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Understanding how To Help Clients with Fatigue. Fringe Is the Future!
By Ritamarie Loscalzo
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I hear from clients, yet finding the way to a root cause can be confusing and complicated, especially given effective guidance on the topic is non-existent in the current medical curriculum.
Since understanding how to recognize and address the various forms of fatigue is critical to the success of every practitioner, where does one go to gain the needed knowledge, especially if science-backed, proven methodologies are still labeled as being on the fringe?
It doesn’t matter that these new (yet old) ideas and ways forward are supported by science. If they buck the current, broken, healthcare system, they can be characterized as “looney”, or “out there”, even when it is known they provide effective, long-term relief for chronic conditions your clients suffer with.
So what does a practitioner do when they find themselves on the fringe?
Find support and keep going!
As a healthcare practitioner who firmly believes in supporting the body’s own ability to heal, being on the fringe of popular beliefs is familiar territory to me. That’s why I am here for you, along with a growing community that realizes it’s the only way if true healthcare is the goal.
That’s just one reason I want to share with you my 8 Step Fatigue Fixing Framework.
When you find yourself forging new paths that actually help people struggling with chronic conditions, one way I have of putting it all together is building a scaffolding that supports a protocol clinically proven to provide solutions.
That’s what I’ve done here.
8 Step Fatigue Fixing Framework
When clients complain of fatigue, where do you start? There are a myriad of possibilities. The following is a rough breakdown of how I approach this complicated issue.
Getting adequate oxygen (1) is a basic place to start, but I’m constantly surprised at how many clients do not breathe properly.
Watch how they breathe. Teach them how to get the deep breaths required for oxygenating the body system and see how they respond. Sometimes just his step alone makes a world of difference.
2) Digest and Absorb
Digestion starts in the brain; proper breathing and relaxing in preparation for a meal is crucial.
There are countless pieces to this part of the puzzle, but it’s our job as practitioners to know the questions to ask and the things to look for that indicate there may be issues with the digestion and absorption of food.
If you find yourself not up to speed on how to assess this, I go into more detail in my webinar.
3) Regulate Insulin
Four years ago, it was estimated 88% of the population was metabolically unwell. It is now believed that 93% of the population are metabolically impaired or have metabolic syndrome!
This means the vast majority of people have insulin and glucose dysregulation that is leading them to insulin resistance and in turn diabetes and countless other chronic health struggles(2).
To prevent metabolic dysregulation, practitioners must teach clients the importance of the following:
- Balanced nutrition
- Consistent movement
- Low stress
- Restful sleep
- Optimal timing & rhythms
4) Assess Genetics
“Genes tell us how much we can get away with in our daily choices.”
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo
All clients have “SNPs” (single nucleotide polymorphisms) which is a big phrase for “genetic variations” in their genome. This can make a person more susceptible to certain diseases or illnesses(3).
The next podcast theme is Nutrigenomics and Epigenetics.
Some of those SNPs that can impact energy metabolism include:
- MTR, MTRR
Although it’s helpful to know a client’s genetic profile, it isn’t critical. The following steps can be taken to help support these possible variations:
- Decrease toxic load.
- Avoid foods that interfere with mitochondrial function such as sugar, processed grains, and oxidized fats.
- Consume foods and herbs that enhance mitochondrial function: greens, rainbow veggies, fruits, omega 3 fats.
- Reduce stress.
- Intermittent fasting.
- Supplement where/if needed.
5) Run Labs
Overwhelming a new client with a list of labs can be a mistake, especially when obvious improvements can first be made to their diet and lifestyle.
For this reason I’ve developed a large library of assessments that help clients pinpoint certain issues before having to resort to labs.
In fact, during my podcast episode, ReInvent Healthcare, The 4 Step Process for Assessing and Healing the Underlying Causes of Fatigue with Energy MD, Evan Hirsh, he also uses assessments and believes 75% of chronic issues can be identified by symptoms alone.
However, sometimes labs are necessary.
The new world of labs can be convoluted and confusing, but such an amazing tool if it is understood when and why they are necessary!
So if you know when labs are needed, why should they be done?
First, sometimes clients need to KNOW to be motivated to DO. Seeing lab results can be a huge motivator.
Second, YOU need to know in order to take the next informed steps toward real, lasting wellness for your clients.
There is a wealth of information to be gained through either looking at a client’s labs that have already been done or ordering additional functional blood chemistry labs if the picture is incomplete. Below are just a few that can shed light on chronic symptoms:
Key Tests to Assess Hormone Imbalances
- Salivary Adrenal Function
- Organic Acids
- Gut Function & Microbiology
Blood Analysis for Fatigue
- Anemia (What kind of anemia- B12, Iron, macrocytic vs microcytic)
- Blood Sugar & Insulin Dysregulation
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Immune system disorders
- Adrenal dysfunction
Complete Thyroid Lab Assessment
- Total T4
- Total T3
- Free T4
- Thyroid Antibodies
o Thyroid Peroxidase
o Thyroid-stimulating Immunoglobulin
- Thyroid-binding Globulin
- Reverse T3
- Vitamin D
- Lipid Panel
- Vitamin A
- Fasting Insulin
Understanding how to use labs to assess chronic symptoms of fatigue will provide a huge boost to your practice.
This year at my S.H.I.N.E. 2022 event , one of the topics I will be taking a deep dive into how practitioners can use this valuable tool and gain a reputation for being the go-to practitioner for tough issues. I would love for you to join us. Find out more here.
In the meantime, you can download a free guideline to labs I’ve provided here.
6) Balance Nutrition
Figuring out nutritional deficiencies can be difficult but critical to understanding a client’s health struggles.
In my practice I spent years developing Nutrient Balance Assessment Scorecards. I have found them to be invaluable when determining root causes for chronic conditions clients come to me for.
Graduates of my Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner Training (NEPT) have access to these assessments and have found the same to be true.
If you do not have access to similar assessments, I have found cronometer to be a valuable tool for clients. An easy app to download on both a phone and a computer, it does an excellent job of tracking the nutrients contained in the foods a client includes in their diet.
Although it can take a few days to get used to, once a person gets the hang of it, it’s remarkable how much it reveals about a diet and how it may or may not be contributing to symptoms.
It’s well worth giving it a try.
7) Assess & Correct Lifestyle Factors
Lifestyle is critical to wellness and a huge piece of a client’s health. Most do not give it the attention it is due.
To help clients understand how important this is, I break it down in my 7 Freedom Pillars, each pillar representing a foundational aspect of lifestyle:
I encourage all my clients to contemplate each pillar, really gaining a deep understanding of where they stand on each. It’s hard to build solid, lasting wellness on top of a shaky foundation.
8) Motivate & Inspire
What makes functional healthcare practitioners different is that they are committed to caring for the whole person. That can require more than assessing symptoms and getting to the root cause of health concerns.
It often requires the skill of a great coach, the ear of a best friend, the patience of a therapist, and enough resources to fill the national library!
It’s all part of the work. Listening, coaching, helping them connect to their “big WHY”. This can be the real difference between success and failure, not what supplement you may recommend.
Being truly present with a client may be the best medicine there is.
By incorporating my 8 Step Fatigue Fixing Framework into your practice, you will be amazed how effective it is at addressing the fatigue so many clients struggle with.
Clients will be amazed as well, not to mention incredibly grateful.
If you would like more details, I’ve made my seminar on the framework available here.
We will spend 3 days exploring the Fatigue Fixing Framework at S.H.I.N.E.
It’s important to remember you are only human, up against a nearly inhuman system. Stay strong, find support, educate yourself and change will come.
What may appear to be on the fringe now is what will bring desperately needed change to a broken healthcare system that stands by while people are getting sicker and sicker with each passing year. I refuse to be a part of that.
Fringe is the future. I’m proud to walk this path and would love for you to walk with me.
Let’s Reinvent Healthcare together.
If you are a practitioner looking for additional knowledge and support, consider my Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner Training (NEPT) program.
1-The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults – PMC
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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Disclosure: Sometimes (but not always), when I share resources in my programs, newsletter, and on my website, I'm using an affiliate link, which means I do make money if you buy. My credibility is extremely important to me; therefore, I only endorse the products, services, and people I believe in. DrRitamarie.com is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.
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