RESTORING THE BODY’S ENERGY SYSTEM
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Fatigue is an epidemic today! No wonder Starbucks is doing well, along with the makers of “energy drinks” and soda pop loaded with caffeine. This also helps explain why many people turn to recreational drugs for relief from fatigue, or the negative consequences of fatigue such as depression.
Fatigue is also the underlying cause for many cases of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hypoglycemia, PTSD, low grades in school, and other problems.
WHY ARE MANY PEOPLE TIRED?
The reasons vary. If you are lucky, it is something simple such as not getting enough sleep, sleep apnea, or your fatigue is due to your prescription drug. It can also be due simply to a nutritional deficiency or anemia from lack of iron, such as occurs in some vegetarians.
If you have ruled out these causes, then it is very possible that your fatigue is due to more complex nutritional imbalances, toxic metals, or other subtle derangements of the body’s energy-producing mechanisms. This article discusses all these causes and their correction.
Nutritional balancing programs are specifically designed to improve one’s energy and are extremely helpful for most all cases of low energy.
Fatigue versus burnout. I distinguish between simple fatigue and the condition called adrenal burnout. Fatigue goes away if you get a few nights of good sleep, take a vacation to relieve stress, stop taking a drug that is causing fatigue, or if you start eating a better diet and perhaps take a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement.
Burnout does not go away with these simple diet and lifestyle changes. That is because burnout is due to more complex derangements of the body’s energy-producing system, as explained later in this article.
Let us begin with the easy-to-fix causes of fatigue – lack of rest, sleep apnea, medical drugs and simple nutritional deficiencies.
REST AND SLEEP
A very simple, but critical aspect of restoring your energy is to obtain enough rest and sleep. Most people do not get enough rest! I find most people need nine or ten hours of sleep every night. Also, one must go to bed by 9 PM. The reason is that the hours before midnight or one AM seem to provide a lot more rest than the hours after this. Staying up late is a common cause of fatigue.
Disturbed sleep is another cause of fatigue. It is fine to get up once or even twice to go to the bathroom, but if you are up too much at night, it will affect your rest.
Without these excellent sleep habits, you will never fully overcome energy problems. It is okay to stay up late once in a while, but not every night, and not even once a week, please.
lifestyle factor is so basic that many doctors overlook it and don’t even ask
about it. It should be the first
thing they ask about.
This factor is discussed more fully in the article, Sleep, The Silent Healer.
This is a condition in which a person temporarily stops breathing while asleep. If it is severe, the person is starved for oxygen, and will awaken feeling tired.
The most common cause of sleep apnea is obesity. What commonly occurs is that due to the sleeping position, the tongue or glottis can block the air passage during sleep. This can cause the person to awaken, or just to stop breathing.
Losing weight often helps this condition. Otherwise, one must obtain a CPAP machine that keeps one breathing at all times while asleep.
MEDICAL DRUGS AND FATIGUE
This is an enormous cause of fatigue today. It is one of the main reasons I do my best to help people not to need medical drugs. This is often possible.
Many types of medical drugs cause fatigue. Among them are:
- Blood pressure medication such as ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and diuretics.
- Anti-histamines such as Benedryl,
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Crestor and Liptor
- Anti-depressants such as Paxil and Prozac
- Painkillers of all types such as Aspirin, Tylenol, Aleve and many others.
- Tranquilizers such as Valium
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleeping pills
- Anti-psychotic drugs.
- Acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors
- Some heart drugs
- Drugs for hyperthyroidism
- Some anti-seizure drugs
Restoring the body’s energy system is a very complex process. It involves restoring the correct minerals in thousands of enzyme binding sites, and it is a matter of balancing and strengthening body chemistry.
This is not a do-it-yourself process, unfortunately. I wish it were. However, we find it requires a properly performed and correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis, and it requires following a clear, disciplined healing path and program. These are essential to actually rebuild the body, not just stimulate it, as is done with hormone therapies, chelation and many other medical and holistic approaches to healing. This article discusses a few of the major methods for restoring energy that must be integrated carefully in a complete program for good results.
SIMPLE NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
A diet low in protein can cause fatigue, as can a diet with sugar or sweets that upset the blood sugar level.
To have good energy one must also have enough B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and perhaps other vitamins and minerals. I do not understand how some people function on their refined food diets. Many turn to stimulants such as cola drinks with caffeine just to function.
Eating a diet of whole foods, animal protein daily, lots of cooked vegetables, avoiding vegetarian and vegan diets, and having good eating habits such as not drinking with meals is a very good start toward restoring one’s energy. Unfortunately, it is often not enough.
Why good food is not enough. There are several reasons for this. They include:
1. Hybrid food. The food is not that nutritious today, even the freshest, high quality organically grown food. Most food today is very hybridized and sometimes genetically modified, usually in ways that decrease its nutritional quality.
2. Food refining. Refined foods provide very little of the vital minerals and vitamins we require.
3. Improper natural foods. Even “natural food diets” often contain foods that upset digestion and can damage the delicate intestinal lining. These unfortunately include wheat, all fruits, sweets, nightshade vegetables, and all refined and overly processed foods. You can read separate articles about each of these on this website to understand why we need to avoid them today.
4. Weak digestion. Most people have weak digestion so they do not absorb enough nutrients from their food.
5. Eating habits. Bad eating habits such as eating on the run, not chewing well enough, and drinking liquid with meals impair digestion a lot and decrease the nutrition most people obtain from their food.
6. Toxins. Toxins such as food chemicals, chlorine and fluoride in the water, and many others we are all exposed to can deplete nutrients and interfere with digestion.
7. Stress, chronic illnesses, use of medical drugs, and the use of stimulants. All of these deplete nutrients and may interfere with digestion, as well.
8. Supplements. A number of nutritional supplements, herbs and other natural products also upset digestion and interfere with nutrient absorption.
All of the above factors prfoundly interfere with the process of renourishing the body. This is why a specific diet and only a few targeted nutritional supplements are helpful - and often required - to renourish the body. For a general diet, lifestyle and supplement program I find works best, read The Healing Lifestyle.
Many people know that an under-performing thyroid gland or adrenal glands will produce fatigue. Unfortunately, the cause is not always simple, since these glands require dozens of nutrients, and can be infiltrated by half a dozen toxic metals and dozens of other toxins.
The answer, in my experience, is not hormone replacement therapy, although it helps some people. A nutritional balancing program will restore thyroid and adrenal activity in most anyone, providing that the gland has not been removed surgically or destroyed in some other way such as with radiation (RAI therapy).
Now let us turn to more involved causes of fatigue, and their correction.
THE OXIDATION RATE AND THE ENERGY PATHWAY
BALANCING THE OXIDATION RATE
The oxidation rate is like the tune of your engine. If an internal combustion engine is
running too slowly or if the fuel-air mixture is too rich or too lean, the
engine will not run correctly, and the power output drops down.
Similarly, if you are pedaling a bicycle in the wrong gear, either too slowly or too fast, your power output will diminish greatly and you will become tired much faster as a result. This is why bicycles have gears, as do all internal combustion autos.
In our bodies, the shifting of the gears is done by changing the parameters of metabolism to balance the oxidation rate. This keeps the metabolic “engine” running at its optimum speed and adjustment.
Although the analogies I used may seem corny, the importance of this concept cannot be overemphasized. I will briefly summarize how the system works. For more information, read Fast, Slow and Mixed Oxidation
The oxidation rate is highly dependent on many factors, among which are the activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands. The adrenals increase the available fuel, while the thyroid helps “ignite” the fuel, acting like sparkplugs. This is a very crude analogy, but not that far from the truth. Here is more detail about this factor in restoring the body’s energy system.
A Slow Oxidation Rate. Many people are tired because their thyroid glands and/or their adrenal glands are nutritionally depleted, toxic and therefore underactive. Medical doctors and even natural healers often give thyroid hormones and even adrenal hormones for this condition. I strongly advise people to try nutritional balancing first. In most cases, bio-identical or other replacement hormones are not needed and actually slow or stop the deeper process of rebuilding the thyroid and adrenal glands. To read more about this problem, click on Adrenal Burnout Syndrome. One can also click on Thyroid Disease And Its Healing.
Fast Oxidation Rate. An opposite condition can cause fatigue
as well. Some people who are tired
are fast oxidizers. Their thyroid and adrenal gland
activity is excessive. Like a
bicyclist pedaling too fast, these individuals use energy inefficiently and
These individuals are often lavish in their expenditure of energy, and accomplish much as long as their energy holds out. However, they often run on nervous energy. They may have excellent energy for a time, and then suddenly become exhausted. When they become tired, they are attracted to stimulants, drugs such as alcohol or other artificial means to sustain their energy.
Part of the task in correcting energy usage in a fast oxidizer is to even out their use of energy. Through a proper diet of more fats and oils, and a few correct nutritional supplements, these individuals can be helped to become 'long distance runners' instead of 'sprinters' who become exhausted quickly because they expend their energy too rapidly.
THE ENERGY PATHWAY
Another critical factor in restoring the body’s energy system is to restore the energy pathway. Like the automobile, the body has a fuel system or set of steps that process the fuel so it can be used properly. Each step of the system must be operating well for optimum energy production. In the automobile, for example, the fuel must be pumped from the gas tank. Then it must be filtered. Then it must move to the cylinders. There it must be ignited properly and burned completely to produce energy to run the car.
The body’s fuel system. In the body, the ‘fuel system’ begins with the ingestion of 'fuel' foods, which are primarily starches and fats. Protein may also be burned for fuel, although this is inefficient and toxic. This is one problem with very high-protein diets over a long period of time.
Food Intake And Eating Habits. The fuel foods must first be ingested, and then chewed up, mixed with digestive enzymes and digested in the stomach and small intestines, mainly. To do this well requires eating in a sitting position in a relaxed manner, and ideally sitting for 10 minutes or so after eating to allow digestion to begin. It also includes good chewing of food, and avoiding drinking much water or worse, other beverages, with the meal because these tend to dilute the digestive juices needed to digest the food.
Stomach Digestion. Once the food enters the stomach, it must there mix with stomach acid and enzymes such as pepsin and chymotrypsin. This is a critical phase of digestion. It is often hampered by drinking too much liquid with meals and/or weak production of stomach acid and stomach enzymes.
Intestinal Digestion. Eventually, proteins are broken down into amino acids, starches are broken down to simple sugars, and fats are broken down to fatty acids. These must be absorbed adequately in the small intestine.
Many people have something called leaky gut syndrome or other intestinal ailments of which they are unaware. These can hamper adequate nutrient absorption. This is why when we give supplementary vitamins and minerals, for example, we have to give doses higher than that which is normally needed. This is also why any laws that limit the potency of minerals and vitamins will harm people, not help them. Most of them are not toxic if too much are taken at once, unlike drugs which are deadly if you take too much.
Assuring proper digestion is also the reason I suggest very simple meals of only one to three types of food, at most. It is also why I do not recommend smoothies or shakes of any kind, as they are hard on digestion. Whole foods are much better, as a general rule.
Into The Liver And Nutrient Conversion. Once food is absorbed in the
intestines, mainly, it passes directly to the liver, not to the entire body, as
some teach. The liver stores some
of the sugars and fatty acids and converts some of them to other forms and
structures such as proteins and cholesterol.
The liver. in most people, does not function optimally, although blood tests may indicate “normal” liver activity. The main reasons are two:
1. The liver is quite toxic due to the intake of too many toxic metals, toxic chemicals, food additives and toxins generated by fermentation or putrefaction of food in the intestines.
2. The oxidation rate is too sluggish. This impairs the liver’s activities, slowing all chemical reactions a little bit.
Both of these impediments can slowly be overcome with nutritional balancing science, and helped a lot with other detoxification procedures such as coffee enemas, which are best. Near infrared light saunas are also superb to help decongest and detoxify the liver and all the other vital organs.
Absorption Into The Cells. From the liver, the nutrients from the food, having been processed correctly we hope, must now pass into the cells. Here another blockage in the energy system often occurs, giving rise to fatigue. Here are the main causes of poor absorption of nutrients from the blood into the cells.
1. The cell walls are too rigid and thus less permeable to nutrients, hormones and other vital substances. Reasons for this are primarily two:
a) Relatively too
many omega-6 fatty acids in the diet.
These come from eating raw and cooked vegetable oils, regular meats, and
many processed foods. The worst
source are hydrogenated oils found in margarines, peanut butters, candies,
crackers, breads, baked goods and deep fried foods.
b) An elevated tissue calcium level tends to stabilize cell membranes. This is revealed easily on a hair tissue mineral analysis if one understands how to interpret the chart.
2. Impaired Circulation To The Tissues. This may be due to hardening of the capillaries, impaired circulation in general, congestion of the blood in certain organs due to lack of exercise, for example, fatigue, sympathetic dominance (overuse of the sympathetic nervous system) and other reasons at times.
3. Impaired insulin metabolism. This is a
very important problem for millions of Americans today. Insulin helps move glucose from the
blood into the cells. Insulin
activity requires the presence of chromium, zinc, manganese and many other
nutrients for this process to occur correctly.
If the blood sugar mechanism does not work as it should, one develops low glucose in the cells. This is a form of hypoglycemia, even though the word hypo-glycemia actually means low glucose in the blood.
If the condition worsens, glucose begins to accumulate in the blood and then the same condition is called diabetes.
Nutrition. If adequate nutrients can get inside the cells, the fuel
(sugars and fatty acids) must then be converted to a special form, adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
This is the form in which fuel is used in our bodies. This process takes place in small
structures called mitochondria.
The latest rage in medical care is to denote fatigue as “mitochondrial
dysfunction”. This, of course, is
partly true, but only partly so, because for the optimum energy all parts of
the energy pathway and the oxidation rate must function properly. However, it is a start, at least, on
understanding the body’s energy system.
Many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and many other substances must be present in just the right amounts for optimum energy production in the mitochondria of each body cell. Also, waste products of metabolism, which are mainly lactic acid and other acids, must be removed from the cells. If the circulation is poor or the cell permeability impaired, then waste removal is hindered, and this is another cause of fatigue due to an imbalanced pH of the cells and the buildup of metabolic waste products of metabolism.
In summary, any imbalance in the human oxidation rate or any deficiencies, blockages or waste buildup in the energy pathways causes a loss of energy or fatigue. Hundreds of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients are needed to keep the system running smoothly. This is why a natural food diet, plenty of rest and sleep, mild exercise, deep enough breathing, and even healthful attitudes are so important for our health and abundant energy.
OTHER CAUSES FOR LOW ENERGY
CHRONIC INFECTIONS AND FATIGUE
Low energy is often caused by chronic infections anywhere in the body. Most people have a dozen or more of these. Common sites are the teeth, gums, ears, eyes, nose, throat, bronchials, sinuses, and intestines. However, they can be anywhere.
These very chronic or low-grade infections are not usually detectable medically. Often, however, a telltale sign of is revealed on a hair analysis as a low sodium/potassium ratio. A nutritional balancing program will slowly heal these infections. At times, a tooth must be extracted or filled, and rarely other procedures or methods are needed, as well.
TOXIC METALS AND ENERGY LEVELS
metals devastate the body's energy system at many levels. These include the Krebs cycle, electron
transport system, energy-producing glands and glucose handling systems of the
The toxic metals include lead, cadmium, mercury, copper, nickel and aluminum, among many others. Toxic metals replace vital minerals in enzyme binding sites. This means the toxic metal fills a key position in an enzyme, but it is not the ideal or preferred mineral for that enzyme. this prevents the enzyme from functioning correctly.
is like placing the wrong key in a lock.
It may go in, but it will not allow the lock to function correctly, and
it even keeps the right key from being inserted in the lock. The wrong key must be removed first,
and then the right key, the preferred mineral, must replace it. For more on this topic, read Preferred Minerals.
High levels of toxic metals are common today, due to contamination of the air, water and food, and in some cases due to occupational exposure. In addition, many children are born with high levels of toxic metals passed on from their mothers through the placenta.
Scientific nutritional balancing programs and detoxification with sauna therapy and coffee enemas, primarily, will slowly, safely and gently in most cases remove about two dozen toxic metals from everywhere in the body. To read much more about these, please read Toxic Metals on this site.
For example, I do not use and do not like chelators or chelation therapy of any kind, even natural chelation therapy. I find it is very rarely needed. Click here to read more about Chelation.
OTHER CAUSES OF LOW ENERGY
Structural imbalances. At times, spinal misalignments can cause fatigue.
Autointoxication. Problems in the colon leading to the production of highly toxic chemicals there can make a person very tired.
Chronic illnesses. Conditions such as cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses often cause fatigue.
Adhesions. One must hold the body in unusual positions, at times, when adhesions prevent a natural posture.
Tense muscles. Excessive muscle tension uses up energy, and thus contributes to fatigue.
Some people are tired these days because they are undergoing the process called development. This is a series of wonderful changes that take place throughout the body and brain after a few years of following a nutritional balancing program. The development process can make one tired because to move it forward quickly requires a tremendous amount of rest and sleep.
In this situation, one’s fatigue may be for good reason, and not necessarily due to any biochemical or nutritional deficiencies or imbalances. To read more about it, please read Development and the many other articles on this subject on this website.
RESTORING THE BODY’S ENERGY SYSTEM
Over the past 36 years, I have helped many thousands of people recover their full energy level with nutritional balancing science. This method is extremely well-suited to correcting most of the causes above of chronic fatigue syndrome. Many people are so sick and tired of being tired they are ready to give up. However, you can recover your energy and vitality, in my experience, and without using hormones or other drugs.
Nutritional balancing is a lifestyle and diet-based system. This is extremely important for correcting the dietary and lifestyle components of chronic fatigue. I find this aspect lacking in many holistic approaches. There is often an emphasis on high-tech testing and many remedies, and not enough attention paid to the exact diet, drinking water consumed, and the lifestyle. So I would urge anyone with low energy to pay more attention to these factors.
Safety. Nutritional balancing is extremely gentle and safe. This cannot be said of other methods of treatment that are used today. For example, I would warn the reader to avoid the use of low-dose cortisone such as Cortef and others. I would also warn against the use of any natural, bio-identical or synthetic hormones such as DHEA, pregnenelone, adrenal cortical extracts, testosterone, progesterone and others. These will give a person some energy, but they upset the delicate hormone regulatory feedback system of the body and they make full correction much more difficult.
They are also expensive to test for and monitor. I find them unnecessary and harmful in almost all cases. Even thyroid hormone replacement is almost always unnecessary and harmful if the proper diet, supplements and detoxification protocol are followed fully. For more on hormones, read Hormone Replacement Therapy on this website.
Autonomic nervous system correction. This is an important part of every nutritional balancing program. It is another aspect of health and healing that is often overlooked or glossed over too easily by physicians working with chronic fatigue.
Most people with this condition have a pattern on a hair mineral test called sympathetic dominance. In some cases, it may take a year or more for the pattern to reveal itself. However, it is often present and it stops many people from getting well.
The person is overusing the sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system, and this inhibits the digestion, elimination and the immune response. It must be corrected or progress will be very slow or non-existent. For more on this, read Sympathetic Dominance on this website.
Other procedures. Adding the daily use of a near infrared light sauna and daily coffee enemas is needed in many cases of low energy or chronic fatigue syndrome. Each of these therapies is carefully chosen and has over a dozen therapeutic effects, many of which are excellent for those with chronic fatigue. For more on these therapies, read Sauna Therapy and Coffee Enemas on this site.
Mental/emotional aspects. Nutritional balancing has as its goal far more than just symptom removal. In my own case of chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as most others, there are subtle factors that are causative and need to be addressed.
Often, for example, changes in attitudes are needed and absolutely essential if one is to recover completely, which is always our goal and a very achievable goal. In my own case, persistent daily use of the Roy Masters meditation was extremely helpful and probably absolutely necessary for my full recovery. For more on this subject, read The Pushing Down Exercise on this site.
These are a few of the major aspects of restoring the body’s energy system using nutritional balancing science.
STIMULANTS AND THE ENERGY SYSTEM
Many people believe the answer to low energy is to use stimulants. A popular stimulant today is caffeine found in coffee, soda pop, caffeinated teas, chocolate (theobromine) and energy drinks. Many people like cappuccinos and lattes, which are even stronger versions of coffee.
The other most popular stimulant is sugar. It is found in so many products today that it is hard to enumerate them all. ‘Sugar’ includes honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, lactose, fructose, and dextrose.
Others “stimulants” people use to keep going in the face of fatigue are worry, fear, anger, a lot of exercise and perhaps stimulant drugs such as methamphetamines or cocaine.
None of these methods really solve a low energy problem. They provide a short energy boost, but they do this by stimulating or irritating the glands or the nervous system. Over time, the body becomes even more nutritionally depleted. Then one needs even more of the stimulant, causing an addiction. Either that, or the stimulant just stops working. One is left much more tired than before one began using the stimulant.
Nutritional balancing, or rebuilding the body, is the exact opposite of the use of stimulants. It requires more rest and it restores the body’s entire energy system by a number of means:
1. Removing toxic metals,
2. Replacing vital minerals and other nutrients,
3. Healing dozens of chronic infections caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeasts and others.
4. Gently balancing body chemistry.
All this helps the body regain its energy-producing capacity. This approach, in my experience, works much better than stimulant herbs, adaptogen herbs, various vitamin regimens, or the large number of energy products that are offered in the health food store. It is a little more work, more discipline and requires hair mineral analyses to assess one’s needs, but it is much more precise, safer and is a long-term solution.
ENERGY VAMPIRISM AS A STIMULANT DRUG
Some people cope with low energy by stealing energy from others. This is called energy vampirism. It is discussed in detail in a separate article entitled Energy Vampirism on this site.
PARADIGMS OF HEALING AND FATIGUE
1. “Diagnose, prescribe and cure”. Modern medical care, including naturopathy in most cases, focuses on diagnosing symptoms and disease entities, and then “curing” them. This is their dominant theory of health and disease. It serves well in some areas, such as removing germs, fixing broken bones, and trauma care, in general.
However, this theory is not working well at all today on what are called the degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and most mental illness. Among these is also chronic fatigue, exhaustion or persistent low energy levels.
One reason this paradigm of healing is not working well is that it does not go deep enough to correct the energy system of the body. Also, the remedies used are often somewhat toxic, so they can cause other problems called “adverse effects” or “side effects”. This applies to herbs, vitamins, homeopathy and intravenous treatments, as well as medical drugs.
2. Bioenergetics. A completely different theory of health and disease may be called the bioenergetic approach. An example is nutritional balancing science. Here the goal is not to diagnose any disease, nor is it to cure anything. Instead, the focus is on raising the body’s adaptive energy level.
When this is done properly, every body system begins to function better, and 20 or 30 symptoms and diseases can disappear on their own, without any need for a remedy or cure. By maintaining the adaptive energy level high, all the way into old age, most disease can also be prevented. This is the essence of the bio-energetic approach to health and healing.
The automobile analogy. Newer automobiles today have many “power options”, as they used to be called. They have power brakes, power steering, power windows, power door locks, and power seats, for example. This is fine except for one problem, which some drivers know well. If the battery power fails, one instantly loses all of these vital functions.
In other words, if the power or energy gets low, one’s auto will develop not one problem, but perhaps half a dozen problems, all due to low energy or low power in the battery or alternator. This is not a bad analogy to what occurs in our bodies when our energy gets low.