“I for­got I could feel this good!”

First For Women - - Contents -

For Su­san Irby, 51, ev­ery day was a bat­tle against fa­tigue. Then she dis­cov­ered the sur­pris­ing cul­prit and the nat­u­ral fixes that made all the dif­fer­ence

Su­san, are you ready yet? Where is the food? We’re go­ing to be late!” the wed­ding co­or­di­na­tor pleaded as Su­san and her staff scram­bled. “I was hired to cater a wed­ding for about 250 peo­ple at a high-pro­file lo­ca­tion,” Su­san re­calls. “But since I was so tired, run-down and un­able to fo­cus, I couldn’t take charge of the event and we were run­ning be­hind sched­ule.

“Not only was the food not as good as usual, but since I didn’t pre­pare my staff to serve at the buf­fet sta­tions be­cause I was ex­hausted and over­whelmed, we ran out of food. I felt so bad about dis­ap­point­ing the cou­ple and ru­in­ing their spe­cial day. To make mat­ters worse, they were so up­set that they didn’t pay their bill. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I had made mis­takes like this at work as I strug­gled to stay on top of ev­ery­thing. I tried my best to work through the fa­tigue, but busi­ness got so bad that I even­tu­ally closed it al­to­gether.

No more to give

“For 15 years, fa­tigue de­fined my life. Af­ter my cater­ing busi­ness tanked, I de­cided to write a book, but no mat­ter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t muster up the en­ergy or fo­cus long enough to write.

“The fa­tigue also af­fected my per­sonal life. When my friends in­vited me to a birth­day party or din­ner, I didn’t have any mo­ti­va­tion to go. I lost all my drive to work out and I gained 40 pounds, even though I had al­ways been ac­tive and fit. I also bat­tled in­som­nia, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, which didn’t make sense be­cause

I had al­ways been an en­thu­si­as­tic, op­ti­mistic per­son. It just wasn’t like me at all.

“To find out what was hap­pen­ing to me, I made an ap­point­ment with a doc­tor who works with peo­ple who have emo­tional health is­sues.

Af­ter I de­scribed my symp­toms, she said she thought my lev­els of the brain chem­i­cal dopamine were low. She ex­plained that low lev­els of this chem­i­cal were as­so­ci­ated with fa­tigue, brain fog, a lack of con­cen­tra­tion and poor mood, which would ex­plain why I felt so bad.

“The doc­tor never ran any tests, but she pre­scribed Well­butrin, an an­tide­pres­sant that she said would re­store my dopamine lev­els. I was ap­pre­hen­sive about tak­ing it be­cause I rarely even took a pain re­liever, but she con­vinced me that I would feel bet­ter, and I trusted her.

Su­san Irby,New­port Beach, CA

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