“… Fatigue and weakness are universally common symptoms in RA, with clinically relevant fatigue affecting an estimated 40% to 80% of people with the disease. Fatigue can also be one of the most disabling symptoms associated with RA. Studies have shown that fatigue related to RA is strongly associated with poor sleep and high levels of functional disability, pain, and depressive symptoms …” some statistic
Fatigue is one of the hardest symptoms of RA to deal with. Yet as I prepared this article I didn’t find much information on the subject. Also there are no treatments for the fatigue. Most rheumatologists believe that if they can get the disease under control, pain and fatigue will disappear as well. But if medications only mask the RA disease for a limited time and not solve the root cause of the disease, how can it possibly take care of the fatigue in the long term?
But what if you will be able to increase your energy level by 5% every signal day? Or what if you did it 10%, how about 20%? 20% more energy on daily basis! Would you enjoy your life more?! But the way to get it is not through medications and supplements or new and fancy solutions. It starts with a foundation of wellbeing. It is about long term engagement. It requires you to change some habits.
Energy is the building block of everything in our lives – from our relationships, to our careers, to our moods, to fulfilling our dreams, to our overall happiness in life.
When our energy is hurting, everything in our lives suffers.
All living things require energy from the outside (foods). Because our body is made of cells, these cells require energy and it comes from microscopic nutrients that travel into the bloodstream to the cells from the foods that we eat. Without these nutrients, the cells will malfunction.
Therefore your diet is directly correlated to your cell’s ability to function. If you consume high-quality nutrients, you will have high ability to function.
The word nutrient means: a component in foods that an organism uses to survive, nourish, supports growth, to maintain what the body has achieved, and to repair what might need fixing.
The mitochondria are the energy factory inside of each cell that generates ENERGY for your body. In each cell, there are hundreds to thousands of these little energy factories shaped like tiny, little sausages.
When you digest carbohydrates, fats and protein they are broken down into small microscopic nutrients that are absorbed in the bloodstream. From there they travel to the individual cells and end up in those tiny mitochondria. When the mitochondria receive this fuel it generates energy for you.
Mitochondria turn your food and oxygen into energy.
It’s the role of the mitochondria within each cell to convert the energy from the microscopic nutrition from the food we eat into a form that the cells can actually use as fuel to grow, reproduce, repair, and respond.
Mitochondria are very sensitive to damage, and when they aren’t working properly, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, memory loss, pain, and rapid aging along with more inflammation and increased RA symptoms.
Important: Fatigue is the most common symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria.
Therefore visualize and remember every time when you eat: You put in good fuel and you will get good energy. You put in bad fuel and you will have no energy. It may one of the reasons you are tired all day. Even eating enough you are really eating very little or perhaps nothing of nutritional value.
So you probably think that we need a variety of nutrients to feed mitochondria and you would be correct. Many different nutrients play indispensable roles in mitochondrial energy production.
To strengthen your mitochondria here they are: carbohydrate - dark leafy green vegetables, all colorful vegetables, sulfur vegetables (cabbage family), fruits (berries are better choice); good protein - preferred from pasture raised animals, organs meat, wild fish, nuts, seeds, legumes (limited and only pre-soaked); good fats – coconut oil, ghee, olive oil. Always remember to eat real whole food.
Besides vitamin and mineral deficiencies what else can negatively influence the “health” and efficiency of our mitochondria?
Pharmaceutical drugs (talk to your doctor about any medications that might be causing you to experience fatigue); toxic, environmental chemicals like herbicides and pesticides; chronic infection; other dietary and environmental toxins such as sulfites found in red wine and cyanide found in tobacco smoke; chemicals in processed foods are also mitochondrial poisons. They knock out the mitochondria, so you don't have energy.
But even more important here is your digestive track AGAIN!
You may be thinking: I eat the right foods. I pay attention to what I eat. Why don’t I have any energy? But if your body not able to break dawn and absorb the food you eat (even the best food in a world) to that microscopic nutrition you don’t feeding your mitochondria.
Back it up and be sure that everything is in order.
Remember your gut is the place where health or disease begins.
Your mouth has a huge role in the mechanical breakdown of food that comes about through the process of chewing. When you chew, there’s a chemical reaction that takes place. The food breaks down and signals additional hormones, enzymes, and gastric juices to further instigate the process of further break down. The longer the food stays within your mouth, the easier digestion is on the rest of your body.
Well-chewed food glides easily into the stomach, but dried and un-chewed food has a more stilted journey through the entire digestive and metabolic chain reaction.
Important: When digestion requires less energy, there is more energy to be used elsewhere. Chew your food to get more energy!
Another reason to chew more is that it helps the body to release more gastric juices, enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach (as I mentioned before). What happens here?
The hydrochloric acid and the digestive enzymes in your stomach help to utilize the B12 and iron from the protein molecules converting them into a more digestible form. The further food is broken down the easier it is for the blood to deliver it to the cells and to the mitochondria.
When you utilize the two critical nutrients B12 and iron it give you more energy. Deficient B12 and low iron both contribute substantially to fatigue!
Therefore if you don’t produce enough hydrochloric acid and the other digestive enzymes in your stomach you may become anemic and that isn’t because you don’t eat enough red meat. It is because your body is not able to utilize these important nutrients from the foods or supplements you eat. So optimizing your stomach acid first!
Keep in mind the older you grow the less stomach acid you produce. Also vegans start to produce less stomach acid over time because their stomachs don’t need as much gastro juices to break down foods. If they don’t have enough acids they may be not able to utilize the foods they eat.
Many people with RA struggle with severe fatigue and lack of energy and while it has a lot to do with the food choices that they are making or the foods that they are not consuming but it also has to do with the extra duress that their digestive system is under.
To get your energy here is a foundation:
- Chew your food for energy!
- Boost your stomach acid! Incorporate the most gentle acid like lemon or raw apple cider vinegar in water, either at the start of the morning or before meals.
- Feed your Mitochondria with a high quality fuel!
If the food is toxic (like processed foods) or the digestive system is impaired, then the mitochondria are too! Mitochondria are energy factory that generate ENERGY for your body.
P.S. Remember if you had severe fatigue or/and developing some brain fog issues, your mitochondria are really straining. You needed to fix it. If you’d like to get more help, the first step is to sign up for a 30-min FREE “RA Troubleshooting Session” with me where I’ll go through your health history and learn the custom healing diet that is going to help you with your fatigue and ultimately your RA.