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Fatigue: A Hidden Epidemic Hiding in Plain Sight


by Ari Whitten

Chronic lack of energy has become an epidemic! And it’s wrecking people’s lives.

People are tired… They’re sick. …They’re stressed. …They’re exhausted … They’re anxious and depressed … They come home and they don’t feel like being with their family, and they don’t have the drive to spend quality time with them.

And they’re usually just trying to drag themselves through another day with caffeine.

This is why so many people are hooked on caffeine — because we just don’t feel the energy we all used to have when we were young. So we’re constantly borrowing energy from tomorrow to pay for today with caffeine, sugar or stimulants.

In short, people are becoming bankrupt in the most essential ingredient to having a good life - physical energy and vitality!

Here are some scary stats to think about…

  • In the American Psychological Association's 2012 Stress in America survey, 45 PERCENT of women reported feeling chronically fatigued due to stress. 
  • The Chartered Management Institute recently conducted a 'Quality of Working Life' report which showed that insomnia is widespread and more than HALF of us experience feelings of constant tiredness during the day.
  • And if you don’t do something about it, the problem just gets worse as you get older… Research has shown that among older adults (older than 60 years old), nearly 1 in 3 have SEVERE chronic fatigue that’s so bad, it’s classified as “severe” because it prevents them from living their life.

But because it’s so common, people don’t even realize that there is anything wrong with being fatigued all the time.

The truth is that fatigue, burnout and exhaustion are now becoming so common that people are accepting it as NORMAL in our society.

Fatigue is typically explained away as an inevitable consequence of working hard and being a parent, stress, having too much to do in too little time, and dealing with the many demands of modern life.

Being overworked and sleep deprived, and pushing through chronic lack of energy is even seen as a badge of honor by some people; it’s mistakenly viewed a sign of how driven and tough you are.

Of course, feeling tired and wanting to lie down and rest after a long day of hard physical and mental work is totally normal.

But being constantly fatigued or feeling drained is most definitely NOT normal.

It’s your body crying for help!

So how do you know if you just have normal tiredness OR the kind of fatigue that is a sign of something much more dangerous? Here’s how to know:

Do These Symptoms Sound Familiar?

  • Tired or feel exhausted/fatigued frequently during the day, most days for more than just a few days – but more like months or years.
  • Feeling totally wiped out for a day or more after doing exercise, or cannot do exercise at all for this reason.
  • Addicted to sugar or need food every couple hours to maintain your energy (i.e. energy drops if you don’t eat every few hours)
  • Can’t sleep (key one: combo of being tired/fatigue but also having trouble sleeping)
  • Brain-related fatigue (e.g. after reading, driving, doing work or other mental tasks)
  • Gut issues (bloating, gas, abdominal pain, food intolerances)
  • Depressed or anxious frequently
  • Body aches or pains
  • Brain Fog
  • Anxiety

You may think you’re pushing through and being tough and still getting things done, but here’s what you don’t realise:

When you're dragging yourself through the day, you become HALF the person you’re capable of being.

Then your life's work and career suffers, you lose your passion and sex drive so your relationship suffers, your ability as a parent or friend suffers, your ability to take pleasure in life and live to the fullest suffers. In short, everything in your life suffers.

Now here’s the big problem: neither conventional medicine nor holistic or functional medicine has much to offer people with fatigue!

What Conventional Medicine Has To Offer People With Fatigue

According to the latest review of the research published in the peer-reviewed journal, American Family Physician, conventional medicine does not know what causes fatigue and basically just shoots for symptomatic relief (which it does not do very effectively).

Here’s what the best of modern conventional medicine has for people with fatigue:

  1. Antidepressants
  2. Exercise (stretching and walking)
  3. Stimulants (caffeine and Modanifil)
  4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (e.g. interrupt negative thoughts)

That’s it! That’s the best of modern medicine. It's not my opinion - it's according to their research and recommended practices.

What About Holistic/Functional Medicine?

Unfortunately, the natural health (holistic and functional medicine) – which I generally associate with – also do not have very effective answers for people dealing with fatigue.

Their thinking on this topic has been dominated by the “adrenal fatigue” theory which centers around the role of the adrenal glands and cortisol as being the central players in fatigue.

Unfortunately, there is a big gap in understanding on this topic between those in the functional/holistic medical communities and the actual scientific evidence on this topic.

Ultimately, this is why I describe fatigue as an epidemic hiding in plain sight, that has not had good answers.

Conventional medicine basically says “we don’t know what causes it, but we can offer antidepressants, stimulants, and psychotherapy for some symptomatic relief.”

Functional/holistic medicine is using an outdated and unscientific paradigm to try to help people with fatigue that is largely ineffective.

I believe we can do better than this. Much better. This is why I started The Energy Blueprint  - to build out a new, science-based, and actually effective paradigm of fixing fatigue and increasing energy levels that addresses the real root causes and actually works.

Mr Mitochondrion and friends

The New Paradigm of Fatigue and How To Fix It

In just the last few years, research is building out a new understanding of the fatigue epidemic, and I believe that the new paradigm of fatigue that will dominate medicine in the coming decades centers largely around our mitochondrial health.

I believe that our mitochondria – our cellular energy generators – are the key players when it comes to the fatigue epidemic.

The mitochondria are the first thing sensing what’s going on in our bodies–e.g. inflammation, psychological stress, toxins, etc. –and then literally communicating back to the nucleus of the cell, and dictating our gene expression in response to what they’re sensing about the environment.

They decide whether the body stays in “Energy Mode” or shift the body into “Defense Mode” to devote energy and resources into defending against threats.

I believe that this is the central key that dictates whether you have a high energy body or a fatigued body.

Depending on our how big, strong, healthy and robust our body’s mitochondria are, stressors can either overwhelm our mitochondria’s capacity to deal with stress–and thus lead to fatigue, fragility (loss of resilience), depression, anxiety and brain fog.

Or, our mitochondria can cope with the stress load and maintain homeostasis.

Resilience Threshold

The Resilience Threshold

I call this the body’s “Resilience Threshold.” And it is directly dependent on how strong your mitochondrial system is.

The stronger the mitochondria (and the more of them you have), the more your body can tolerate the stressors of life and maintain a healthy brain (i.e. no depression, anxiety, brain fog, etc.) and a high energy body.

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The key questions are: What are the causes of weakened and fragile mitochondria (and why do we lose them)?

What are the key stressors that are overwhelming our mitochondria and shifting our body out of “Energy Mode” into “Defense Mode”, and how do we systematically eliminate them?

And how do we build our mitochondria back up and switch them back into “Energy Mode”?

This is my life’s work, and the core of everything I do in my work with The Energy Blueprint.

This is why I started The Energy Blueprint – to bring a new paradigm to the world based on cutting-edge science, showing exactly how to overcome fatigue and increase energy levels.

About Ari Whitten

Ari Whitten is a best-selling author, nutrition and lifestyle expert, and the founder of The Energy Blueprint.

He has been studying and teaching health science for over 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and recently completed the coursework for his PhD in Clinical Psychology.

For the last 5 years, Ari has teamed up with world-renowned scientists and physicians to develop The Energy Blueprint system, which is a powerful, evidence-based system for overcoming fatigue and increasing energy levels.

If you would like more information about The Energy Blueprint, please check out this web site.

Ari Whitten

Ari Whitten