Let’s face it – who wouldn’t want more energy? Many of us feel exhausted all the time, and we are finding ourselves continuously topping up with coffee and sugary snacks just to be able to cope with everyday life and chores.
Apart from the obvious reason of not getting enough sleep, there could be so many reasons why you may be fatigued and there is never one easy answer, but a good place to start is your hormones and lifestyle.
So, what are the main culprits?
Blood sugar balance – We have all heard it, but it can never be repeated enough. The way that our body deals with sugar in the blood is to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin is the gate-keeper to letting the sugar into our cells, and it has a tendency of overshooting the target, i.e. our body produces a bit too much which results in a ‘sugar low’.
Low Thyroid Hormone – This hormone regulates our metabolism. If you have a low thyroid hormone production, or if you are not converting the inactive (T4) hormone into the active (T3) kind, you will feel sluggish. There are many symptoms of so called hypothyroidism; tiredness, weight gain, brain fog, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, depression and poor concentration amongst others.
You may have already seen your GP and done a thyroid test which turned out to be within range, but GPs often only check the TSH level (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) which doesn't show the whole picture! You may need to do the whole thyroid panel test to see what is really going on.
“Metabolism, what does it mean? It’s the term used to describe “all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism”. The organism is this case is YOU!”
Peri-menopause – This is the period of about 10 years before your menopause, so you are most likely unaware that you are going through it! The peri-menopause is an extremely confusing time for you and your body, but it’s basically when your oestrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate beyond the usual cycle. This may result in night sweats, unusually heavy periods, sluggishness, anxiety, insomnia and weight gain.
Of course, there are many other reasons why you may feel exhausted all the time, for example, there may be nutrient deficiencies, gut issues and high levels of toxins in your body.
This is all part of why it’s a good idea to see a nutritionist. It’s hard to know where to start sometimes, especially when one issue has a knock-on effect on something else, which in turn affects the first issue! It becomes a viscous cycle which is hard to break.
It is so important to find the root cause of your symptoms. By patching up and putting a band-aid on a health issue will never work in the long run.
6 things you do NOW to improve your energy crisis
Water – Drink more water! This is the easiest tip to implement. Our bodies need to be fully hydrated to work properly. Drink at least 2L of water or herbal teas each day.
Nutrients - There are many nutrients involved in energy creation, such as Vitamin Bs, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium. These can be found in fruit & vegetables, legumes (beans & pulses), nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat and fish.
Blood sugar – Keep the blood sugar level stable by always including some protein in your meals (including breakfast!). This ensures a slow release of sugar into the blood which prevents the sugar highs and lows.
Reduced your stress – Do some low level exercise, go for a walk and let the mind rest. Feel that you breathe properly by doing 5-10 slow deep breaths ('belly' breaths) with your eyes closed.
Improve sleep – Avoid phones, iPads, computer and TV at least 1 hour before bedtime. Studies have shown that exposure to blue light emitted from these devices can suppress our sleep hormone melatonin. Many of these devices have a ‘night shift mode’ which can be turned on to reduce the blue light that is emitted.
Remove toxins – Our bodies and hormones are affected by many toxins found in your home. Try to eat organic foods, drink filtered water and switch laundry detergent to a more natural brand.
Hope this helps. Keep well!
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Consult your doctor or health care practitioner for any health problems, before embarking on any new health regimes, using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications or food programmes.