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Archive for the ‘fatigue’ Category

One major problem I’ve found when dealing with many people who try their best to hold down employment is their in ability to concentrate/focus on what is required.

I know with me, I used to read line after line after line until I got the information to actually sink into my brain. This kind of ability is very hard to deal with expecially if you are on a deadline to get work done and under  pressure to perform.

It’s very sad we have to resort to these kinds of methods out of desperation to keep our jobs.  I was told to try a high strength iron tablet for tiredness which does work, I take a high strength Fish Oil tablet, Spirulina and Berocca (vitamin B).  I must admit though, in times of desperation and pressure, workers need to rid their brain of fog to perform up to standards and in my opinion, employers do not make enough allowances for employees who are hampered by prescribed medications to keep their mental health functioning.

Unfortunately, very little options are available to boost performance/brain power  for those who are desperate to hold down their employnent or they lose their income, their house, their self esteem and their livelihood.

Over the years I’ve acquired various ideas to alleviate brain fog from medication use. Some of these might not be ethical but I’m going to write about them anyway because I know with me my job was so important to hold down and it was virtually impossible working on 450mg of Efexor XR, various anti-psychotics and being able to process information all of the time not to mention coping with the lack of motivation I felt.

First we have the unethical ways I have colleced over the years that people use to eliminate brain fog:

1. No Doz Plus  This product is a caffeine tablet that is meant to keep you awake and stimulate your cognitive functioning.  The downside of No Doz is it can become addictive. From what I’ve seen of it’s contents, it contains more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee. The caffeine is the substance that gets the brain moving and provides clarity and a buzzing energy aiding performance in the workplace.

2. Go for a very strong coffee (say 50ml or more). If you are like me, I am sensitive to caffeine so am unfortunately unable to drink coffee nor decaffinated for it brings me down to a deep depression.

3. Coke-a-Cola will give you a high/buzz and get you going and thinking logically and help you focus on the tasks at hand. Have you buzzing around the workplace in no time. Try guzzling a can of Coke early morning after a good breakfast but watch for the rotting teeth from consistent use though. Perhaps Diet Coke (no sugar) would be better for the teeth.

4. Red Bull – gives you wings! I’ve tried the small can of Red Bull early mornings and it yes it does give you a brain boost and helps you run run run however if you are susceptible to high amounts of caffeine I would recommend staying away from it. The larger the person the more Red Bull is required to have an affect. I generally go for the larger bottles of Red Bull as they get me through the day a lot longer. One needs to be careful when taking things such as No Doz and Red Bull together incase these drugs  react to any prescription medications you are already taking.

5. Now this is a little bit risky but I’ll share it anyway. I worked with a collegue who used to take 2 No Doz and drink a can of Red Bull every morning before work. She was a high flyer/heavy partier on weekends and needed to be on the ball at all times during work so this combination helped her boost her brain power.  I’ve never tried this so I don’t recommend it unless you are a large person and not susceptible to caffeine.

6. Nurofen or Nurofen Plus – contains codeine. Codeine can be very addictive but it will give you a slight brain buzz and help you focus on your work. There is also Panadeine Forte (only available via prescription) and Asprin Forte (available over the counter) which I have tried  but wow what a brain power boost! Be careful if you are allergic to asprin as it can make you vomit. Nurofen and Nurofen Plus will give you constipation and long term use can cause stomach ulcers/rotting lining and can become addictive so it is to be used in moderation.

7. For a more natural approach try very cold water to wake the brain up. Drink lots of it for energy as water makes ap a major percentage of the brain so keeping your body hydrated is most important for good brain function.

8. Freshly squeezed juices – fruit and/or vegetables are so important for energy. I drank these religiously every morning and night. If you don’t have the motivation to clean your juicer (an arduous job!) then purchase freshly vitamised juices from health food stores. Mix and match your fruit and vegetables to make a healthy juice that will make you feel SO GOOD throughout the day.  Try this website: www.juiceville.com.au for a world of information on juicing goodness, recipes and health and nutrition benefits.

Vitamin C tablets – 1000 mg x 3 or 4 per day – chewable. Not very expensive but I take them just before lunch and I feel a great boost of energy afterwards. Highly recommend them but remember they must be “chewable”.

Any other tips from people to eliminate brain fog please do share them with us.

A change of diet is also most important to keep your cognitive brain function working at its optimum level. See my older posts on foods to boos your mood which are most helpful in helping with brain power and concentration levels.

If you have any other ways you’d like to share about how to keep your brain at optimum performance levels while taking medications for mental illnesses plese do share then here for others to read.

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I’ve decided to go and see an nutritionist.  While googling “depression and nutrition” I came across these case histories that I wanted to share with you.

Liz started suffering from depression at the age of 14. By the time she was 17 she had become extremely anxious, fearful and depressed and was hearing voices. She was put on three drugs – Sulpiride and Depixol injections, plus Kemadrin to offset the side-effects of the other drugs. The drugs somewhat sedated her but she continued to suffer from extreme depression and anxiety and continued to hear voices in her head. She also had psychotherapy but neither this, nor the drugs made any real difference.

She consulted a nutrition counsellor who identified chronic nutritional deficiencies and an excessive level of histamine, an neurotransmitter that affects the brain. Within six months she was no longer depressed, and rarely heard voices or became anxious. She came off all medication and continued to improve. She is now perfectly healthy and happy and recently gave birth to a baby girl. She experienced no post-natal depression.

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Since she was 11, Sara’s life had been a nightmare of mental and physical suffering. Her history included chronic insomnia, episodic loss of reality, attempted suicide by hanging, amnesia, partial seizures, nausea, vomiting and loss of periods. Her knees were so painful (X-rays showed poor cartilages) and her mind so disperceptive that she walked slowly with her feed wide apart like a peasant following a hand plough drawn by tired oxen. Psychiatrists at three different hospitals gave the dubious waste-basket labels of ‘schizophrenia’, ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ and ‘schizophrenia with convulsive disorder’. At times her left side went into spasms with foot clawed and fist doubled up. Both arm and leg had a wild flaying motion. Restraints were needed at these times. Psychotherapy was ineffective and most tranquillisers accentuated the muscle symptoms. She tested positive for pyroluria and was given B6 and zinc.

Urinary kryptopyrrole was at times as high as 1000mcg%, the normal range being less than 15. She was diagnosed as B6 and zinc deficient and treatment was started. Over three months her knees became normal, the depression subsided, as did the seizures, her periods returned, the nausea vanished and so did the abdominal pain. She has had no recurrence of her grave illness, finished college and now works in New York. She takes zinc and B6 daily. When under stress of any kind, she increases her intake of vitamin B6.

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David swas diagnosed as suffering from chizophrenia at the age of 20, having suffered from acute depression, paranoia and extreme mental confusion. He was also seeing and hearing things. He was put on the drug Stelazine which calmed him down, but he felt disoriented and couldn’t go back to college or relate with friends and family in a normal way. He went to see a nutrition counsellor who identified that he was chronically deficient in vitamin B6 and zinc and had glucose intolerance. Within days of adding B6 and zinc supplements, changing his diet and avoiding sugar, coffee and alcohol he became symptom free. He was able to stop taking Stelazine and is now doing very well at University without any recurrence of his previous mental health problems.

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Janet was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of 15. At times she would become completely hyperactive and manic, and at other times become completely depressed. She was put on three drugs – Lithium, Tegretol and Zirtek. These helped control the severity of her manic phases, but she was still frequently depressed and anxious. Two years later she consulted a nutrition counsellor who found she was deficient in many nutrients, especially zinc, and allergic to wheat. As soon as her nutrient deficiencies were corrected and she stopped eating wheat her health rapidly improved. She was able to stop all medication and, provided she stays off wheat, no longer gets depressed. She is now doing her final degree exams and continues to feel good and achieve well. However, if she has any wheat, even inadvertently in a sauce, she becomes depressed, confused, forgetful and anxious for 3 to 4 days. Her manic phases, however, have never returned.

Even if I can reduce my symptoms of depression by half by changing my diet i’d be pleased as punch. I’ve got to try after i’ve had such good results changing my diet after reading Super Foods To Boost Your Mood Foods That Fight Depression.

Will keep you posted.

Source: The Black Dog Institute

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Hello Lisa

You don’t know what tremendous satisfaction it gives me to hear your story. Having changed my own food patterns for the better and knowing that, yes I really can, change the way I feel – to then write a book and read the results you are having makes it feel worth all the work.

Many thanks for sharing your story…
Alexandra Massey

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It’s been one week since i’ve changed my diet and I feel great. I have to admit I was skeptical at first when I bought the book Super Foods to Boost Your mood, Foods that Fight Depression for a measley $5.00AU but figured if there were foods out there that could change my mood then i’d give it a shot.

The first thing i’ve noticed is that I feel more relaxed. Usually at night when I go to bed I feel tense and have rocking movements of the trunk of the body caused by the medications I am on. These have been reduced by half to three quarters.

I wanted to change the foods that I eat because I was feeling tired and lethargic all the time, especially around 2pm after my lunch break at work. The fatigue would last for an hour and I would become depressed and not want to work. It was really starting to bother me as it was starting to become a pattern and I was desperate to get rid of the feeling. I am happy to report that my fatigue has been reduced by half since i’ve changed my eating patterns. Mornings were always hard for me too. I’d feel tired and lethargic and very grumpy. Now I just eat a few nuts and I get a great energy burst.

Here’s some of the tips from the book to help you out:

  • Banana – stress busting qualities;
  • Kiwi – boost of vitamin C – good for fighting fatigue (I take a vitamin C tablet 250mg two in the morning and two at lunch time);
  • Mandarin – good for fighting irritability;
  • Melon – contains stress busting magnesium;
  • Parsley – contains potent and nutrimental goodness which helps combat depression and stress;
  • Broccoli contains more vitamin C than an orange which boosts the immune system and helps with chronic fatigue. It has as much calcium as a glass of milk, which can help relieve mood swings;
  • The best nuts for depression are Brazils, Peanuts, Hazel Nuts, Cashew Nuts;
  • The best nuts for stress are Almonds, Pecans and Brazil Nuts;
  • The best nuts for chronic fatigue are Brazil Nuts, Pecans and Walnuts;
  • All berries contribute to our overall sense of wellbeing and help us to feel physically and emotionally better;
  • Blueberries – their age defying antioxidants have been linked with boosts in memory. The anti ageing function is so effective for depression;
  • The omega 3 in oily fish helps beat depression. Try salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, tuna and sardines. Also try almonds, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and advocados;
  • A salad and pasta meal is really good for promoting sleep as pasta is high in carbs which increase serotonin and will give you a mild sleepy feeling. Bananas will boost your melatonin, the hormone that aids sleep;
  • Trytophan – foods rich in this amino acid help boost the body’s uptake of serotonin. High trytophan foods are soy products, seafood, turkey, whole grains, beans, rice houmous, lentils, hazelnuts, peanuts, eggs, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Switch from white to brown products and you could immediately elevate your energy levels and boost your mood. Try brown rice, wholegrain bread and wholemeal/wholegrain pasta;
  • Decrease your intake of dairy fats to start feeling less fatigued and depressed.  Try pecorino remano cheese (made from sheep’s milk), goats cheese, almond cream, fruit sorbets instead of icecream and rice and soya milk;

My food intake per day consists of porridge in the morning, walnuts, hazel nuts, craisins, pepitas and blueberries in the mid morning for a snack, houmous and crudites and a whole wheat sandwich with tuna for lunch followed by kiwi fruit, apple and strawberries and more nuts for an afternoon snack. I have eliminated chocolate and junk food from my diet and feel so much better for it.

If you are interested in the book it’s called Super Foods to Boost Your Mood Foods that Fight Depression by Alexandra Massey. If you Google it you will find plenty of places that sell it.

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