Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tired? Women and Fatigue Part 2

This part of the book is about different layers in the whole system from which fatigue can originate. The author lists 5 levels: sub-cellular, cellular, organ systems, body, and person. For example, one woman she mentioned had a mild, incurable form of anemia caused by thalassemia. The origin of this is a genetic, sub-cellular defect. Knowing this, the woman had developed successful strategies to continue a rigorous working schedule. Some tips: light exercise at intervals, hiring a cleaning woman to do some of the housework, chatting with a friend occasionally over wine.

Another woman had 8 children and recommended brief naps during the day whenever rest was possible, especially when pregnancy is putting a load on the system. Another woman was facing emotional stresses, and had to get rid of some of the things that were stressing her out at the personal level.

THe author is getting into the concept of stress. Stressors are things that put a drain on the system at any of the above-described levels. Stress is the actual effect these things have on the person. Some people seem to be have a greater capacity for stress than others. It is speculated that we each are given a certain allowance for a lifetime and when we reach the overload point, it has consequences on our whole systems. FOr example, a woman who is juggling career, aging parents and small children may suddenly get ill out of sheer exhaustion.

Stress has 3 levels: the original alarm, then resistance, then incipient exhaustion. Even “good stressors” like a new baby, marriage, vacation can put a tax on the system.

The author writes that she used to be constantly fatigued but by taking charge of it and giving herself energy restorers, she was able to get so that she was productive and rarely felt fatigue. This would be my goal. Some energy boosters are: nutrition, good sleep, exercise, pleasure, mastery.

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