Can Help Diagnose and Treat Fatigue
Dr. Justin Gruby
ChiroMend Natural Health Center, in Glenview, is an integrative facility that specializes in chiropractic care, nutritional therapy and physical therapy. They use a functional medicine approach that concentrates on identifying the underlying causes of disease, disorder and dysfunction by addressing the whole person, instead of an isolated set of symptoms. Dr. Justin Gruby, the clinic director at ChiroMend, is an advocate for preventive medicine and integrative care. Together with Dr. Joseph Glowiak and the ChiroMend staff, he helps patients to restore function and maintain health naturally by using a combination of techniques that he tailors to each individual’s needs.
One condition that they specialize in treating is chronic fatigue, which even as a side effect of another condition, can be a debilitating condition that prevents patients from reaching their health goals.
How do you diagnose fatigue?
Fatigue is a general diagnosis that can be caused by a myriad of conditions. We try to look at what is causing the symptoms and treat the root cause. Often, people have been living with other health problems that directly contribute to their fatigue for years, and either don’t realize it or simply have never been able to address it. We start by taking a comprehensive health history and look for clues in lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress management and sleep patterns. A poor diet is often a contributing factor to fatigue, and can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, toxic buildup, allergies and weight gain. We’ll often order blood, urine and saliva testing to establish a baseline that we can go back to so we have an objective viewing of how the systems in the body are functioning. It can also be important to look at medications that commonly deplete important nutrients in the body and thus create side effects that may cause fatigue.
What are some common causes of fatigue?
Health conditions such as allergies, thyroid issues, adrenal dysfunction, diabetes, depression, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, asthma and other respiratory problems can all contribute to fatigue. It is often cyclical, where a patient is afraid of exercise-induced asthma or exercise increasing their pain, so he or she lives a sedentary lifestyle, which then, in turn, contributes to fatigue. If any system or organ isn’t operating at an optimal level, the whole body has to work harder to function properly. Toxic overload can contribute significantly to fatigue. If the liver, kidneys, or digestive system are taxed, then everything starts to slow down. Also, anything the body takes in that it can’t interpret as natural has to be metabolized by the liver as a xenobiotic, and this takes up extra energy and resources. These chemicals could be from a poor diet, low-quality supplements, medications or impure air and water.
How does stress affect fatigue?
Fatigue can be exacerbated by any kind of stress, whether it’s physical, emotional or biochemical. In anticipation of stress, regardless of the type, every person’s body releases hormones designed to adapt them to that stress, priming them with higher energy consumption for “fight-or-flight” reactions. However, excessive release of these hormones, particularly cortisol, can directly affect mind clarity, sleep quality, immune function and inflammation levels, and overall metabolism. It’s normal for a person to feel more pain and fatigue during periods of external stress, but it’s vital that the body resets and learns to reinterpret the triggers so that it is not a constant strain. Our patients learn how to decrease their stress levels and also make longstanding improvements with their health that lead to improvement in their energy.
How do chiropractic treatments help fatigue?
Any time there are restrictions of joints or limitations of flexibility that cause mechanical dysfunction, the body has to work harder, and this increases fatigue. At ChiroMend, we treat muscles and joints as equally important and complement chiropractic care with therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy, kinesiotaping, and core strength training to heal these areas. We do not want any major imbalances from left to right, front to back, and top to bottom in the body. If there is inflammation of the tissues and joints surrounding the spine, this can cause chronic pain, inability to exercise and poor quality of life, and other systems can also suffer from poor function. Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy can reestablish the natural mobility and flexibility of the spine, which allows the body to move more easily and restores function, as well as nervous system health.