Fatigue is not a valid diagnosis. Actually, when you look at most diagnoses, they aren’t valid. All your doctor is doing is describing what you’re going through on the path of a normal cell cycle. Fatigue isn’t a diagnosis, it’s a state of cell physiology.
Look to the Cell, Not the Symptom
A heathy cell is one that is maintaining a state of homeostasis (balance). There are a number of factors that determine this balance but they all fall under the umbrella of outside influences. These influences can be nutritional, physical, chemical, emotional, and medical. Though genetics play a piece, they are just responding to the information they are receiving.
In other words, your health (or lack there of) is the genetic expression of your lifestyle choices, experiences, and exposures.
If your choices, experiences, and exposures do not support cell homeostasis, the genes tell your body to go into alarm. The purpose is to get your attention to make choices and changes so you can escape the potential danger and return to homeostasis.
In order to make those changes, you have to adapt. Most are familiar with the stress response where blood pressure increases, blood sugar increases, digestion decreases, learning, memory, and concentration decrease, etc. These are highly intelligent adaptions to buy you time to return to homeostasis. If you can’t engage these functions, you don’t adapt. If you can’t adapt, you get eaten by the lion.
Symptoms are never stupid, and it’s not a stress response. It’s an adaptation response. If you fail to recognize these symptoms as a blessing, buying you time, and continue down the path of poor choices, exposures, and experiences, the next phase of cell physiology is cell FATIGUE.
Your cells are starting to give up. They are overburdened, under supported, and screaming at you for change. Why would fatigue set in when in the fatigue stage? It’s the body’s attempt at slowing you down so you can try and repair the damage that is has occurred and that is occurring. And this is why treating fatigue never works. It never addresses why you got there in the first place, both based on symptoms and cell physiology.
It’s this fatigue phase that you often get a diagnosis. You have high blood pressure. You have cancer. You have an autoimmune condition. You have Alzheimer’s. The problem with a diagnosis is that it just labels the symptomatic expression of the fatigue stage. It doesn’t reveal how a person got there or how to actually remedy it.
After fatigue is cell death. All our cells have a programmed cell lifespan from days to decades, depending on the tissue. The harder we have to adapt, the faster we burn through those cell life spans. Where medicine is really helpful is making sure you don’t go from cell fatigue to cell death really fast.
Where medicine has never proven effective is taking you from fatigue and moving you back to homeostasis. The only solution for that falls back to your choices, experiences, and exposures. In these choices, experiences, and exposures is where we become individualized in the pathway to return to homeostasis.
Don’t Chase Symptoms
I could line up 10 people with thyroid problems and all 10 got there a different way. There will be some commonality in the effects of the adaptation to fatigue state, but the alarm/alert phase is often unique. For long term health outcomes, unless those root causes aren’t addressed, health is not achieved. Close to 1,000,000 die each year of heart disease. Was it just the people that forgot to take their blood pressure or cholesterol lowering meds? Not at all.
The level of shift towards homeostasis is dependent on the level of commitment to cleaning up the circumstances that got a person there. The ones that get the best results are the ones that don’t play victim to those choices, experiences, and exposures but instead take responsibility, even if they were initially out of their control.
And the level of health outcome may not be perfect health but achieving a level of your personal potential. Health and illness is often a level of accumulation of time and concentration of effort. Therefore time is a resource that isn’t renewable. This is a reason why I’m strict with my kid’s diets. What they eat today isn’t so much for their health expression for today only. It’s an accumulation that will aid them later in life when they are grown and looking to start their own families.
I was sick for the first 24 years of life. I have worked hard the past almost 16 years to clean that up. What potential was lost in those younger years? Could I have achieved better athletically? Could I have achieved better academically? Socially? Musically? Who knows? So now I concentrate my personal efforts to make up for lost potential. Instead of many other busy professionals at my age losing productivity and life enjoyment, I feel I keep increasing mine.
I could blame my circumstances or I could take responsibility, even if they weren’t my fault. It’s in this decision that I see people thrive or fade. Need help? You know how to find me.