Day 738

“How are you?”
“Exhausted!”

This is the answer I get more often than not. It seems like a wave of tiredness is sweeping across town. 20% of road accidents have fatigue as a contributing factor (Source: Dept of Transport). 15% of Britons suffer from fatigue lasting at least 6 months (Source: Fatigue Science for Human Health). 5.6 hours per week of productive work is lost through fatigue (Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol 49).

Apparently this is not a new phenomenon. Over the centuries, it has been attributed to the misalignment of the planets, ungodliness and even a subconscious desire to die. According to Freud, a very strong part of us longs for a state of permanent physical and mental rest.

Lack of good quality sleep, sensory overload, inappropriate diet, low physical activity, disregulation of the Suprachiasmatic nucleus (responsible for maintaining the circadian rhythm), hormonal imbalance (low dopamine and/or low serotonin levels as in Parkinson’s Disease and depression) are the usual culprits. Inflammation is emerging as a common pathway linking all the above. But it is not the complete answer as fatigue is seen to persist even after the inflammatory markers have normalised.

Fatigue sits perfectly in the mind-body spectrum of conditions. It is not surprising that it is poorly understood and has been the subject of very little serious research. This article by Harrington offers some answers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3479364/

Many ‘boosting remedies’ and ‘re-energising potions’ line the shelves of pharmacies – Iron, Vitamin B and C, Flavinols, hormones, pro-biotics and and other magic supplements. Dehydration , even mild is said to induce tiredness. So, aqua is a simple remedy.

While the search for an optimal solution is on, we struggle on, waiting patiently.

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