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Are you tired of feeling tired? Often, extreme fatigue causes feelings of hopelessness and despair. Trying to perform simple, routine, everyday tasks is difficult, leaving you weary and burned out. But, don’t lose hope! You can overcome your fatigue by addressing the root cause of your symptoms – and it begins in your body’s tiny cells.
Extreme Fatigue Causes: Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Mitochondria are the little energy-producing machines inside your body’s cells. Often called “the cell’s power plants,” mitochondria convert the energy in your food into a form that your body can use, working like cellular fuel stations to supply upwards of 95 percent of your body’s energy needs.
It should be no surprise, therefore, that one of the primary extreme fatigue causes is mitochondrial damage. If the amount, structure, or functioning of the mitochondria is impaired, you’re very likely to experience chronic, extreme fatigue. People with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, and other fatigue-related illnesses have all been found in recent studies to have damaged mitochondria, a condition known as mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is now known to be an underlying root cause of the extreme fatigue associated with these conditions because it diminishes the ability of your body’s cells to produce energy.
Extreme Fatigue Causes: Free Radical Damage
One of the most common ways mitochondria and energy production become compromised is through the generation of reactive oxygen species, known as free radicals. Free radicals are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen that are considered “unstable.” In order to gain stability, they rob electrons from any other molecules they meet and create a domino-like chain reaction which produces even more unstable molecules in their wake. A free radical chain can cause extensive cellular damage, even killing cells altogether, before eventually fizzling out.
When too many free radicals are generated for the body to handle efficiently, a situation called “oxidative stress” develops. And what can cause excessive free radical production? Just a few examples would be chronic stress, over consumption of fried foods, excessive alcohol usage and certainly smoking. Your cells’ mitochondria are especially susceptible to the damaging effects of oxidative stress.
Enzymes & Antioxidants—Your Body’s Natural Fatigue Remedies
Luckily, your body has developed a number of defenses to contain and minimize the free radical damage. Your body manufactures enzymes and antioxidants that neutralize free radicals before they cause damage. To repair damage that has already occurred, your body also has complex mechanisms in place. To add to your body’s internally generated antioxidant defenses you consume antioxidants in your diet (such as vitamin C and vitamin E) that can cut off the chain reactions early in their course. Therefore, two of the best natural fatigue remedies you can implement are to boost your body’s natural defense system by consuming more antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) in your diet and taking a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement. Without sufficient antioxidants to balance the damaging effects of free radical production, you will likely experience some or all of the extreme fatigue symptoms – ongoing, daily tiredness, weakness, inability to concentrate, poor memory, body aches, headaches, mood changes and lack of motivation.
Other Natural Fatigue Remedies
Luckily, just as some researchers have been uncovering the role of mitochondrial dysfunction as one of the primary fatigue causes, others have been figuring out how to treat the mitochondria in order to naturally treat fatigue. Many of the most effective, natural fatigue remedies utilize foods, supplements, and other therapies that repair and regenerate mitochondria and restore energy levels in the process. Many people have been thrilled with the results of D-ribose and CoQ10 supplements, two of the best fatigue remedies. You can also learn about the other fundamental underlying fatigue causes and more natural fatigue remedies in our Fatigue, Lack of Energy resource center.
This post was previously published and has been updated.