How to Get Energy and Never Feel Old!
What does it mean when I have a total lack of energy?
It’s one of two things and the first is Medical conditions:
Of course, as a responsible doctor I must urge you to have a medical evaluation if you feel that your energy levels have dropped. Most of the time, it’s one of the things on the list below. However during the menstruation years for women, anemia is common, and causes an energy decrease. A simple iron supplement will fix that. Undetected cases of diabetes or hepatitis or any number of things are also associated with energy drops. So, again, DO get checked out. Ensure that you do various tests (urine, thyroid, and a complete chemistry lab panel) just in case you have something your doctor feels he/she can treat. Before taking any drug, research it and find out if it can help.
If your doctor says “nothing is wrong” just rest assured that nothing “serious” meaning nothing I can’t detect and fix is wrong. Doctors are seeing record numbers of patients and to give them a break, let me remind you that I’m not just a board certified Internal Medicine Specialist, but I also “have my boards” in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine so I am trained to “look at someone as a whole person”, to spend more time thinking about the root cause of things, and think 500x before prescribing a pharmaceutical drug for anything to anyone.
I am also trained to recognize issues before a regular Internist or Family Medicine doctor recognizes them. You’ll hear more as we go. I am going to go slowly and methodically giving you possible reasons and then the “fixes”. Note that energy drops are often “multi-factorial”: meaning causes by several things at once.
Oh: by the way, most doctors are also trained not to let a patient leave without a prescription for a pharmaceutical so much of the time, a patient who is just plain tired leaves with a prescription for an anti-depressant. Before you TAKE ‘anything’ please finish this digital book and check our more of my online information including videos, free email series, and articles in my website.
Medical Conditions Which Are Easily Missed & Causing Lack of Energy:
This is the medical term that means having a low level of active thyroid hormone in your body. More women than men are walking around with this condition either not diagnosed or under-treated. I hear “I would like to know how to increase energy levels so I can do more”, MORE than anything else I hear in my medical practice.
This is not so hard to diagnose, which is why I am going to tell you the correct testing as doctors can order the wrong ones. You need a Free T3, a Free T4, TPO antibodies to check for auto-immune thyroid disease which is common and a reverse T3 to check for “clogged” T3 binding sites. For thyroid tests to then be deemed “within normal range” A4M (The American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine) mandates that both Free T3 (the active form of the hormone) and free T4 (which “turns into Free T3”) need to be in the upper 2/3 of the results you see on the lab test results slip.
Many doctors are afraid to use thyroid hormones at their full strength due to past teachings, but times have changed with research showing that high levels help. The important thing to look out for is any mineral deficiency as there are around 20 involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Take a good pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamin-multi-mineral supplement to ensure you are covered.
Now what about the person who has hypothyroid symptoms and your doctor is insisting your thyroid is normal? Symptoms include feeling chilly when everyone else is “fine”, having your facial skin appear puffy or “doughy”, and having the outer 1/3 of your eyebrows “disappear”. Well, you can check your A.M. temperature for a week and if it’s less than 97.3 you are “clinically hypothyroid” and need to find an A4M doctor to treat you if your own doctor or Endocrinologist won’t.
Adrenal fatigue (or a milder form: adrenal stress):
If you are saying to yourself “I have NO energy”, then you might have what is known as adrenal fatigue. YOU are the person searching the internet to find supplements for energy. Sometimes people self-medicate with extra caffeine and/or energy drinks which will just worsen this condition. No…not sometimes: the majority of the time. Does this sound familiar at all? The reason stimulants worsen the condition is that stimulants (either made by the body or taken externally) CAUSE the condition. Let me explain. Adrenal fatigue (read carefully and THINK) is usually brought on by preceding or currently occurring physical or emotional stress.
Adrenal stress or full adrenal fatigue is the main reason why patients say they feel exhausted and literally say “I have no energy”. Non-Anti-Aging doctors commonly miss this condition as they are not educated about the phenomenon. People tell their doctors they feel as if they have a “burn-out,” but the problem is their doctors don’t know how to recognize this not uncommon syndrome.
Symptoms include a variety of sleep problems including “unrefreshing sleep”, and varying levels of fatigue during the day. The poor sleep quality very commonly also includes several wake-ups during the night. It often causes mild signs of depression due to the lack of quality sleep, and as a result, many doctors erroneously treat this condition with anti-depressants.
And THEN what happens? You guessed it. Instead of getting the necessary supplements for energy and adrenal repair, the anti-depressants make you feel numb and still tired! ACK! If this is you, please continue reading about the other things that zap energy because many are “all mixed in” with this diagnosis. That’s another reason it’s often so hard for people to get adequate treatment.
If someone says “I need more energy “, we quantify on a scale of 1-10 are they a 5 or below? If so, there is likely an adrenal issue if medical problems are ruled out.
If it’s an adrenal issue, we treat with rest, massage, Moor Spa therapeutic baths, and stress management as the first step. WE also add adrenal support herbs which can be found in more detail on the previous article. The best herbals for “adrenal support” tend to be astragalus, rhodioloa, ashwaganda and Siberian Ginseng. We sometimes then add “adrenal glandulars”. We make sure all stimulants are stopped and that someone has relaxation activities “in place”.
If someone tells me that they have no energy or motivation, that can be an adrenal issue or it can be that mild or moderate depression is the real underlying issue. Note that depression will cause you to feel as if you need more energy. Again, I’m always making sure medical issues are “ruled out”. In a future article, I will discuss this topic in detail.
OK so I just need more energy…..How do I do that?
So, this is a common question and I need to ask questions to be able to give good answers – are you game?
Why do you have a Lack of Energy? (And here’s one compelling true story!)
Wow. This is quite a topic but since we just discussed adrenal issues let’s start there. Adrenal fatigue is commonly associated with, first one, then two then more wake-ups with difficulty falling back asleep at night. The next symptom is having “unrefreshed sleep” which means when you wake up in the morning on your own or with an alarm, you just want to stay in bed and sleep more. But just because you have these two symptoms doesn’t mean you HAVE adrenal fatigue if these are not associated with anything you have read above. In the sleep articles we will discuss specifically why you may be having sleep issues and how to get energy to max your sleep regimen. There are three categories:
- Sleep initiation: (Ability to fall asleep.)
- Wake-ups un-related to adrenal issues.
- Un-refreshed sleep un-related to adrenal issues.
Eating an inflammatory diet:
As we age, what we eat catches up with us. If you are experiencing either sleep issues (ANY of the above) or energy drops, you should know that the average American diet is very, what we call “inflammatory” and when we have internal inflammation we have often hard-to-identify aches and pains which interfere with our sleep and lower our energy levels. WE than feel as if we have a lack of energy big time.
You’d be amazed at how many people are a bit dehydrated, which causes a loss of energy. Unless there is a medical problem or a drug (a diuretic drug) causing this issue, it usually happens because someone is consuming diuretic liquids such as coffee and soda instead of water all day. In addition, if that same person stops drinking cola, only to start drinking alcohol at night, they will still have a diuretic-effect going on. And this in turn will lead to a lack of energy as well. The solution is no mystery-cut down on caffeine and alcohol and drink healthy fluids such as water with lemon during the day. Your urine should in return be clear.
Everyone feels stressed at one time or another. However, TOO MUCH stress can damage your health. In fact when I’m counseling patients about every single topic you’ll find on my website, stress matters. It can compound the problems from mood to sleep to of course, since they are all linked, energy. So you need to analyze what’s doing in your life and control your stress. If professional help is needed, so be it!
I know you don’t want to hear it but try lifting a 25 pound bag of potatoes and carrying it around with you all day. I’ll bet that by the end of the day you will have less energy. Does that make sense? So many people put on weight as they get older and one day they look in the mirror and say OOPS, HOW did that happen? If you haven’t seen the weight loss “expertise articles” and gotten your free instant book, here is that link.
Finally, there may be hormonal causes. For example a male who is experiencing premature or even “on time” andropause (a drop in his testosterone) will have energy issues and un-refreshed sleep as very common initial problems. A female going through pre-menopause will experience an increase in PMS and sleep disruptions which start off with un-refreshed sleep OR wakeups. Similarly a woman experiencing menopause will have hot flashes (flushes in “medical-ese”) which will wake her up during the night and then cause un-refreshed sleep. When you have un-refreshed sleep you need more energy.
“I don’t know how to get energy for the activities I always liked to do-help!”
Well, I’m here to tell you that just as our diet is inflammatory and filled with unhealthy ingredients (and of course I’m talking about processed foods here); it is also filled with ingredients which promote weight gain. So your weight gain is definitely NOT entirely your fault. In fact, it may not be your fault at all! The more you gain, the more tired you get. Therefore, the more tired you get THE MORE YOU REACH FOR FOOD WHEN YOU ARE NOT HUNGRY TO GIVE YOU ENERGY. The less energy you have, the less chance that you will be on a good fitness program because you are just too tired to DO IT. It’s a spiral I can get you out of. I can teach you how to stop this spiral before it gets worse.
Loss of muscle mass:
So, this is a corollary to what I just talked about. As you gain weight and you get older, more tired, less fit, then LESS FIT, what happens? You gain fat and lose muscle. Your body fat to body muscle ratio really gets out of whack. And what do you use to walk around, to do everything you need to do while awake? You USE YOUR MUSCLES. So if you have less muscle mass, you need to make more of an effort to accomplish what used to be “no effort”. So it’s NOT that “you’re getting older” as your doctor might be telling you: it’s that your body composition is responsible for making you tired. Makes sense, right? Also makes for another reason for your lack of energy.
How to Have More Energy:
Age –related Mitochondrial ATP losses:
If you remember your high school biology, you’ll recall that energy is produced by mitochondria in each cell, and that energy is called ATP. This just plain tapers off each decade after 30 as we age. THAT is the reason that on average, the organs of someone at 75 weight less than they do at age 30. Makes sense, right? So doesn’t it also make sense that when you are as young as 35-40 years old you will be looking for how to gain energy? Why wouldn’t you?
As mitochondria produce less ATP they tend to “die off” causing cells within the organs to do the same. As this all happens, we feel less energetic, especially since there are large amounts of mitochondria in the muscles and the brain. Luckily we CAN do something about this. This topic was covered in the previous article so just go find what you need so you’ll know how to have more energy as you age! The article also covers the best age related supplements for energy that you can take as you age gracefully!
“Intangible” energy losses associated with age:
When someone has everything on this list all tuned up and they are still not a 10 out of 10 on the energy scale, all is NOT lost. Perhaps they (you?) are on energy-zapping medication or have arthritis causing them (you) pain. Pain zaps energy, by the way. You NEVER need to accept a statement from a doctor that you are feeling tired; they have no explanation and instead tell you “this is what happens as you get older”. That is just plain nonsense. So let’s review how to nuke this idiocy!
Need More Energy? These tips will help you feel young at any age!
- If medical conditions arise, get treated ASAP!
- Avoid over-use of stimulants of any sort!
- Avoid over-use of Alcohol and don’t smoke!
- Maintain a normal weight!
- Balance your hormones if needed!
- For unexplained energy dips: Take amino acids such as acetyl-l-carnitine, L-tyrosine, and vitamins such as B12.
- Make sure you eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Keep your mood great!
- Sleep like a baby!
- De-stress! Use “adrenal support” if needed.
- For mitochondrial ATP loss with aging: Take mitochondrial boosters which often contain a panax ginseng formula, some special vitamins such as Co-Q 10 and when in doubt just ask me!