Why Am I Always So Tired?: Discover How Correcting Your Body's Copper Imbalance Can * Keep Your Body from Giving Out Before Your Mind Does *Free You from Those Midday Slumps * Give You the Energy Breakthrough You've Been Looking For

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"This may well be a seminal book—a courageous eye-opener that could fundamentally alter our approach to the treatment of chronic fatigue."
— From the foreword by Michael Rosenbaum, M.D.

Answering the question on the minds of 75 percent of Americans, Why Am I Always So Tired?, leading nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman shows us how we canbe more alert and active by eliminating excess copper in our diets and increasing our zinc intake. The time-tested formula points out which culprits steal energyfrom us—namely ...

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Why Am I Always So Tired?: Discover How Correcting Your Body's Copper Imbalance Can * Keep Your Body From Giving Out Before Your Mind Does *Free You from Those Midday Slumps * Give You the Energy Breakthrough You've Been Looking For

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"This may well be a seminal book—a courageous eye-opener that could fundamentally alter our approach to the treatment of chronic fatigue."
— From the foreword by Michael Rosenbaum, M.D.

Answering the question on the minds of 75 percent of Americans, Why Am I Always So Tired?, leading nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman shows us how we canbe more alert and active by eliminating excess copper in our diets and increasing our zinc intake. The time-tested formula points out which culprits steal energyfrom us—namely trendy, low-fat diets—that make otherwise healthy people feel drained.

This revolutionary book offers Gittleman's insights into how we can modify our diets and lifestyles to increase our energy and prevail over the chronic fatigue thatplagues us with symptoms such as: anxiety, insomnia, skin problems, frequentcolds, and roller-coaster emotions. Using her research and breakthroughfindings, Gittleman helps us eliminate these problems and access the energywe didn't know we had.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062515940
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 587,411
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Louise Gittlemanis an award-winning author of thirty books and a highly respected health pioneer. She has appeared on 20/20, Dr. Phil, The View, Good Morning America, Extra!, Good Day New York, CNN, PBS, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CBN, FOX News, and the BBC. Her work has been featured in national publications including Time; Newsweek; Harper's Bazaar; O, The Oprah Magazine; Seventeen; Fitness; Cosmopolitan; Parade; USA Weekend; Woman's World; the New York Times; and the Los Angeles Times. Gittleman has been recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and has received the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Uncovering the Copper Connection to Fatigue

More than a decade ago, I was beside myself with frustration in my nutrition counseling career. I couldn't get to the bottom of a mystery-the mystery of Why a significant number of my clients were always so tired. I was determined to help my clients feel better, so I offered them all types of cutting-edge nutrition advice that I believed would help their energy. No matter what I tried, though, many of my clients continued to experience fatigue. This perplexed me. Becoming increasingly frustrated, I searched high and low for answers.

Fatigue is a national epidemic. Eighty percent of Americans report feeling tired most of the time. Fatigue also is a major public health problem, when you consider how it impacts our lives. When we're tired, we find ourselves less productive at work and less able to accomplish what we want to accomplish. We bow out of things we love to do with the ones we love simply because we're too exhausted. We also become irritable and depressed and unpleasant to be around. As energy doctor Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., is fond of saying, "No one is dying of fatigue, but everyone is suffering from it."

I really wanted to help my clients so that they could enjoy more fulfilled and productive lives, so I approached the fatigue problem as any health practitioner would: I looked first to all the accepted causes. Fatigue can develop because of a wide variety of factors-both medical and nutritional in nature. These include medical conditions such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), anemia, and depression, as well as lifestyle factors such as inadequate sleep and lack of propernutrition. I found that some of the clients who consulted me did indeed have one or more of these underlying medical conditions, but even when such problems were medically or nutritionally treated, most of my clients still didn't find themselves regaining their vim and vigor. Disappointed and baffled, I kept asking myself why.

In numerous other cases, there was no apparent reason that my clients should be fatigued. In assessing these clients, I ruled out common medical causes and looked further to diet and lifestyle. (I usually can quickly identify unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits that undermine energy levels, because I've been a nutritionist for more than 20 years.) But I didn't see any of the obvious mistakes that many people make. The men and women who came to see me were intelligent and health-conscious; they were doing virtually everything right-eating nutritious, light meals frequently, taking broad-spectrum nutrient supplements, and trying to get enough sleep and rest. Some were meditating or practicing stress reduction on a daily basis. Yet in spite of all their efforts, they inexplicably felt sapped of energy. I wasn't quite sure what to tell them. I offered them a wide variety of up-to-date nutrition advice that I thought would help their energy level, but none of my suggestions worked. This confounded me, testing my ability as a nutritionist, so I kept searching for solutions.

After much investigation and analysis, I eventually discovered that the answer to my clients' fatigue didn't involve any of the wellaccepted causes: it was a case of simple nutritional imbalance. If I'd known where to look during those early years of frustrated searching, the nutritional imbalance that was behind so much of my clients' fatigue would have been relatively easy to detect and correct. (You'll learn how you can do that for yourself later in this book.) But I didn't look in the right places, at least not initially. Like many practitioners, I based my advice on my nutrition education, my medical knowledge and interpretation of standard medical tests, and my ability to stay on top of the results of the latest scientific research. These skills didn't help me uncover the answer, however. To crack the code of the missing link to fatigue, I had to follow my gut instincts, use an unconventional diagnostic tool, and analyze the clinical picture that presented itself among the clients in my practice. The following case studies will show you how that picture unfolded in three clients--a picture that spurred me on to find a common, unsuspected, and easily treatable cause of fatigue.



Jennifer, a 31-year-old advertising copywriter, told me when she came into my office that she was exhausted-and she looked it. "I think there's some reason why I'm so tired, but I've seen five different doctors and been tested for everything from anemia to the Epstein-Barr virus. All of the tests have showed up negative," she said, her voice cracking. "Some of the doctors I've seen have insinuated that I might be a hypochondriac. I don't think I am, but I'm starting to wonder."

I could see the desperation in her face and hear it in her voice as she talked slowly and methodically. I asked her to tell me more about her fatigue and the other symptoms she was experiencing. "Well, I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, " she said ' "and I need several cups of coffee to feel even somewhat alive. It seems as if my body is always cold and my skin is dry, no matter how much moisturizer I put on it. I've also been steadily gaining weight over the last several years, and I'm frequently constipated. I'm also often depressed, but I think my depression stems from feeling so tired and lousy."

After hearing Jennifer's story, I deduced that one of her problems might be low thyroid function, which is a common cause of fatigue. She told me she'd had standard thyroid profile tests run many times, and they'd all come out normal.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword xi
Preface xiii
Part I Searching for Answers To Fatigue
1 Uncovering the Copper Connection to Fatigue 3
When Treating Hypothyroidism Didn't Boost Energy: Jennifer 5
When Treating Anemia Didn't Boost Energy: Ellen 7
When No Medical Cause for Fatigue Could Be Found: Joyce 8
Seeing the Consistent Pattern 9
Trying to Make Sense of the Pattern 10
2 Basics of Copper and Copper Overload 13
The Importance of Copper-Zinc Balance 15
The Many Ways Copper-Zinc Imbalance Can Cause Fatigue 15
Copper Overload: The Traditional View 17
Copper Overload: The Enlightened View 17
Similarities Between Copper and Iron 18
3 Unsuspected Dietary Factors Behind Fatigue 21
Anna, the Low-Fat, High-Carbohydrate Advocate 21
The Trouble with Low-Fat, High-Carbohydrate Diets 22
Celeste, the Natural-Food Enthusiast 23
The Trouble with Many Natural-Food Diets 24
Penny, the Lacto-Vegetarian 26
The Trouble with Lacto-Vegetarian Diets 27
Dee, the Vegan 28
The Trouble with Vegan Diets 29
Jan, the Overdieter 30
The Trouble with Overdieting 31
The Growing Problem of Zinc Deficiency 32
Food for Thought about "Light" Diets 34
4 Copper Culprits and Environmental Factors That Can Contribute to Fatigue 37
A Survey of Environmental Copper 37
Commonly Used Drugs as Copper Culprits 39
Heredity as a Factor in Copper Overload 40
When Our Copper Load Is Too Great 41
Jane 41
5 Stress, Burnout, and Blood Sugar Imbalance 43
The Stress Connection to High Copper and Low Zinc 43
The Adrenal Connection to Copper Imbalance 44
The Misunderstood Condition of Adrenal Burnout 45
The Blood Sugar Blues 47
Linda 49
6 More Than Fatigue: The Copper Connection to Various Health Problems 53
My Story 53
Anxiety, Racing Mind, Panic Attacks, and Insomnia 55
Roller-Coaster Emotions 56
Skin Problems 57
Yeast Overgrowth 58
Premenstrual Syndrome 58
Immune System Disorders 59
Melissa's Story 60
Part II Treating Your Fatigue at the Source: Reversing Copper Overload
7 Testing for the Copper Connection to Your Fatigue 65
Blood Tests 66
Urinalysis 67
Tissue Mineral Analysis 67
Hidden Copper Overload 69
The Importance of Assessing Symptoms and Indicators 70
Copper Overload Questionnaire 71
Understanding the Indicators 72
Trusting Your Intuition 76
8 Basics of the Energy-Revitalizing Diet 77
Protein 77
Carbohydrates 81
Fats 87
Seasonings 90
Cookware 90
Flavored Beverages 90
Water 91
9 Following the Energy-Revitalizing Diet 93
Brief List of Foods to Avoid and Emphasize 93
One-Week Sample Menu Plan 94
Zinc-Rich Recipes 97
Tips for Following the Energy-Revitalizing Diet at Home 99
Tips for Following the Energy-Revitalizing Diet When Eating Out 101
Personalizing the Energy-Revitalizing Diet 103
10 The Complete Program for Conquering Copper Overload and Rebuilding Energy 109
The Four-Part Approach to Reversing Copper Overload 109
Putting Your Supplement Program Together 116
Copper Dumps: Potholes on the Road to Recovery 119
A Final Word on Getting Well 121
11 Maintaining High Energy and Preventing Future Copper Overload 123
Fine-Tuning Your Savvy 124
Monitoring Your Status with Periodic Checkups 126
Maintaining Good Reserves of Nutrients 128
Developing a Flexible Wellness Program 128
Afterword 131
Appendix A Examples of Copper Levels on Tissue Mineral Analysis Charts 133
Appendix B Testing Your Water with a Home Water-Testing Kit 139
Appendix C Recommended Amounts of Nutrients in a Copper-Free Multiple 141
Appendix D Recommended Daily Allowances for Copper and Zinc 143
Appendix E Amounts of Copper and Zinc in Various Common Foods 145
Resources 155
Selected References 159
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