and certain medication , cannot be stored by the body. Since it is so fragile, it’s important to obtain enough
Vitamin C from the food you eat, on a daily basis. Persons who eat very few fruits and vegetables run the risk of developing a deficiency, a common symptom of which is fatigue.
Eat the following fresh fruits regularly: gooseberries, lemons, oranges, grapefruits and kiwi. Also eat these fresh vegetables often: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green pepper, potatoes and parsley.
Iron is also indispensable for the proper functioning of the body . Symptoms of an iron deficiency include:
– anaemia and abnormal pallor
– fatigue and shortness of breath
Women with abundant menstrual flow run a much greater risk of developing an iron deficiency. Persons on restrictive diets are also at risk. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding need to ingest significantly more iron.
Good sources of iron include: shellfish, blood pudding, liver, meat, eggs (especially yolks), cocoa, dried legumes, dried and oleaginous fruit.
A diet that does not contain enough iodine, an essential oligo- element that many persons lack, can also cause fatigue.
Symptoms of a deficiency include:
– general fatigue
– unexplained sudden exhaustion
These symptoms are the result of a deficit of thyroidal hormones, responsible for regulating metabolism. The daily recommended dosage for adults is between 120 and 200 micrograms. Iodine requirements are slightly higher for adolescents, and pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Good sources of iodine include:
– marine algae (they are incredibly rich, containing 700 milligrams per 100 grams);
– smoked herring
– shellfish and seafood
– dried fruit and legumes (very small amounts)
Magnesium deficiencies are very common, especially among persons who are dieting, since magnesium-rich foods are usually also high in calories. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, alcoholics (who are often malnourished) and persons suffering from certain health problems (insufficient intestinal absorption, pancreatitis, diabetes, hyper or hypothyroidism) are also often found to be magnesium deficient. One of the main symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is fatigue.
Good sources of magnesium:
– cocoa and chocolate
– whole grains, whole grain rice and bread
– oleaginous fruit
– dried legumes
Use wheat germ (available in health food stores) to season salads, soups, cooked vegetables, etc., and instead of bread crumbs when preparing breaded dishes. Also try to add raw spinach, beet or dandelion leaves, as well as some chopped almonds or walnuts to your salads, and smoked oysters to cooked green vegetables. Lentils, beans, chick peas, broccoli, whole grain rice and all types of cabbage can be served cold, seasoned with some chopped shallots or onion and a little olive oil.
A phosphorous deficiency is another cause of fatigue. Insufficient phosphorous levels in the blood can be caused by:
Symptoms of a deficiency include physical fatigue and nervousness. Good sources of phosphorous:
– egg yolk
– oleaginous fruit
– dried legumes
– sardines, tuna, mollusks and seafood
Generally speaking, you should eat all types of food in their proper proportions. You can ask your doctor to run some tests to determine whether or not you have developed a serious deficiency of one or a number of vitamins or minerals. This will help you determine which foods you need more of, and whether or not to take dietary supplements.
FATIGUE IN CHILDREN
The body is under a lot of strain during childhood and adolescence, and therefore more likely to develop deficiencies of various vitamins and / or minerals, which in turn can result in chronic fatigue. To help children cope with growing bones and muscles, and to facilitate other biological changes, make sure they are getting sufficient amounts of:
– Vitamins A, D, C and B-complex vitamins
– minerals (especially calcium, magnesium and iron).
Children who are active in sports need even more of these nutrients.
A balanced diet should meet all your children’s requirements. Unfortunately, many young people go overboard on sweets and neglect other types of food. Try to make sure your children eat well, I.e. that their diet is rich in whole grains, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables.
Fresh fruit juice is an excellent morning beverage. Use a juicer or blender to make your own juice mixtures (orange and carrot, pineapple and grape, etc.) and add some wheat germ powder and a capsule of royal jelly.
Revitalizing fruit juice
– ¼ pear
– ¼ apple
– ¼ orange
– ¼ lemon
– honey (1 teaspoon if necessary)
Mix all the fruits and honey in a blender, and serve every morning before breakfast for at least 15 days (recommended for children 4 years old and up).
– apricots, pineapple, melon, oranges, pears, apples, pumpkin, plums, grapes, rhubarb
– whole grain bread
– clay (dissolve a teaspoon of nutritional clay in a glass of water)
– almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chestnuts, dates
– asparagus, eggplant, beets, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, watercress, spinach, green vegetables in general, corn, parsley, dandelion, leek
– dairy products
– fish, seafood
– wheat, rye, bran
– wild chicory
Foods to avoid
– caffeine (soft drinks as well as coffee)
– oleaginous fruit (except olives)