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Supplements, like vitamins and herbs, may help breast cancer patients coping with lack of energy and mental focus.

Fatigue is one of the most commonly reported issues after breast cancer treatment is completed. While many hope to return to a normal level of energy and focus soon after their treatment is over, it’s not uncommon for general tiredness and a lack of mental clarity to last for quite some time. Supplements, like vitamins and herbs, may help.

I usually suggest that people start by covering their nutritional bases with a good multivitamin. While many people turn to the aisles of a drug store or grocery store for a cheaper multivitamin, I suggest shopping at your local health food store for a much higher-quality multivitamin supplement. As a general rule, health food stores are much more informed and selective when it comes to the sourcing and quality of vitamins and supplement brands that they sell. If you are lucky, you might find that you get all of the energy you need from the B-vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrition in this one important supplement.

If you need more than just a good multivitamin, I would suggest incorporating an energizing adrenal formula. The stress of any medical treatment can be tough, and while this stress is different from our typical daily stressors, it can all add up. Our adrenal glands play a big role in regulating our body’s cortisol levels, and our daily cortisol rhythm has much to do with our stress response and our sleep-wake cycle. Research has linked the stress of breast cancer treatment to changes in our body’s cortisol response, and that may contribute to the lack of energy and focus that many that are finished with treatment are still feeling. If you think you need adrenal support, look for an herbal adrenal formula that includes herbs like rhodiola, ashwagandha and holy basil.

A study from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has shown that supplementing with the popular herb ginseng may be helpful to combat fatigue felt by patients that had completed or were still going through treatment. Many of the participants in this study were breast cancer patients. Again, please stick to the shelves of a trusted health food store if you are shopping for a ginseng supplement. Unfortunately, many ginseng supplements have been found to be adulterated or not nearly as potent as their label may claim. A rigorous third-party testing requirement of a reputable brand or store will ensure that you are getting the best quality supplement.

As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new supplements. Fatigue after any medical treatment is tough to avoid, but hopefully these natural options can offer you some help to bounce back a little quicker.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh

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