The Exhaustion Epidemic
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If you give in to your cravings for stimulants, it does not necessarily mean you are weak or "bad," but simply that your chemistry is controlling you. You need the right fuel foods, vitamins, and other micronutrients to run your body's engine. You also need sufficient sleep to restore body and mind and to maintain your energy level. Chronic sleep deprivation is a major source of fatigue.
You might even have a medical condition such as a chronic viral infection (chronic fatigue syndrome) or an imbalance in your hormones such as an underactive thyroid gland that makes you feel exhausted. Turning to stimulants to rev up your engine only further depletes your already bankrupt system.
The Roots of Addiction
Addiction can also have genetic roots, since we know that addiction runs in families. Programmed by your genes, you may be hardwired for stimulant addiction. An inborn deficiency in the number of dopamine receptors can lead to feelings of depression, low self-esteem, low energy, irritability, and lack of motivation. Termed reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) by researcher Kenneth Blum, the deficiency may cause sufferers to "self-medicate" in the form of drugs, alcohol, or thrill-seeking, dangerous behavior to feel energized, motivated, or happy. Alcohol and stimulant addiction can be the unfortunate result. Note, however, that RDS creates a predisposition only: you are not a slave to your genes. There are ways to deal with the problem nutritionally, as you will learn.
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From NATURAL HIGHS: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind/Body Techniques to Help You Feel Good by Hyla Cass and Patrick Holford. Copyright © Hyla Cass, M.D., and Patrick Holford. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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