There is something a bit ironic about waking up earlier than usual to write a review on a book that addresses overcoming fatigue. My husband is sleeping, my kids are sleeping, and here I am, typing away because I should have done this last night and, obviously, didn't. So, allow me to get to the point, and then back to bed to continue my project of overcoming fatigue.
Even though sleep helps a lot in the this particular area, I also have a slew of other ideas that I'm trying thanks to a new medical reference book I received from Parent Bloggers Network. The 24-Hour Pharmacist, written by Suzy Cohen, is medical advice that doesn't require a doctor and also doesn't require prescription medications. While I would never in a million years hand over my Excedrin for Migraine medication because it would render me incapable of functioning, I am interested in trying out some of the alternative recommendations that might help alleviate these problems. As soon as I got the book, I looked in the handy end-of-the-book index (because don't even think about handing me a medical reference book that doesn't have an index) and scanned for migraines. 'Suzy's Secrets From Behind the Counter' on page 75:
If you're prone to menacing migraines, try about 400 daily mg of riboflavin. If you're taking birth-control pills and get these or any other type of debilitating headache around your period, it's possible that the pill is wiping out this vital nutrient.
While I'm sure that what I'm taking isn't wiping out my riboflavin, it's quite possible that I simply don't have enough. After looking at this tip, I glanced down to the page to read about the effects of having depleted folic acid: low appetite, forgetfulness, depression, insomnia, crankiness, fatigue, and anxiety.
Well, that's very interesting. And inspires me to be more consistent about taking my two daily Flintstones (the red ones are my favorite!) so that I can at least make some attempts to get folic acid. Quite possibly I'm forgetful, depressed, cranky and fatigued just because I'm not sleeping well since a certain little someone interrupts my dreams around 4 am. Or maybe I'm not getting enough exercise. Or maybe I'm not eating healthy enough. I don't know. Either way it's not going to hurt me to take my vitamins since I know I'm not getting all my required nutrients from my eating habits. Plus, Flintstones are cheaper than Zoloft after all.
But back to the whole overcoming fatigue thing: the first chapter of the book has all kinds of tips regarding this issue. Suzy Cohen had my attention from the first page: "don't let your doctor prescribe antidepressants until you've ruled out other causes of fatigue, particularly low thyroid hormone, adrenal burnout, imbalanced hormones or side effects from medication." I remembered this when I went to my doctor a couple weeks ago and said, "I'm exhausted." I listened closely to what she said next, testing her to see if her recommendation matched Ms. Cohen's advice. Her response: "Let's run some bloodwork and get your thyroid tested." Ah, my smart doctor passed Ms. Cohen's test. (Turns out my thyroid is fine. Yay.)
I'm not against medications (see above regarding my dependence on Excedrin), but this book has lots of great tips on things we can do other than pop pills. Chapters on coping with anxiety. Chapters on heart health. It also has a whole chapter ("Drug Muggers") on what your medications might be depleting from your body. For instance, I did not even consider the fact that taking Excedrin on an almost daily basis, while curing me of my headaches, might be causing my anxiety because it's mugging essential nutrients from my body. Sure, that makes sense to you, but I'm just trying to get through the day without my head exploding. How on earth am I suppose to connect the dots on that?
I have a bundle of reference books that talk about my kids' ailments, but this is a good one for me. For adults. For people who don't feel 100% healthy all the time. This five part book covers the gamut of health issues: (1) above the waist, (2) above the neck, (3) below the waist, (4) everything in between, and (5) thinking outside the pill. It just made me a little more aware about what I'm taking, and how those medications are affecting my body. If you're one of those people who doesn't like taking medications then The 24-Hour Pharmacist would be a good reference book. If you're like me, and will take any medication that a doctor hands to you, this is a good reference book to let you know what those meds are doing to you and what other choices you have.
Okay. I'm going back to sleep now.
Want a chance for your own free copy? Leave a comment at this post at PBN and be entered to win a copy of the book and a $50 gift certificate to CVS.