At this time, many of us – especially those yet to take advantage of holiday leave for the year – begin to experience a little bit of a slump. Perhaps it’s a case of feeling unmotivated and a little sluggish, and finding it more difficult than usual to get out of bed each day.
We could call it the mid-year blues, which may incorporate health concerns that are still minor and only in the early stage – such as fatigue, dehydration and stress. For these issues, complementary medicines can be a good tool to assist recovery.
Ms Hosking says some of the main reasons that people may turn to complementary medicines include:
- Hope that treatment via such medicines is more natural and helps them feel more in control.
- Concern about the side-effects of conventional medication.
- Belief that conventional medicines are failing to fully control their symptoms.
- Desire for healthcare that treats the whole person and not just their symptoms.
Fuelling the body, preventing fatigue
Dietitian Dr Tim Crowe describes fatigue as “a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness [that] can be physical, mental or a combination of both”.
“Fatigue can have ongoing health issues because it can be making an underlying health problem such as insomnia, depression, poor diet or excess stress,” he says.
Mr Crowe says that while a nutrient deficiency is not always a cause of fatigue, common nutrient deficiencies related to the condition include those of iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium.
Discussing the types of complementary medicines available in a pharmacy that can assist with managing fatigue, Ms Hosking lists:
Omega-3s and omega-6s. “Research has shown that people with chronic fatigue syndrome have imbalanced levels of [these].”
Essential fatty acids. “Supplementing with a combination of essential fatty acids found in evening primrose oil and fish oil can lead to improvement of symptoms.”
Vitamin B12. Ms Hosking says this has been shown to improve energy in people whose previous B12 intake was inadequate.
NADH (Vitamin B3). “A naturally occurring chemical involved in energy production in the body. Studies have shown that NADH may help to reduce fatigue and improve energy in people with fatigue.”
CoQ10. “CoQ10 is involved in the production of ATP, the main energy source of body cells. Research suggests that people with chronic fatigue syndrome may be deficient in CoQ10. The lower the level is, the worse the symptoms.”
To read the full Complementary Medicines feature, and discover other medicines to aid in boosting energy, click here to view Retail Pharmacy Assistants August.