8 Hacks for Reducing Fibromyalgia Fatigue and Boosting Energy
If you had to rate how tired you are each day on a scale of 1 to 10 (1= sleep walking and 10= Richard Simmons) – where would you fall?
If you’re like a lot of fibromyalgia patients, your number probably falls pretty low on the scale – or you may have broken the scale and gone with a negative number!
Unfortunately for most people with fibromyalgia, widespread pain is only one of many vexing symptoms. One of the common symptoms besides the pain is fatigue or exhaustion. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 50-70 percent of fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
The two conditions share so many symptoms that there has been debated as to whether or not there is a link.
While there’s no easy fix for fibromyalgia-related fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, there are some hacks you can do that help boost your body’s energy production. They’re each related to supporting your mitochondria.
What Are Mitochondria – and what do they have to do with my energy levels?
Mitochondria are little organelles found in every single cell within your body. You could think of them as little power plants inside of each cell. They take the fuel your body provides them (i.e. nutrients from food) and convert them to energy for the cell. This gives life to your cells and allows them to perform their various functions.
While there is still no concrete known cause of fibromyalgia – many researchers suspect that mitochondrial dysfunction plays some role. Mitochondrial dysfunction disrupts the mitochondria’s ability to convert fuel into energy for the cells. This dysfunction is common among people suffering from fibromyalgia.
The number of mitochondria in your cells may also play a role on your overall health and energy levels. Most cells have anywhere between 2 and 2500 mitochondria. Through a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis, you can increase the number of functioning mitochondria in your cells. The more functioning mitochondria – the better of you are.
I’ll show you how to support your existing mitochondria and generate new mitochondria below.
8 Ways to Support Your Mitochondria & Increase Your Energy Production
There are ways in which you can support your mitochondria – helping them to perform their important function of providing energy for your cells. By supporting your mitochondria, you may also see a noticeable increase in energy levels and drop in fatigue. Here are 8 simple hacks for boosting your mitochondria:
Eat more antioxidant-rich superfoods:
Antioxidants help mitochondria function properly and promote mitochondrial biogenesis. Not only that, but they help attack and neutralise harmful chemicals known as “free radicals” in your body. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which can damage or even kill cells.
Eating foods with a high content of nutrients and antioxidants can fuel your body, support healthier mitochondrial function, and protect your cells from damage by free radicals. Try adding these antioxidant-rich foods to your grocery list:
- Goji Berries
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Russet Potatoes (cooked)
Try Antioxidant Supplements:
In addition to eating foods with high antioxidant content, try taking these antioxidant supplements. Each has a unique and powerful ability to improve your mitochondrial function and boost your energy levels. Not only that, but they’re safe too.
- Take Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Take Co-Enzyme Q10
- Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Eat More Healthy Fats:
Healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids provide fuel for your mitochondria as well as fight inflammation that can disrupt mitochondrial function. Try incorporating these foods into your diet:
- Oily Fish (or take a fish oil supplement)
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Flax Seeds or Flax Seed Oil
Take a Magnesium Supplement
In addition to supporting your mitochondria, magnesium provides a wealth of additional benefits for people with chronic pain – including improving sleep, relieving pain, calming the nerves and more.
Watch your calories
Keeping an eye on your daily caloric intake can have a significant impact on the health of your mitochondrial function. Consuming more than the recommended daily calories put excess burden on your mitochondria – forcing them to work overtime. And if the calories consumed have little or no nutritional value (i.e. soda, sugary treats, etc), then you are overworking your mitochondria without providing them with any actual fuel for your cells.
Watch your fructose consumption
Believe it or not – fructose, which is the natural sugar in fruit, actually inhibits your cells energy production. While you don’t need to completely cut fruit out of your diet, you should try to stick to the equivalent of approximately 1-2 cups of fruit per day (women over 30 should consume around 1 to 1 ½ cups).
Stimulate Mitochondria with exercise
Exercise has long been known as a natural way to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, the process in which new mitochondria are created. That’s because physical exercise turns on certain biochemical pathways, paving the way for new mitochondria production. Exercise also helps your existing mitochondria stay healthy and function properly.
Of course, exercise is a difficult proposition for many people suffering from chronic pain. If exercise isn’t an option for you, focus on the other hacks mentioned in this article. If you think you can make exercise work, start small and work your way up. Low-impact exercises like walk or water aerobics may be a great place to start. As little as 10-15 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week can make a big difference.
Try Taking a PQQ Supplement
PQQ, or Pyrroloquinoline quinone, is another supplement that can help boost your cellular energy. PQQ is found in soil and in foods like kiwi – but is also available in supplement form.
A 2010 study showed that PQQ both protected mitochondria in mice from oxidative stress and promoted the spontaneous generation of new mitochondria within aging cells. Researchers found that PQQ had a unique ability to activate cell signaling pathways directly involved in cellular energy metabolism, development, and function.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge you need to boost and support your mitochondria – start implementing the hacks above immediately and keep a journal to track their effects on your overall levels of energy, fatigue, and general well-being.
If you stick with them, it won’t be long before you’ll begin noticing a marked improvement!