May. 11, 2012
Chronic Fatigue (CFS) & Burn Out: Have You Got The Minerals?
Dr Paul Ecke spent decades analysing hair mineral levels, and worked out how to determine which stage of stress your body is in simply by looking at the ratios of key minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These are minerals that need to be balanced, and taking any other minerals can have adverse effects by worsening their delicate ratios.
Stages One – Alarm This is the first exposure to stress. The body reacts dramtically by increasing activity of the adrenal glands in an attempt to fight the tiredness by mobilising all resources to keep you going. Your system is flooded with adrenaline and this causes sodium levels to rise(sodium stimulates the adrenals), but can also cause inflammation. Magnesium puts the brakes on the adrenals, so magnesium levels drops.This system was designed so that you could react to acute stress, but is detrimentral if stress is prolonged. Dr seyle found that the slightest strain on the body – mental, emotional or physical – results in a substantially increased need for vitamins and minerals. Stress can cause loss of zinc, magnesium, calcuim and copper from the body, and uses up high levels of vitamin C and B, especially vitamins B5. However, during the alarm stage zinc and magnesium are lost from the body’s tissue reservoirs. Stage Two – Adaptation In stage Two, the body realises that the stress is not going away, so it has to adapt to the situation. It does this by releasing adrenocorticold hormone to act as anti-inflammatories (cortisone used by doctors is based on adrenocorticoids). This stage is indicated on hair testing by a corresonding rise in potassium, as the ratio between sodium and potassium should be even at around 2.5-5. However, although the ratio itself may be balanced, the levels of both sodium and potassium would appear elevated. Potassium stimulates the thyroid, and calcuim calms it down. When potassium levels rise, the thyroid becomes over-stimulated and this can cause an over-active thyroid. On hair analysis, a person in stage two would show elevated sodium and potassium with low levels of calcium and magnesuim, whilst calcium and copper are being lost in the urine. During adaptation you may be free of symptoms, and may even feel quite good due to high energy levels. Many people are unaware that there is anything wrong, although they may experience trouble sleeping and a craving for carbohydrates (as they mop up stress hormone) and you may feel anxious and find yourself unable to cope with stress like you used to. Some people remain in this stage for a long time, and camouflage their underlying exhaustion with stimulants, which can take the form of coffee, tea choclate, exercise loud music, workaholism, addictive behaviours etc. This stage is a bit like having your foot on the accelerator with the wheels spinning, but actually going nowwhere.
Stage 3 – Exhaustion It takes a lot of energy to keep the body in stage two and it will eventually run out of steam and go into the exhaustion phase. It may be pushed into this phase by an extra stress our workload which simple tips it over the edge. In this stage, the body has exhausted its energy reserves and begins to break down. It goes into a catabolic state, which means that instead of repairing and regenerating tissues, it breaks them down to release energy and nutrients. This can cause muscle wasting and accelerated ageing, and is when the fatique first starts to manifest. The body is unable to maintain the high levels of sodium and potassium and the ratio between these two minerals drops, with sodium lower then potassium. This is a sign of low vitality. In fact, if the sodium/potassium ratio drops below 2, you go into ‘burn out’, and this can be picked up on a hair test. Burn out is not relieved by rest alone, but requires the correction of the abnormal mineral ratios and by enhancing energy production in the cells, and supporting the adrenals and thyroid. The body is now in a state of reduced energy production in every cell resulting in fatique, accompanied by under-function of the digestive and immune systems, and an inabilty to detoxify. This too increases the stress on the body, with toxins accumulating, the liver becoming congested and copper becoming biounavailable, and itself becoming a toxin. This underlies nearly all cases of Chronic Fatique Syndrome and the misnamed M.E. It is also the process that results in vegetarianism, eating disorders, mental health problems etc. It can also cause electromagnestic sensitivity as copper is a good conductor of electricity, and the increased exposure to wi-fi and mobiles today can inhibit recovery.
The body finds itself no longer able to override the exhaustion by exercise or stimulates, and instead becomes locked in a vicious cylce of the stress creating an increased need for nutrients, but with the deficienices causing stress as well. Its become impossible to break the cycle without specialised treatment, designed to correct these basic metabolic imbalances.As the body sinks into exhaustion connective tissue problems may develop like back and neck pain. There may be increased infections initally, as the immune system mobilises microbes to try to clear the toxins from the system, but as the immune system weakens there is less energy to do this. People in this stage often state that they dont get colds, flu’s etc, and mistakenly believe themselves to be healthy. This lack of reaction is a sign of low vitality.
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