"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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About 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.
Read an Excerpt
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.
WHEN TREATING HYPOTHYROIDISM DIDN'T BOOST ENERGYJennifer
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.
Table of Contents
|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|
|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|
|6||More Than Fatigue: The Copper Connection to Various Health Problems||53|
|Anxiety, Racing Mind, Panic Attacks, and Insomnia||55|
|Immune System Disorders||59|
|Part II||Treating Your Fatigue at the Source: Reversing Copper Overload|
|7||Testing for the Copper Connection to Your Fatigue||65|
|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|
|9||Following the Energy-Revitalizing Diet||93|
|Brief List of Foods to Avoid and Emphasize||93|
|One-Week Sample Menu Plan||94|
|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|
|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|
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