CFS 101, CELLULAR ENERGY & ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH HTMA & FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

I’d book the day off work as this is a long one.

I don’t know about you, but these days I see 2 types of people… those who go to bed tired and wake up tired, and those are always on the go & who never seem to stop. There doesn’t seem to be many who have found the homeostatic sweet spot where the body’s energy systems are synced and functioning optimally.

The truth of the matter is that both of these examples above are people that tend to be in the same pickle, but for different reasons

Yes, tiredness is an indicator that body wants to rest, however today we have become so deranged & dysfunctional that this natural in-built innate warning sign is being overworked by constantly telling us it’s tired & not allowing to have a rest itself.

More and more people today I hear complaining of how tired they are. Feeling unrefreshed after a good 8 hours sleep, feeling tired after eating, feeling tired after any form of exercise, feeling tired in the afternoon… this constant feeling of tiredness or weakness is referred to a fatigue.

A prime function of the body is to produce energy from the conversion of food we eat. When biochemical energy production declines for any reason, the resulting symptom is often tiredness & fatigue.

Fatigue is the basic indicator of an energetic imbalance in the body & is one of the most common complaints people suffer with today. While it is not be classed as a disease as such, it can be an early warning symptom for many potentially serious health conditions. In my opinion fatigue is not given the respect or treated with the importance that it deserves.

Medical approaches to fatigue usually consist of treatment for anaemia and hypothyroidism, usually resulting in the cookie cutter B12 injections, IV Fe, or Thyroxine medication. Although both of these conditions should definitely be considered as causes of fatigue; there are many other causes too.

Some of the biochemical causes for fatigue include imbalances in the oxidation rate, interruptions in the energy pathway, heavy metal toxicity, sugar and carbohydrate intolerance and endocrine imbalances.

Fatigue not only affects physical health, but also work performance, mood, behaviour, & relationship dynamics. Fatigue is not always an obvious symptom either.

Below I’ve listed common symptoms i see when working with individuals suffering with fatigue…

*addiction to stimulants
*allergies
*cold body temperature
*constipation
*cravings for sugar or salt
*difficulty concentrating
*distaste for meat and fatty foods
*excessive sensitivity to stress
*apathy and mental depression
*impaired thinking and memory loss
*inability to cope with stress
*sleep disturbances or insomnia
*joint pains
*hypoglycaemia
*low blood pressure
*mental confusion or foggy thinking
*muscle weakness
*negative thoughts
*impaired digestion, bloating or gas

The list could easily be extended to more serious metabolic conditions that have fatigue as an underlying cause. Even down to cancer which is a metabolic disease.

When it comes to HTMA, the majority of cases I see of individuals experiencing fatigue show up as the person in a stage of slow oxidation. Generally speaking this is where the Ca & Mg levels are elevated relative to the Na & K levels.

Another way to assess the metabolic rate of an individual is by the Ca/Mg ratio vs the Na/Mg ratio, or the Ca/P ratio which is another method of determining the rate of oxidation and the dominant branch of the ANS.

In my own personal experience due to potential contamination of the element P, I personally like to assess & consider all 3 ways as well as taking in to account other key minerals levels that are associated with either fast or slow when analysing a person’s HTMA.

Slow oxidation is defined by inadequate thyroid and adrenal glandular activity. Hypothyroidism or an under-active thyroid has a negative effect on energy generation in the body. The thyroid is responsible for controlling the metabolic rate.

A less frequent example that I see is when an individuals blood chemistry is running slightly more acid & the oxidation rate is too fast. This results in the same level of inefficient energy production, but just for a different reason.

In comparison to the slow oxidiser pattern, Ca & Mg are at low levels, whereas Na & K levels are elevated due to a hyper-adrenal state. Individuals in this state often appear to have energy, however, it is often ‘nervous energy’, even more so when the Na/K is in an inverted ratio.

Although a HTMA is just a sum, a reflection, an average or snapshot of 2-3 months worth of metabolic activity, an imbalanced Ca/Mg ratio is a fairly good indicator of carbohydrate intolerance I find. I’d follow this up with blood work & comprehensive hormone testing to get a more accurate picture myself. Although very useful I never trust HTMA stand alone to create an accurate plan of action to help a person recover from poor health & dysfunction. Looking in just one place expecting to find everything as that wouldn’t be doing a thorough job.

It’s an important requirement of our mitochondria to rely on the efficient release of stored glucose into the bloodstream for the adequate generation of energy. In a lot of cases I see an imbalanced Ca/Mg ratio which can be indicative of excessive carbohydrate intake, high stress levels, adrenal burnout, or blood sugar imbalances for various reasons.

The majority of individuals I work with who’s HTMA’s show a low Na/K ratio, not only suffer with some degree of fatigue, but also tend to have an intolerance to handling sugar or certain types of easily digested starchy carbohydrates.

This state is often always linked to some form of chronic unresolved stress, adrenal exhaustion and excessive lean tissue catabolism. People who hire me to help them get well; once we comprehensively test the various body systems; we find usually have multiple chronic systemic infections, and endocrine dysfunction on top of biochemical & metabolic derangement which are all collectively draining their immune system & depleting what little reserves the body has left.

An Na/K ratio around 1.0 or below can be sometimes be a fairly good indicator of a form of CFS.

Another thing I see commonly showing up on a HTMA in individuals with fatigue is toxic metals which can include Pb, Hg, Cd, Al, Ni, As, Cu and Fe. Although these have been recruited by the body to support metabolic functions; under the circumstances of a deficiency; these can all contribute to fatigue by displacing vital minerals, which causes an imbalance in the metabolic rate, and an impaired energy pathway.

Just because toxic metals don’t present themselves on the very first few tests they are still negatively effecting the mineral metabolism. These metals are generally buried deep in the tissues, glands & organs of the body. Slow oxidisers are generally loaded with toxic metals & are very toxic underneath I find.

Once metabolic energy & mitochondrial function is improved, these metals are often revealed later on down the line, and can then be slowly released from the binding sites & eliminated as and when the body can afford to let them go. This is done without creating a void in the metabolism, & once the need is removed for the metals to be present.

Various minerals & nutrients are also crucial in the energy pathway, for glucose metabolism and for many other vital functions to occur. As an example, low levels of Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe and Cr are common in individuals with fatigue.

In my opinion fatigue is the prime symptom of a deficiency of adequate biochemical energy production in the Mitochondria of the cells.

This inefficient energy production in individuals with fatigue is often down to a wide range of factors which in my professional experience & opinion tends to include people overdoing things like excessive work hours, extreme exercise regimens, crash diets resulting in metabolic damage, dysfunctional HPA axis & hormonal function, chronic diseases, emotional stress, and nutritional imbalances or deficiencies often down to various kinds of chronic systemic infections that are stealing nutrients, preventing absorption, and producing various toxins that are poisoning the mitochondria & depleting the immune system.

The “energy pathway” is the series of steps in which food components are converted into usable energy or ATP. The process begins with the ingestion of food. Food choices should always be high quality & nutrient dense. Food must then be digested and the nutrients absorbed in the small intestines. For these first important steps to occur optimally, the entire integrity of the GI system & endocrine system needs to be fully functioning & ideally infection free.

Nutrients are then transported, stored and converted in the liver as glycogen. They then pass back into the blood stream and cross cell membranes into the mitochondria of the body’s cells.

Within the glycolysis and citric acid cycles in each cell, sugars, amino acids and fatty acids undergo conversion to produce ATP, the form in which energy is used in the body cells. I’ve written more about the energy cycles In the body here:

http://www.5thelementwellness.co.uk/the-energy-cycles-of-t…/

Minerals perform key roles in this energy pathway. They act as catalysts, activators and co-factors that enable the energy system to function. For example, Mg is a catalyst for several hundred enzymes, including the body’s energy currency, ATP. ATP is the energy currency of the body used as fuel for all cellular activity. Iodine is involved in the production of thyroid hormones & K helps sensitise the tissues to thyroid hormones.

Energy production in the Krebs cycle requires Fe & Cu to bring oxygen to the cells to combust the fuel. Fe & Cu are also required for Haemoglobin synthesis, the oxygen-carrying molecule. Mn is another key mineral needed in the mitochondria for energy production within all cells. Insulin production and release require Zn. Cr is also involved in insulin metabolism.

It’s not just minerals that are the stars of the show during these complex biochemical processes. Many vitamins are involved directly or indirectly in the energy pathway too. In fact, every enzymatic reaction requires a vitamin, a mineral & an amino acid. Vitamin and minerals are so important that deficiencies are a common contributor of energy loss and fatigue.

Biochemical energy output also depends upon the rate of biochemical reactions in the body.

The body can be compared to that of an engine of a car. The body has an optimum rate or rev range at which maximum energy efficiency occurs. The oxidation rate or engine RPM is determined primarily by two endocrine glands, the thyroid and adrenal glands. Their activity is regulated in part by the ANS.

There are many factors that affect the oxidation rate, such as the balance between the 4 electrolytes Ca, Mg, Na, K significantly affects endocrine gland activity. An increase in tissue Ca & Mg, for example, tends to slow the rate of oxidation whereas an increase in Na & K levels in the tissues tends to increase the metabolic rate.

A steady supply of glucose at the cellular level is essential for optimum energy production. Many times fatigue is caused by some degree of sugar intolerance, or the inability to properly regulate cellular glucose levels. The result may be either high or low sugar levels in the blood. However, at the cellular level the effect is always a deficiency of available glucose, which can result in fatigue.

Causes for carbohydrate intolerance include improper diet, psychological stress and various nutritional imbalances. A diet high in refined sugars interferes with sugar metabolism principally by causing a zinc and magnesium deficiency. Dietary sugar is rapidly absorbed & causes a surge of insulin to be released in an attempt to maintain normal blood glucose levels. The result is a depletion of the nutrients involved in insulin production and secretion, principally zinc.

Insulin is a hormone which is necessary for the utilisation of glucose in the body. Insulin allows glucose to pass across the cell membrane into the cells, where the glucose is burned or oxidised for energy. The presence of excess sugar in the blood stimulates the release of insulin from the beta cells in the Isles of Langerhans of the pancreas.

Cr deficiency is very common thing I see. Chromium acts as a synergist with insulin & a deficiency tends to impair insulin activity.

Another hidden cause of fatigue I see is an excessive level of toxic metals. Toxic metal levels in the body are often overlooked, and are in conventional medicine are largely ignored as a cause of reason for poor health. Toxic metals play an important role in fatigue by interfering with cellular energy production and normal glucose metabolism. Pb, Hg, Cd, Ni, Fe and Cu can all be absorbed from food, drinking water, polluted air, household chemical products, or through occupational exposure. Toxic metals are also passed on from mothers to their children in utero.

These metals are insidious, cumulative cellular poisons which interfere with energy production by displacing vital minerals in critical enzyme binding sites.

Thousands of enzymes require minerals as activators or as an integral part of their structure. When toxic metals replace the essential minerals, the activity of the enzyme is reduced or ceases all together.
A build-up of these toxic substances can have a devastating effect upon energy levels.

Cd antagonises & replace Zn in vital binding sites. Because Zn is necessary for the production of glucocorticoid hormones and insulin, a Zn deficiency will result in hypoglycaemia and fatigue.

One specific pattern is see in individuals with blood sugar issues is when I see elevated tissue Fe levels. While Fe is an essential mineral, there’s no doubt that in excess Fe can cause health problems.

The most plausible mechanism in a high Fe diabetic condition is that Fe, which is antagonistic to Cr, causes a Cr deficiency. This interferes with the utilisation of insulin. Fe is also antagonistic to Mn, which is essential for normal carbohydrate metabolism.

Cu, an essential mineral, is commonly excessive or metabolically inactive in people suffering from fatigue. Excess Cu antagonises Zn and raises tissue calcium levels. Cu imbalance often results in a reduction in the oxidation rate by impairing adrenal and thyroid activity.

When a slow oxidiser suffers with hypoglycaemic symptoms it can often be traced to an excessive accumulation of Cu that’s locked up in the tissues. A Cu deficiency can also cause fatigue, as it’s needed in the last step of electron transport system where most ATP is generated. 34 x ATP to be precise.

When a person complains to their doctor or M.D. of fatigue, it’s common for the doctor to run a blood test. If anaemia is present, an Fe supplement is usually given. At times, however, the anaemia isn’t corrected and the fatigue persists. In these cases, often the anaemia is due either to a Cu deficiency or metabolic inactivity. Metabolically active Cu is needed for the incorporation of Fe into the Haemoglobin molecule. In these cases, Fe alone fails to cure the anaemia.

Another factor in all this is that every single day, whether we like it or not, each & every one of us gets exposed to pesticide residues, & thousands of toxic chemicals used in industry and in the home, all having a detrimental effect on our energy system. Their mode of action varies. Many toxic chemicals block energy production by blocking or damaging critical enzyme systems. One simple example is our tap water in our homes contains treatment additives such as chlorine and fluorine are known suppress thyroid activity by displacing Iodine.

Chronic pathogenic infections, parasitic, yeast or fungal infections are a major cause of fatigue. Yeast overgrowth is common today due to the extensive use of antibiotics, birth control pills and steroid hormone therapy. A low rate of metabolism, adrenal burnout and copper imbalance also contributes to the increased incidence of yeast infection due to the lowered rate of cellular oxidation. Yeast overgrowth produces alcohol and a a harmful bi-product called acetaldehyde, which poison the mitochondria & cause fatigue among other symptoms.

Don’t underestimate the power of our emotions resulting in feelings of fatigue. Fear, frustration, anger, hostility, resentment, regret are all very powerful feelings that cause what i refer to as “Stress chemistry” that deplete vital nutrients and can even shut down the adrenal glands by way of down regulation. The adrenal glands are designed to respond either with a fight or a flight reaction. Emotions that paralyse a person, such as fear or intense frustration, interfere with the functioning of the adrenal glands and other glands

An intelligently designed functional testing programme, as well as a custom designed nutritional based metabolic recovery plan guided by an experienced practitioner can help identify the real underlying causes as well as offset the biochemical damage caused by the emotions.

Ive written lots about the mitochondria, and biochemical energy generation in previous articles as I feel it’s the pinnacle of good health. It’s these energy generating power-houses that hold the key to the underlying link in all disease. All body systems depend upon adequate biochemical energy production. The body’s ability to cope with stress, the integrity of the immune system, wound healing, the integrity of the mucus membranes, digestion, elimination, liver function and mental and emotional functions ALL depend upon adequate levels of energy.

It is therefore my belief that fatigue plays a huge part in a lot of the chronic illnesses we see today.

Most individuals I work with who feel fatigued are actually in adrenal burnout. The difference between the two is measured by the degree of the condition & symptomatology.

Mineral ratios on a HTMA tend to look more imbalanced in cases of burnout also unless they are well compensated by hidden metals. Burnout tends to be a more severe disturbance of the energy producing system of the body. Symptoms of burnout include chronic, unrelenting fatigue, even upon rising in the morning after a full night’s sleep. In burnout, symptoms improve little with prolonged rest but it’s never enough to fix the problem alone.

To conclude this i want to finish by making the following statement…

A successful, vibrant, healthy life requires energy. It takes energy to feel happy, it takes to feel joy, it also requires energy to feel comfortable taking risks to pursue your dreams to live a truly fulfilling life with no regrets.

*Steve Hawes

Do you feel like you’ve lost your zest for life?

Have lost your energy levels and generally don’t have the quality of life you feel you used the have?

Are you fed up with the DIY treatment, not getting anywhere, and still in the same place health wise, year after year?

If the answer is yes then why not book a 30 minute fee consultation with Steve and see if he can help you get your life back…