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26 July 2011

Diet and exhaustion

Are you always tired? DietDoc discusses some of the physical causes that may underlie chronic fatigue and the role that dietary changes can bring about.

Are you always tired? DietDoc discusses some of the physical causes that may underlie chronic tiredness and the role that dietary changes can bring about.



I often receive questions from readers who complain that they suffer from extreme exhaustion and want to know if dietary factors can improve their condition. “I have been exhausted for most of my life and struggle to get up in the morning. What supplement can I take to give me some energy?” is a typical cry for help.

Physical causes of exhaustion

  • Malfunction of the thyroid gland

  • Malfunction of other glands

  • Anaemias

  • Blood sugar level problems

  •  an inadequate diet: (eating too little to sustain blood sugar levels or skipping meals, particularly breakfast, so that blood sugar levels drop to very low levels, or eating too little carbohydrate, or the wrong kinds of carbohydrate such as high-glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates that overstimulate insulin production which then in turn makes blood sugar levels plummet)
     
  • reactive hypoglycaemia (a tendency to produce too much insulin)
     
  • insulin resistance (a condition where the body produces insulin, but the body cells are resistant to the hormone and cannot receive the glucose they require to produce energy)
     
  • type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (which is characterised by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin)
     
  • type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (caused by gradual loss of pancreatic insulin productive capacity after many years of insulin resistance, unbalanced dietary intake, obesity or metabolic syndrome).

 
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