Tiredness affects more and more of us, but help is in sight, according to ASNH (American School of Natural Health).
Everyone gets tired. More often than not a couple of early nights puts things right. If you are feeling tired or flat all the time, however, and even routine daily tasks feel like a big effort, you may need to look at your diet and habits. Our bodies can be put under severe stress from a less than wholesome diet, and from daily chemical intake from food additives. We are affected, too, by environmental pollution ranging from electro-magnetic radiation from our increasingly hi-tech lives, to traffic and industrial pollutants in the air we breathe.
Change your habits
Good sleep hygiene is essential to combat tiredness. Over time we have extended our daylight hours significantly, which is affecting us negatively. It is too easy to stay stimulated before we go to sleep. We need to create ‘winding down’ habits; excluding television, internet searching, or mobile phone device applications. We have forgotten about lavender baths or foot soaks, reading books, listening to relaxing music. If you have trouble sleeping, you need to start breaking some bad habits with some new nourishing ones. This also includes removing the communication devices from your bedroom which should contain as little electrical equipment as possible, and increasing your outdoor exercise during the day.
Look carefully at the chemicals contained in your personal care products, from shampoo to face products, to sunscreen. Toxic ingredients may be sabotaging your health. Smoking and significant consumption of alcohol should be stopped.
Change your diet
Eating organic wholefoods is a good way to cut down on your daily dose of toxins. Keeping blood sugar well balanced throughout the day with meals that contain protein and healthy fats as well as carbohydrates can also make a real difference to our energy levels over the course of the day.
The foods we choose not only give us energy, but certain plant compounds can manipulate how our bodies function. A nutritional therapist can help you look into certain food groups that you may be missing.
Protein is essential for every single cell in the body. It breaks down into amino acids and these key nutrients are part of many different functions in the body; including the production of your sleep hormone, melatonin, and your happy hormone, serotonin. Eating a protein rich food at every meal is helpful. Choices can come from wild fish, organic eggs, nuts and seeds, pulses, legumes, quinoa, or sprouted seeds and beans, or organic meat.
Some amino acids need help from co-factors to be utilised sufficiently; your B vitamins, Magnesium and vitamin C levels are some of these key helpers. They are found in vegetables and by increasing your intake to at least 8 portions a day you can meet your daily needs. If you’re living largely from processed foods, these key nutrients will be missing.
Drinking water is of course essential to life: 85% of our brains are made from it. Dehydration can manifest as tiredness, fatigue and low mood. We should aim to drink 2 litres of clean water a day.
When tiredness continues
For some people, unexplained fatigue continues no matter how much rest is taken.
If your GP has ruled out any underlying health problems that may be contributing to your tiredness, and if you experience unexplained tiredness for more than 6 months, combined with at least 4 other symptoms from the list below, you may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS):
• Problems with memory or concentration
• Sore throats
• Tender neck or armpit glands
• Muscle pain (myalgia)
• Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
• Unrefreshing sleep
• Post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours
• Multi-joint pain (arthralgia) without swelling or redness
Lesser symptoms may include:
• Feeling faint or problems with balance
• Feeling sick
• Mood swings
The causes of CFS can vary from person to person and usually stem from any number of underlying imbalances, all of which can be affected by food and environmental or emotional factors. These include everything from nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, toxicity, low energy output (from mitochondria, which form part of the cells responsible for energy production) and viral infections, to psychological stress, metabolic disturbances (especially in the liver), autonomic nervous system or immune dysfunction, and allergies.
If your wish is to feel better without recourse to medication, which can sometimes contribute to the problem, find a naturopath or naturopathic nutritional therapist. An initial interview will help the therapist to identify the cause, which will allow them to choose the most applicable therapy to address the problem, rather than just the symptoms.
They may offer certain tests, including hair mineral analysis, liver detox function and food sensitivity tests, in order to identify possible contributory imbalances in the body.
Everyone is biochemically different, and therefore no two cases either or tiredness, or of chronic fatigue syndrome are the same. Depending on imbalances identified in the body, there are many nutritional approaches which can help. Acupuncture, and herbal medicine are additionally useful therapies.
The message for sufferers of tiredness is a positive one. You CAN feel better, but you may have to re-evaluate the way that you live.
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Articles on this website are based upon the opinions of their respective author(s). None of the information on this website is intended as medical advice nor replaces the advice of a qualified health care professional.