Why Am I Always Tired?

Now I’m not talking about just having a tiring day and needing some sleep. This post ‘why am I always tired’ is reaching out to those that have such fatigue, that it interferes with their daily life.

ME/CFSChronic Fatigue Syndrome

Is there a chance that you may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome known as CFS?  In the UK it is often known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME.  This description of the condition recognises that the muscles and the brain are major problem sites.  Sometimes ME is thought to mean Mental Exhaustion.  Although this appears to be a good description, it can be misconstrued to be a psychological condition which it isn’t, but it can cause psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

“Yuppie Flu?”

It wasn’t until the late 1980s that this condition was officially recognised and terms such as “yuppie flu” were rife with sufferers told to “snap out of it” or “pull yourself together”.  Since then, CFS and other similar conditions such as Fibromyalgia are affecting the population in epidemic proportions, with sufferers from all walks of life and ethnicities. Unfortunately even now some medics consider this illness to be more psychological than physical.  Ironically, it is often their initial mis-diagnosis and lack of nutrient knowledge, which is the problem.  Sufferers are then prescribed all kinds of drugs to alleviate a condition which is exacerbated rather than relieved by the side effects of the drugs.

Symptoms of CFS/ME

Chronic fatigue syndrome affects different people in different ways but the main symptoms are:

  • MEpersistant, dibilitating fatigue, not alleviated by rest or sleep
  • allergies
  • digestive disturbances
  • arrhythmias
  • memory loss
  • loss of concentration
  • sore lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • muscle pain and muscle weakness
  • joint pain
  • chronic headaches
  • insomnia
  • depression, anxiety
  • night sweats
  • vision disturbances
  • sensitivities to chemicals
  • chronic constipation
  • numbness of hand and/or feet
  • inability to cope with stressful situations
  • Post-exertional malaise (PEM)

The last symptom PEM, is sometimes thought to be an “illness within an illness” according to Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard University. ¹  It is normal for CFS sufferers to site this symptom as dominating their experience of the condition.

Have you had glandular fever?

There is a theory that the virus known as Epstein-Barr virus is the catalyst for this illness.  The Epstein–Barr virus is one of the most common viruses in humans and is one of eight from the herpes family.  It is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis.  Otherwise known as Glandular Fever or the ‘kissing disease’, an estimated 90% of the kissing viruspopulation has antibodies of this virus within them.  Most people who are infected recover with no effects, like they would from the flu or a cold.  For some, however, the infection leaves them with feelings of fatigue and being run down, with sufferers complaining that the good health they once had, never returns.

I think it is no coincidence that the preponderance of CFS is in direct relation to the fact that nearly everyone in the US is suffering from some degree of Mg deficiency.  In fact, it is interesting to note that all the symptoms of CFS can be found in sufferers of this deficiency.  The initial problems people encounter or notice, are their lack of energy, muscle spasms, back and joint pain, headaches and insomnia.  These gradually get worse as the deficiency increases, to include most of those symptoms listed above.

Allopathic treatment of CFS/ME

Treatment of this condition by allopathic medicines, is manyfold, primarily because there are so many symptoms to alleviate.  Pharmaceutical drugs will include pain killers and NSAIDS (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs), anti depressants, anticonvulsants, anti-emetics (for nausea relief from taking drugs), sleeping pills etc..  In fact many patients are on a drug cocktail.  But drugs will not cure the condition, only mask it or control it, that’s if you’re lucky!

4 of many drugs used:

cleft-lip or palateOne nutritional psychologist working in pain management complained that one of her CFS patients, who was in his 60s, was taking Topamax, an anticonvulsant drug used for weight loss and epilepsy.  The patient wasn’t even overweight and he was already taking 22 drugs, Topamax being the 23rd! Topamax and other serious drugs used for CFS, can cause more problems than the condition itself.  If you are on any of these drugs, just check what the side effects can be and be aware.  If you’re pregnant, you may be one of the unlucky ones that produces a child with a cleft lip and/or palate.  Don’t risk it!

The nutritional psychologist went on to say “I have heard so many experiences like this one. Doctors do literally force these drugs on patients and get very angry if they are questioned. What is actually going on in medicine is beyond me. I have been a medical psychologist for over 30 years and have never seen this type of overuse of drugs and over reaction of physicians.”

Here are a couple of comments from patient forums about other drugs used for CFS:

Cymbalta (duloxetine) –  A serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI):                        “I stayed nauseated the whole time I took it. Plus I lost all sense of judgement and reason. I started buying stuff on Ebay with a charge card. I had charged about $21,000. of stuff without concern. Thank goodness my husband figured it out and stopped me before I maxed it out at $25,000. As he was calling canceling it, I was right in the middle of another purchase. I am back on Prozac and back to normal. I have an aunt that told me that it made her lose all inhibitions about spending also. So user beware!”

ProzacProzac is definitely not the answer and it is very difficult to come off it.  It is a ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’ (SSRI) which creates artificially elevated serotonin levels.  This drug actually inhibits the breakdown and elimination of serotonin so it lingers longer in the brain than it should do naturally.  This causes various affects which differ from person to person from suicidal and/or homocidal thoughts to being emotionless, from anxiety and tension to apathy.  Everyone reacts differently to having their brain chemicals messed with.

Modafinil A wakefulness-promoting agent (or eugeroic):
“I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Pretty much bed ridden. Took 100 mg of Modafinil. Within 5 minutes, had lots of pressure in my head. Very unpleasant. Did absolutely nothing to make me feel better. Instead, felt worse. Extreme pressure in head lasted 90 minutes. Then mild headache rest of the day. Very disappointing.”

This patient would be out of her bed within days if she only was to try a good quality Mg supplement.  She would most likely be throwing her prescription drugs in the bin!

mglogoSo what does Mg do?

Magnesium is by far the most important mineral nutrient.  It is absolutely critical for producing the energy that our bodies need to function efficiently.  If you are Mg deficient, you will NOT be in good health and if you have CFS you WILL be Mg deficient.  If your deficiency continues without repleting your Mg levels, your health will deteriorate.  This is a known.  It’s not a might be or a could be.

What are mitrochondria?

Inside each of our body’s 37.2 trillion cells, there are tiny factories called mitochondria.  Mitochondria create energy by breaking down glucose and other components which release cellular fuel known as ATP or adenosine triphosphate. This is our energy source, our batteries that power all our body’s energy needing functions.  Without Mg, mitochondria cannot create energy.   No Mg means mitochrondrial disfunction, which means no ATP which means no energy.

The dangers of excess calcium

calcium kills cellsLow magnesium levels in CFS/ME sufferers is a symptom of mitochondrial failure.  When mitochondria fail, calcium leaks into cells and magnesium leaks out.  Calcium is toxic to cells and cannot be kept out without enough Mg to switch the cell gates controlling the movement of calcium in and out of cells.  Uncontrolled calcium in cells causes cell death.

Why not look for nutritional deficiency first?

Drugs obviously have their place but why a patient is not given life changing nutrients such as the vital mineral Mg first, is a mystery.  Somehow I think it may have something to do with money, I can think of no other reason.  Pain medication that have fluoride molecules added, are serious depleters of Mg because they bind to Mg making it unavilable for the 700-800 enzymatic functions of the body which includes energy and treating pain and inflammation.  A plethora of other drugs have an adverse affect on Mg and will cause depletion.  Stress of any kind be it physical, mental, chemical, emotional will deplete Mg.

Sceptical?

I know many of you reading this will be sceptical and won’t take anything unless your medic prescribes it, but remember, the medical profession are not educated in nutrition.  Their education is drugs based and it will be a drug you are prescribed, not a natural nutrient.   Some doctors are intimidating, especially if they’re not au fait with what you may suggest.  If they do test you for Mg, the antiquated blood serum test will be used which nearly always gives a false positive.  Asking for the more efficient red blood cell test or even better an ExaTest will probably not go down well!  Efficient tests such as ExaTests are rarely used in hospitals and doctor’s surgeries.

If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome you WILL be Mg deficient.  Just try it, give it a week and see how you feel.  Go to Mg supplements to see which is best suited to you.  If any of you are living in the UK, I can send you a free sample of Mg Chloride which I consider to be the best supplement as it is 100% bioavailable.  Just contact me at ches@psmicrographs.co.uk

  1. Ches Power AuthorLecture to the Massachussetts CFIDS Association by Dr  Anthony Komaroff of Harvard University, April 24, 2010. http://www.masscfids.org/news-a-events/2/221 accessed July 7, 2010.

Ches

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Why Am I Always Tired?
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Why Am I Always Tired?
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Now I'm not talking about just having a tiring day and needing some sleep. This post 'why am I always tired' is reaching out to those that have such fatigue, that it interferes with their daily life.
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29 thoughts on “Why Am I Always Tired?

  1. Hi Gina, go for it, you won’t be sorry. Make sure you get a good quality Mg though. Either Mg citrate powder if you need a gentle laxative or otherwise the most bioavailable Mg Chloride solution. Mg is completely natural and every one of your 17 trillion cells needs it every day. You will notice the extra energy as well as being calmer and more relaxed which will produce a good nights sleep. Let me know how you get on. Ches

  2. Hi Ches,
    I’m looking at my multivitamin bottle right now and it only has 13% of the daily recommended amount of magnesium. I was also told before that magnesium helps control sugar cravings. I could definitely use a little extra energy too. I think I’ll start taking some and see what happens. You did say that your body will excrete any extra that it doesn’t need so it can’t be harmful to give it a try. Thank you.
    Gina

  3. Hi Travis, yes a couple of my relatives think that no matter what the medic instructs, he must be obeyed at all costs. Like you, I think the body is best kept healthy by giving it the natural nutrients that it is programmed to use. Pumping us all full of alien drugs cannot be the best way to treat an illness. Re-balancing the nutrients that the body craves and needs is natures way of healing.

    Good on you that you take no drugs, my husband and I are the same. My husband has 3 brothers and they are all on pharmaceutical drugs, two of them on 7 different ones! My husband is very fit and healthy and the only problem he has, according to his optician, is his eye tests show he WILL get glaucoma. He disagrees. Since taking magnesium, his last glaucoma eye test shows his eye pressure has reduced. Looks like she’s wrong and he’s right! Ches

  4. There are as you mentioned many people that only listen to the doctors and have all their medicines. That’s not me, and I feel sorry for them as most are probably on medication they do not need to be on.

    I believe firmly in the foods and supplements we chose the way to go. My Wife and I have been very fortunate that we use no drugs and rely on alternative medician being all natural.

    Articles like yours and having a better understanding of supplements and nutrition is where its at for us.

  5. Very interesting article. My ex wife suffers from ME and has had very little success with conventional medicine. It’s been 6 years and they haven’t even diagnosed her properly yet. I’ve just forwarded this web page to her with a suggestion to try some. Clearly it’s worth a try as nothing has worked for her so far.

  6. Hi Pete, I’m sorry to learn your wife has had to put up with this condition for so long. She would certainly benefit from taking this vital supplement. ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is the term usually used in the UK whereas CFS is often used in the US. Are you in the UK by any chance? If you are, I can send you a free sample for your wife to try. Let me know, my email is ches@psmicrographs.co.uk Ches

  7. Hi Julius, That’s a lot of pills, I sincerely hope you are choosing good quality supplements. I’m afraid some of the cheaper versions will give no benefit at all. Do make sure you’re not overdosing on the Calcium (Ca). Too much Ca will only make matters worse. If you want a good nights sleep and more energy, feed your ATP (adenosine triphospate), the energy source produced within the mitochondria of your trillions of cells. Without Magnesium (Mg), the energy forming process within the mitochondria will be compromised and you will be fatigued at best and really sick at worst. We can’t live without it! Ches

  8. I’ve been experiecing a light fatigue lately, but it haven’t gone away yet. Even though I don’t experience most of the symptoms you mentioned, it does interfere my daily routine.

    I consumed 30 pills of vitamins (month’s dose) and that kinda helped a bit. Excercising does help too.

    I will definitely take note of this article and it should help me out. Thanks!

  9. Hi Layne, Depression is a symptom of Mg deficiency so it may be a good idea to give this supplement a try. Use Mg Citrate powder if you need a gently laxative and/or Mg Chloride solution which is the most bio available. I have not studied light treatment but I will surely do some research and check it out. Thanks for your input.

    You are bound to be Mg deficiency if you have any problems with depression. Please try a Mg supplement and try to not consume too much Calcium (Ca) which will only exacerbate your condition. Ca is the tension, tight, contraction mineral. Mg is the calm, relaxation, chill out mineral. They must be in balance. Let us know how you get on. Ches

  10. Hello Bri, I’m so pleased you’ve found Mg at last. Having to put up with this since you were 18 is upsetting to me. Now is your chance to heal yourself without any drugs. The Magnesium (Mg) antacid you have will be better than nothing as long as it hasn’t got more Calcium (Ca) in it than Mg. Make sure you’re not consuming too much Ca. Ca excess will exacerbate any muscle spasms and pain. If you have any almonds or brazil nuts in the house, they have Mg in them. Dark chocolate also. Green veggies, oily fish, salmon will give some natural Mg too. Bananas have Mg and Potassium (K). Foods With High Magnesium will give you some more ideas on foods with Mg in. Order your Mg supplement as soon as possible. If you have a problem with digestion including constipation, buy some Mg Citrate powder which will sort that out gently in no time. As for your main supplement, Mg Chloride is the best and most bio available. Do you live in the UK? If so I can send you some Mg Citrate and Mg Chloride to get you going for free. Let me know how you progress; good luck and here’s to your good health! Ches

  11. Thank you. I’ve had symptoms of chronic fatigue to varying degrees since I was 18. I’m now 44. In all that time and in the various research I’ve done, looking into fatigue issues, MG (if mentioned at all) has always been glanced over. In my 30s chronic pain joined my fatigue and they have been having a grand party ever since. I’ve always known nutrition to be the main factor in all dis-ease. I’m also not a fan of modern day medicine so I have luckily avoided being placed on those cocktails you noted. I have always looked for alternative help. I’m very glad to find your article! The Idea And Simplicity of MG Deficiency Is Mind Boggling and not just a little frightening that it’s not common knowledge and the first thing to be looked at and tried as a cure. It can be a scary world we live in.
    After reading this I looked around the house, the only MG I have is an all natural magnesium ant acid. Would that help me any, until I can order a good supplement?
    Thank you I’m going to try this. You may have just changed my life.
    Keep bringing the much needed jnfo.
    Bri.

  12. I truly sympathize with individuals who experience the ill effects of CFS. While I don’t have this issue, I do have bipolar disorder and that frequently leaves me feeling exhausted throughout the day, weeks on end. I call it exhaustion but really it’s depression. I’ve found that a considerable amount of the treatments for CFS are likewise helpful for individuals with bipolar so I will need to try these out. Have you studied much about light treatment?

  13. Hi Jessy and thanks for your input. Taking vitamin C and iron should be no problem. Remember magnesium is a natural mineral which we all need. If your body has too much, it will just excrete it. Buy the best quality magnesium if you can such as Mg chloride drops which are taken in water. (A glass for each dose of 150mg). Mg citrate powder is also good, especially if you want a gentle laxative effect. Iron supplements can cause constipation in some people as can being Mg deficient. Good health to you and yours. Ches

  14. Hello Robin, Thanks for your input. I do think your tiredness can be helped with a Mg supplement and I’m gratyfied to note you have ordered some. Walking over 7 miles a day will make anyone weary but there is a difference between being tired at the end of the day rather than being tired all day. Of the nutrients you’re taking, be careful with the calcium. Try and keep your Mg and Ca in balance. This is difficult to do because there’s plenty of Ca in our diets but not much Mg. As for doses, everyone is different and only you know how you feel. When taking Mg, start with a low dose and up it gradually. I take 600mg per day of Mg Chloride which I put in a glass of water. (split into 4 doses ie 4 glasses of water with a dose in each per day). I take the majority in the late afternoon and evening. I have a glass by my bed at night and take that in the morning when I wake up. I am in my late 60s and I have more energy than most of the youngsters around me. I personally would not take a Ca supplement at all because of its prevalence in our food. For instance, I drink a pint of milk a day in my tea. That gives 600mg of Ca on its own, the RDA for UK is 700mg per day. Most people are getting too much Ca, not too little. Ca is not the bone builder, it is Mg that strengthens bones and teeth. Without it your bones will be weak.

    Get yourself energised with the Mg then regroup and do your research. After a few days of taking it, you will feel re-vitalised. The RDA which differs from country to country is around 400mg per day. Naturopaths say this is too little. You will know when you reach your optimum level. It could be 350mg or it could be 1000mg or somewhere inbetween. It’s up to you, only you know how you feel. Good health to you and yours and let us know how you get on. Ches

  15. I have to say that I ordered a magnesium supplement after reading your article “Early Signs – Heart Disease”. I am not in fear of heart disease, but I am sold on the importance of magnesium. You have excelled at making its importance known. This article reinforces it. I am trying to figure out if I am tired because of my age (almost 60), along with my job (letter carrier with the USPS – I walk 7.6 miles a day in various weather conditions) or a deficiency of sorts. I think it is wise to take the supplements, Vitamin D3, Calcium, and Magnesium. What do you think and in what doses?

  16. It’s amazing how lack of a mineral can cause so much imbalance within the body. The article is extremely informative, and educational. Can it be taken with another supplement to enhance its effects? For example, it is said to take Vitamin C with Iron to treat Anemia.

  17. I really enjoyed reading your article Why am I always Tired. I think with crops being grown over and over in the same soil many of our foods just don’t have the natural magnesium in them that they used to years ago, making it important for us to supplement our bodies. Great article.

  18. Hi Alec, Thanks for reading the post and the positive comments. As for a diet high in Mg please go to Foods With High Magnesium which will give you a list of many foods that have Mg in them. Unfortunately, a lot of these foods have a lesser amount than they did 50 or so years ago. You can blame our agricultural practices for that! The difficulty is the balance between Ca and Mg. Most of us consume far too much Ca and to balance it with Mg is quite a task! A 1:1 balance needs to be aimed for and is likely not possible with food alone. I’ve included Best Magnesium Supplements To Take to cover all bases! Keep fit and healthy, Ches

  19. Excellent post on magnesium and its many health benefits for the body. I had no idea that it such an impact on our energy levels!
    I was wondering though, do you know of any foods that are high in magnesium? I think it would be really helpful to know so we can adjust our diets to be more conducive to providing us with the energy we need.

  20. Hi Stella, I’m sorry you have had to suffer this illness but pleased you worked out what was best for you. Yes, one of the main problems with deficiencies and especially Mg is that it never gets absorbed if a serious digestive condition exists for the sufferer. This is what really makes me mad, that the medics do not realize this fundamental bodily function, often prescribing dangerous PPI’s which exacerbate problems and cause a vicious circle. One thing we do need in our stomach is acid, otherwise we cannot digest and absorb. Once we absorb properly, everything else usually falls into place. Helping the process along with digestive enzymes and other natural nutrients can only help. Nothing natural will harm you as long as it is not in excess. With Mg used topically or orally, the only problem you get with excess is a laxative effect. Thanks for your kind comments about the site. Good health to you and yours, Ches

  21. Hi Glen, Yes it is incredible that people do not take care of their own health before inevitably having to rely on their doctor who will generally only prescribe drugs which just control the problem rather than cure it. Prevention is better than cure! Although I must say that a lot of nutritional deficiencies are due to so called ‘healthy’ foods, touted by the food manufacturers and bought by the trusting public. Often these foods are junk and worse the soils our foods come from are depleted in vitamins and minerals due to agricultural practices in this modern world. Magnesium particlarly, has been stripped from our soils and that is why it is causing so many problems with health. Thanks for all your comments and good health to you and yours. Ches

  22. I’m trying the comment again. 🙂
    I was diagnosed with CFS along with fibromyalgia years ago. However, I also have severe IBS with malabsorption. In more recent years since I take digestive enzymes, betaine hcl and bile salts, my digestion has improved and so has many of the other symptoms.
    I believe you are right because now I probably absorb far more of the nutrients in my food, such as magnesium, and this has led to my improvement in all areas.
    This is a great website, with great information. I hope many people read it and learn how to help themselves naturally.
    Good stuff! Stella 🙂

  23. Amazing that more people do not pay attention to the food they eat. Proper diet would eliminate the need for so much medication. CFS along with the stress of daily living is preventable. The problem with the medical profession, as I see it, is they do not spend enough time diagnosing and fixing the causes. It is easier and more profitable to treat symptoms.If people focused on correcting their diets by eating healthier, they will solve many of their wellness issues.

  24. Well done Denise for sorting out your own health problem. I only wish more people would take their health into their own hands. After all, only you know how you feel. Even though you probably were not bad enough to actually have this condition, you have probably nipped it in the bud before your symptoms escalated. As you’re pregnant, please make sure you have enough Mg as pregnancy demands more for the body. Pregnancy Health Info – Part 1 Pregnancy Health Info – Part 2 Try and keep a 1:1 ratio between Ca and Mg if you can. This can be difficult because there is so much Ca in our diet and so much food is fortified with it now. Good health to you and yours and congratulations, I hope all goes well. Ches

  25. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m pregnant and have always had muscle cramps at night. This time I was bent on solving this problem. After doing a lot of research, I concluded that it might be magnesium deficiency. I decided to go natural by eating nuts like almond and cashew that are packed with magnesium. Within weeks of my improved diet I noticed that my muscle cramps happened less often and eventually stopped. I was also more energetic. So I have stacked to magnesium rich foods since then.

  26. Hi Blame and thanks for reading my post. Yes, Calcium can be a rogue without enough Mg to control it. As for potassium, even if you are replete with this important mineral, it will not be efficient without enough Mg. It would appear the little joke at school had some credence to it!

    Some Mg supplements will give you diarrhea even if you’re deficient in Mg. Mg Oxide for instance. This is a cheap form of Mg and tends to go straight through you and is not absorbed readily. It’s OK if you are constipated although if you do have this problem Mg Citrate is much more gentle and the powder form makes it easy to control your dose. If you take Mg Chloride then you will not have a laxative effect unless your dose is very high. It is also 100% bioavailable. Using a topical Mg Chloride is another way of absorbing the mineral. I myself take at least 600mg of Mg Chloride orally each day plus eating foods rich in Mg.

    Good health to you and yours, Ches

  27. I have heard of the magic of magnesium also. I just had no idea that it can also regulate the amount of calcium that enters each cell in our body. To me I always thought that calcium and potassium are simply two regulating forces for our heartbeat, but it goes to show that learning never ends.

    Magnesium seems to solve so many problems that there was a joke in school. You don’t feel well? Well try some magnesium. I believe that the only side effect of magnesium overdose is diarrhea. Is it true?

  28. Thanks Geof for reading the article and for your kind comments. Its gratifying to know that some of you out there are au fait with the merits of this amazing mineral. I sincerely hope you can give your neighbour some advice about taking a Mg supplement to alleviate the symptoms of this debilitating condition. Please let us know how you get on. Good health to you and yours. Ches

  29. Hi there, great post.
    I’ve been working in the biochemistry field for years and have known for yonks just how important magnesium is for the health of cells; I guess by extension for the health of the whole individual. Never thought too much about stuff like yuppie flu though but it all makes sense. I’m going to delve into this a lot more now as I have a neighbour who suffers from this very debilitating illness. Love your site, full of great well researched info. and can see a lot of hard work has gone into it.

    Cheers, Geof

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