Fight Fatigue and Increase Energy

by Dr. William Epperly, Forum Health Bloomingdale

Many patients come to me complaining of fatigue and wanting more energy. And let’s face it, wouldn’t we all like more energy? I would. So how do you get it?

Well, first of all, you should make sure there isn’t some major identifiable illness going on such as anemia, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or another chronic disease. A good history and physical exam and some basic blood tests, and perhaps hormone levels should be looked at. Now assuming nothing in particular shows up, what can you do?

  • Sleep: Start off by trying to get more sleep. The brilliant holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan‘s favorite prescription for her patients is sleep and 7-9 hours is the average requirement. Another sleep specialist states that a person should have 5 90-minute cycles of sleep each night.
  • Relationships: Next, check your relationships. Stressful relationships can be quite draining. Adjust as needed and as you are able. If you are not able to remove yourself from a stressful relationship make sure to dedicate time to yourself each week for healing.
  • Self-care: Fill your cup first. Are you taking enough time for yourself, or are you running on empty? You have to have people and activities that replenish your energy if you are someone who is putting a lot of time and effort into supporting other people.
  • Stress relief: Deal with your stress. Take time for good self care. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Take breaks during the workday, practice yoga and meditation or light stretching, play with a pet, do art, or commit to doing the activities that bring you calm.
  • Breathe: Do breathing exercises and focus on “belly breathing”. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 16, and exhale slowly over an 8 – count. Repeat 3-4 times in a row. Tony Robbins says this is the easiest way to raise energy levels. 
  • Rest: Take a short nap during the day. Keep them under 30 minutes. This helps with wakefulness, performance, learning ability. Train the body and mind to wake up after a short nap.
  • Move! Exercise daily. Tabata type work-outs are best and most efficient. Long cardio workouts can deplete adrenals and energy, shorter HIIT-type workouts are recommended while you are rebuilding energy.
  • Nourish: Eat whole unprocessed foods and cut down on sugar and starchy carbohydrates which cause high insulin levels and inflammation.
  • Detox: Do an elimination diet with a targeted detox like Forum Health’s GDRx Program, which is a detoxification and gut healing program available in a 10-day or 5-week format. Gluten and dairy sensitivity is very common, other common sensitivities include corn, soy, and eggs.
  • Test: Check your hormones. Thyroid, DHEAS, testosterone, and salivary cortisol are important to measure, especially if you are having other symptoms beyond tiredness.
  • Eliminate: Get your bowels moving. Toxins sitting in your intestines can recirculate. Use magnesium or high amounts of buffered vitamin C to keep them moving, and that of course, assumes you are already consuming 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies daily.

Want more energy? These simple action steps should help!