Lillian Wilson

Decode Your Fatigue by Alex Howard

'Decode Your Fatigue' is an in-depth exploration of fatigue-related conditions that offers readers practical strategies for recovery.

Decode Your Fatigue
“Are you ready to be empowered instead of blown off? Enlightened, instead of fumbling in the dark? Here is a map to help you get there. From somebody healthy, who has been where you are!” 
– Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., Author of the bestselling 'From Fatigue to Fantastic!' 

After being diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in his mid-teens, Alex Howards has spent 7 years struggling with this condition that put a toll on his life and locked him at his house. When he finally embarked on his healing journey, he made a promise to himself that if he found a way to recover, he would dedicate his life to supporting others in similar situations.

And Alex kept his promise and founded a clinic of integrative medicine specialising in fatigue and some years later wrote a book ‘Decode Your Fatigue’ to share his extensive knowledge with anyone struggling with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, long COVID or simply lacking enough energy to make it through the day.

Author’s background

Alex Howard is the Founder and Chairman of The Optimum Health Clinic (OHC), a renowned integrative medicine clinic specialising in fatigue.

Alex Howard (r)

With a dedicated team of 25 practitioners, the OHC has been at the forefront of remote patient care since 2004, providing support to thousands of patients in over 50 countries.

Alex has made significant contributions to academic research, with publications in esteemed journals like the British Medical Journal Open and Psychology and Health. Furthermore, Alex is the creator of the Therapeutic Coaching methodology and has gained recognition through his YouTube series, In Therapy with Alex Howard, where he documents his therapeutic work with real-life patients. In recent years, he has organised large-scale online conferences in the health and mind-body fields, including the Fatigue Super Conference and the Trauma & Mind Body Super Conference, collectively attracting over 350,000 attendees.

What is the book about?

Living with fatigue can be disheartening and bewildering, especially when traditional medical approaches focus on symptom management rather than addressing the root causes. In his book, renowned health expert Alex Howard shares his insights and knowledge gained from founding a leading clinic specialising in fatigue after his own seven-year battle with chronic fatigue.

The book delves into a range of topics, including:

  • Cellular mechanisms underlying fatigue.

  • The interconnectedness of mind and body.

  • Different types of tiredness.

  • Guidance on finding and working with practitioners in the field.

The final chapter presents the 12 Steps to Decode Your Fatigue and Support Healing, offering a practical guide to overcoming chronic fatigue, adrenaline fatigue syndrome, and chronic low energy. The 12 Steps encompass taking responsibility, obtaining an accurate diagnosis, understanding mitochondrial function, exploring personality traits, creating a healing environment, optimising digestion, balancing hormones, supporting the immune system, pacing activities, optimising nutrition, and managing a team of practitioners.

Throughout the book, Howard combines scientific knowledge with empathy and compassion, providing both practical tools and the occasional motivational push when needed. By reading ‘Decode Your Fatigue’ and engaging with its contents, readers will gain a clearer understanding of fatigue-related conditions, the failures of conventional medicine in addressing them, and the potential for a more hopeful and informed path to recovery.

Table of contents

  • Chapter 1. Radical Responsibility
  • Chapter 2. Why Conventional Medicine Is Baffled by Fatigue
  • Chapter 3. How Your Body Creates Energy
  • Chapter 4. How Your Mind and Emotions Affect Fatigue
  • Chapter 5. A New Model for Understanding Fatigue
  • Chapter 6. The Personality of Fatigue
  • Chapter 7. Understanding the Loads on Your Body
  • Chapter 8. Are You in a Healing State?
  • Chapter 9. Your Digestive System – Breaking Down Your Energy Source
  • Chapter 10. Your Hormones and Your Body’s Energy Reserve System
  • Chapter 11. Your Immune System – Reducing Your Body’s Load
  • Chapter 12. Coaching Yourself for Recovery
  • Chapter 13. Learning to Listen to Your Body
  • Chapter 14. The Three Stages of Recovery
  • Chapter 15. Cultivating a Healing State
  • Chapter 16. Nutrition Fundamentals
  • Chapter 17. Working with Practitioners
  • Chapter 18. Create Your Recovery Plan
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • About the Author
  • Hay House Unlimited Audio
  • Continue Your Journey with Hay House

Key takeaways from ‘Decode Your Fatigue’

1Stress affects our energy levels

The book emphasises the undeniable nature of the mind-body connection and showcases the crucial role of stress management in optimising energy levels and overall well-being.

The author provides an example of one of his patients – Louise who had been suffering from severe ME/CFS and had been working with the nutrition and psychology teams to stimulate the process of healing.

There was a notable and dramatic improvement in Louise’s mitochondrial function, which directly correlated with the time period in which she had been diligently working on reducing stress and promoting psychological well-being.

The significance of this finding cannot be overstated. Louise’s experience strongly indicates that the calming of her nervous system and the cultivation of a healing state through psychological interventions had a direct and tangible impact on her mitochondrial function. The improvement in energy production was a clear result of addressing stress at a cellular level.

2Trauma impacts fatigue

The book delves into the profound impact of life events and trauma on fatigue. It emphasises that traumatic experiences, both in childhood and adulthood, can contribute significantly to fatigue. The concept of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is explored, highlighting the lasting effects these events have on health and well-being.

The book introduces the notion of trauma with a small ‘t,’ emphasising that even common developmental traumas can have a significant impact on our lives. It underscores the cumulative effect of trauma, emphasising that each individual trauma adds to the overall load on the body.

Furthermore, the book acknowledges the often-overlooked trauma associated with being diagnosed with or living with ongoing fatigue, highlighting the importance of supportive environments and understanding from the medical establishment.

By examining the relationship between trauma, life events, and fatigue, the book encourages readers to adopt a holistic understanding of the various factors contributing to fatigue. Ultimately, it aims to empower readers with the knowledge to navigate their own experiences, address the loads on their bodies, and cultivate healing, resilience, and sustainable recovery.

3There are five fatigue personality patterns

In the journey of decoding fatigue, understanding the personality patterns associated with the condition is of utmost importance. The book introduces five common personality patterns that contribute to energy depletion and hinder sustainable recovery: Achiever, Perfectionist, Helper, Anxiety, and Controller. Each pattern represents a distinct approach to oneself and the world, and all have a draining effect on energy levels.

By recognising and becoming aware of these personality patterns, individuals can begin to explore how they may be contributing to their fatigue. The book offers guidance and strategies to help readers navigate their unique patterns and create a more sustainable and balanced approach to life. Through self-reflection, compassionate self-care, and a shift in mindset, it is possible to break free from these energy-depleting patterns and embark on a transformative journey towards recovery and well-being.

Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews

The book has gotten 3.98 ⭐️ on GoodReads.


  • Provides a comprehensive understanding of fatigue and its complexities, making it accessible to readers suffering from mild fatigue or more severe conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

  • Addresses various conditions associated with chronic fatigue, such as M.E., Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme disease, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, expanding its relevance to a wider range of readers.

  • Offers a delicate and hopeful tone, instilling optimism while acknowledging the scientific intricacies of these conditions.


  • The book is really heavy on theory but does not offer a lot of practical recommendations and straightforward guidance.

  • The inclusion of personal stories of Alex Howard’s patients could have been separated and placed at the end of the book, providing a clearer distinction between personal anecdotes and practical information.

Best quotes from ‘Decode Your Fatigue’

“For both children and adults, these two needs are at the center of everything – there is almost no limit to what we’ll do for love and safety. And if we learn that being loved is linked to what we achieve, what we get right, or how we help others, we’ll do everything we can to achieve, perfect, or help. If we learn that our safety in the world is linked to predicting what might go wrong, or controlling ourselves or our environment, we’ll give everything we have to do so.” 
“Trauma can happen to us at any age and it isn’t just the more obvious things such as physical or sexual abuse or living in a war zone. Trauma is an impact on the mind, emotions, or body that occurs as a result of distressing life events. Put another way, trauma is the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or to integrate the emotions involved with that experience.” 
“When we experience gastrointestinal inflammation, the hormone cortisol may be deployed to help mitigate it and offer anti-inflammatory support – the greater the inflammatory burden, the greater the need for cortisol and the greater the pressure on the adrenal glands. This vicious cycle may result in fatigued adrenals and subsequent suboptimal anti-inflammatory support – which of course just perpetuates the inflammatory cycle.”

Final takeaway

‘Decode Your Fatigue’ by Alex Howard offers a comprehensive understanding of fatigue-related conditions and provides hope and guidance to readers seeking to navigate their healing journeys. The book explores the interconnectedness of mind and body, delves into the impact of trauma on fatigue, and introduces personality patterns that contribute to energy depletion.

‘Decode Your Fatigue’ serves as a valuable resource for individuals facing fatigue-related challenges, providing insights and tools to decode their fatigue, address underlying causes, and embark on a path to recovery and well-being.

Where to buy

You may purchase ‘Decode Your Fatigue’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, spiral bound, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.

Healthypedia FAQ

The final chapter presents the '12 Steps to Decode Your Fatigue and Support Healing,' offering a practical guide for overcoming chronic fatigue, adrenaline fatigue syndrome, and chronic low energy. It covers areas such as responsibility, diagnosis, digestion, hormones, immune system support, nutrition, and working with practitioners.

Yes, personal stories of Alex Howard's patients are included in the book. These stories provide real-life examples and insights into the experiences of individuals struggling with fatigue.

While the book contains scientific information and explanations, it is written in a way that is accessible to individuals without a medical or scientific background. The author strives to present complex concepts in a reader-friendly manner, combining scientific knowledge with empathy and compassion.

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