The Brain's Role in Fatigue

The Brain’s Role in Fatigue with Dr. Peter Kan

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Peter Kan talks about the brain’s role in fatigue.

Dr. Kan is a board certified chiropractic neurologist, certified in functional medicine, and a fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Kan is the creator of NeuroMetabolic Integration, a breakthrough approach that combines functional neurology and functional medicine to treat complex neurological, endocrine, and autoimmune disorders.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is functional neurology?
  • What are the seven common causes of fatigue?
  • What are some of the tests and physical exams you can do for fatigue?
  • Is there a test someone can do at home?
  • What are some action steps the listeners can take?

Key Points Made by Dr. Kan:

  • The conventional medical approach is to treat symptoms; the functional medical approach is to treat the underlying causes of the symptoms.
  • Fatigue is different from feeling ‘tired’. Fatigue is when you don’t recover with rest.
  • Fatigue is a brain symptom.
  • The common causes of brain fatigue include a lack of fuel the brain needs to function, inflammation/neuroinflamnmation, gut dysfunction, blood sugar dysfunction, oxygenation issues, hormones, detoxification problems, and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Just taking a supplement to address the symptoms of fatigue is not going to address the root cause.
  • The first step in diagnosing fatigue is a neurological exam to look for signs of fatigue.
  • Being unable to read for more than a short period of time or feeling sleepy after driving for a few minutes are indications of brain fatigue.
  • Basic balance tests like the Romberg’s test is a good way to check yourself for brain fatigue symptoms. If you begin to sway that’s an indication that you may need further, more specific testing.
  • There is no drug specifically for fatigue, and without knowing the root cause it’s impossible to treat correctly. Looking for the right practitioner is very important. You may need to see someone trained in functional neurology.
  • The easiest place to start is your diet by stabilizing blood sugar by reducing simple carbs and increasing proteins, fats, and veggies.
  • Exercising more than basic walking everyday will help alleviate fatigue symptoms.
  • We’ve been conditioned to assume that drugs are the answer for pretty much everything. Someone with a chronic health issue needs to look for the underlying causes of their issue.

Resources Mentioned:

Podcast interview – Dr. Peter Kan and Brain Health

Dr. Kan’s website

Video series on fatigue

Dr. Kan’s facebook page

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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