November 2

Functional Medicine and Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Your symptoms may vary day to day, but the persistent weight of exhaustion lays heavy. And you may wonder what the best approach to treating it is. The answer is the functional medicine approach.

While feeling tired can be inconvenient (but completely normal), excessive exhaustion can be a sign from your body that something more serious is going on. If you never seem to feel rested after a full night of sleep and experience frequent dizzy spells after lying down or sitting, you may be suffering from chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue is a condition that can affect almost anyone. Having difficulty concentrating, perpetual exhaustion, and muscle pain are notable symptoms of this condition. Your natural inclination is to think, “If I get more sleep in, I’ll be ok.” But that’s not always the case when battling chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Your symptoms may vary day to day, but the persistent weight of exhaustion lays heavy. And you may wonder what the best approach to treating it is. The answer is the functional medicine approach.  

Functional medicine is a healthcare approach that addresses the underlying cause of the disease that engages both patient and provider. This partnership is vital to maximize the body’s peak health performance. The functional medicine practitioner shifts attention from the disease to a patient-centered focus. By focusing on the genetic science of the body, and the biological systems that provide optimum vitality, functional medicine providers can provide whole body wellness.  

Functional medicine and chronic fatigue are a common topic in the healthcare world because of the complex relationship that exists between the two. Chronic fatigue is typically a result of another underlying condition while functional medicine focuses on all the potential factors of these underlying conditions. FM providers are able to practice personalized medicine and health care with approaches that are proactive and predictive. The relationship between provider and patient empowers the patient to take an active and dominant role in their own health needs. But how does functional medicine specifically address your concerns with chronic fatigue? 


Functional Medicine Approach To Fatigue 

There is not always one determining factor with the cause of chronic fatigue. And generally, there are more than underlying causes to consider. For some, it can be a combination of bad habits that need to be addressed for fatigue relief. A functional medicine health approach allows the patient to determine the best route of treatment by working so closely with their provider.

A functional medicine (FM) provider will thoroughly evaluate the state of your total body health and see what factors may be contributing to your health concern. Your FM provider wont address one symptom you are experiencing but the grand total of their effects on your body.  


Functional Medicine And Fatigue 

Mitochondrial Dysfunction 

One of the most common causes for chronic fatigue is mitochondrial dysfunction. The source of energy for the human body, the mitochondria process oxygen and convert the food we eat into energy. This allows for the body (and its various systems) to function appropriately.  

If the mitochondria in the human body does not function correctly all aspects of the body can be affected. This dysfunction in the cells can impair your brain, nerves, muscles, heart, eyes, and other integral organs. Mitochondrial dysfunction may be a result of a genetic, inherited disorder, and is important to identify as quickly as possible.  

When treating your mitochondrial dysfunction, a functional medicine provider may suggest a change in diet and an increase in physical activity. Improved nutrition supports the body’s mitochondrial cells and encourages cellular function. An increase in physical activity allows for additional oxygen to be absorbed by the body. When the mitochondrial cells are properly nourished and supported, chronic fatigue may be relieved. 


Inflammation & Leaky Gut 

In groundbreaking research conducted by Columbia University, a link between chronic fatigue and gut health has been established. Poor gut health, sometimes referred to as “leaky gut” can negatively impact the body’s optimum vitality. But what is “leaky gut?”

Poor nutrition can damage natural and healthy gut flora, weakening the intestinal wall. Weakened intestinal walls forms a poor barrier, allowing partially digested foods to ‘leak’ through. This partially digested food entering the bloodstream causes massive inflammation and detrimental fatigue.  

A functional medicine provider may recommend specific tests to identify damaging gut parasites or to determine if there are any present infections. They may recommend probiotic supplements and a change of diet. Consuming nutritious, and unprocessed food will help support the gastrointestinal tract of the body and reduce inflammation. These changes can improve your chronic fatigue.  


Infection and Autoimmunity  

Infection, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders all play a significant role in chronic fatigue. These separate conditions can all manifest chronic fatigue as one of its symptoms.  

Infection leads to increased inflammation and pain. Pain and inflammation can make it more difficult for you to rest comfortably, let alone let the body’s inherent healing systems to operate. If your body’s natural healing ability is hindered, quality of life can be severely impaired. Some infections can lay dormant for years, but can result in muscle pain, digestive problems, fever, and prolonged fatigue. These symptoms may fluctuate in various cycles, and over many months or years take a toll on your body’s wellbeing. These physical disturbances can exacerbate fatigue symptoms.

A functional medicine doctor may request various tests and perform several examinations to determine if infection and inflammation are present. Functional medicine practitioners will support their patients with close collaboration to determine the best approach to treat the ongoing infection and inflammation. 

Through functional medicine, many individuals can successfully treat the underlying conditions that cause their chronic fatigue symptoms. Following principles of functional medicine, individuals can better treat and manage CFS by addressing the underlying health conditions that produce their fatigue symptoms.  

If you are interested in learning about the functional medicine approaches that Shakthi Health and Wellness can provide you, CALL us today! We believe in enhancing and optimizing your vitality with all available, and holistic therapies. Our dedicated staff members will assist you in your journey to treating chronic fatigue syndrome. Your consultation with Dr. Jyothi Rao will set you on a path of wellness. Dr. Rao is a deeply experienced specialists who will effectively evaluate your symptoms and optimize your body’s vitality. Call us and speak to our concierge staff to schedule your appointment today! 


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fatigue, functional medicine


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