We have all said it, "I am tired...."
Why is it that women over 50 tend to dismiss feeling tired as being normal?
The women that are over 50 that visit he clinic have this underlying belief that because they have tuned 50 that it is normal to feel tired. They have this false sense of connection that age = tiredess and assume that that it’s a new normal.
It seems like everyone is tired these days, are we experiencing a tiredness epidemic?
Yes we are experiencing a tiredness epidemic in modern life 1 in 3 people admit to being tired across all age groups.The age of not making sleep a priority, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, electronic devices and “soldiering on” is affecting the rush of the modern world.Its become and instant 24 hour society and I find these days patients are even too tired or too busy to have fun or go on holidays.
What are some of the common lifestyle factors that women blame for being tired?
The common lifestyle factors that women blame for being tired are:
that they don’t have enough hours in their day to meet their commitments and demands of all the roles that they juggle throughout the day.
That they don’t have enough time to sleep
That they don’t have enough time to prepare healthy foods
Their husband snores
Their children woke them up coming home late
Getting up to go to the toilet
Aches and pains
Cant stop the mind from thinking
The pets needed to be taken out to the toilet
Medication affects their sleep
Getting sick all the time
Shift work like nurses for example
Irregular working hours and overtime
In what ways does feeling tired affect your overall health and wellbeing?
Feeling tired affects both a womens’ mind and body.When women are tired the first thing I notice is anxiety and a sense of being overwhelmed that they won’t be able to cope with life tasks in general.They have this sense of impending doom like what if I get sick and can’t take care of everyone or nor work. They really would like to exercise and take care of themselves but even these simple tasks are difficult to accomplish.
Being tired affects our concentration and ability to remember things.Being tired can affect concentration in driving and also at work which can have a negative impact on your life potentially causing accidents.We are not as mentally acute.
Being tired makes us more prone to catching colds and flu as our immune system is compromised when we are tired.We are prone to cold and flu and sore throats.
When we are tired we tend to reach out for quick fixes and stimulants like coffee, protein bars and energy drinks.These can lead to weight issues but also the energy is not lasting as it is a false sense of energy rather than energy coming from nourishing foods.We can also develop food cravings.
When we are tired we can become moody and irritable and reactive rather than responsive to every day things in life.
Headaches are a common side effect of tiredness.
When we are tired we are more prone to thrush and cold sores due to compromised immunity and perhaps high acid levels in the blood.
When we are tired we lack motivation.Our outlook on life can be negative
When we are tired we can feel like we have weak bones and muscles, have trouble exercising and at times experience shortness of breath.
Why is it important to not ignore feeling tired and what are the long-term risks?
Feeling tired is a symptom that can be related to different conditions so its important that we establish the reasons why you feel tired. If you are sleeping, eating well , exercising and don’t have a stressful life and still feel tired there may be an underlying health condition that left untreated may affect your overall health and longevity as well as your quality of life.
Feeling tired can be an indication of the following :
Adrenal and chronic fatigue-burnout
Poor quality sleep
Leaky gut syndrome
Blood sugar imbalances
Alcohol and drug use
Overdosing on sugar
Not eating enough protein
Overdosing on technology
If someone is experiencing prolonged tiredness, what should be their first step to get help?
The first step to get help is to go and see a Doctor for blood tests and other testing that may be required , perhaps visit a psychologist or counsellor if stress is involved and also to visit a Naturopath to have a look at lifestyle factors and a more wholistic approach to help support their body and mind.
What is adrenal fatigue, and how can you bet manage it?
Adrenal fatigue usually happens after you have been under a huge amount of emotional, physical and mental stress. It really is a condition of modern society.
There are many things that can cause adrenal fatigue including divorce, chronic stress at work, emotion abuse, exercising too much, lack of sleep, poor diet and drug and alcohol abuse.
Cortisol and adrenaline hormones are affected in this condition.
Adrenal fatigue is best manage with changing your diet. Avoiding coffee and sugar, hydrogenated oils and junk food (packaged and processed products)
Fill up on healthy fats, proteins and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
In the clinic I recommend herbs like Siberian gingseng or maca root. I also recommend omega 3 oils, magnesium, the range of vitamin b’s, vitamin c and vitamin d and zinc.
Exercise regularly but not addictively or do not over exercise. Get plenty of sleep and try relaxation like reading or resting anything that helps you relax and turn your mind off.
In what ways does our thyroid affect our energy levels and how tired we feel?
If our thyroid is underactive it can cause fatigue, moodiness, muscle and joint pain, weight gain, vision problems, poor work performance, and changes in body temperature and appetite. The thyroid is known as the master gland and it secretes hormones responsible for many bodily functions like regulating body temperature, heart rate, production of protein and our energy and metabolic rate.
How do nutritional deficiencies affect our energy levels and how tired we feel – e.g. coeliac, anaemia, vitamin def. etc.?
Almost all causes of feeling tired can be relieved by our diet. Our diet can affect hormones, neurotransmitter function, sleep cycles, mood and so much more.
I recommend that you limit high sugar foods, processed and refined flour, excessive caffeine and alcohol as well as energy drinks.
I recommend that you incorporate foods high in b vitamins like beef, fish, organic eggs and chicken and leafy greens.
Foods high in calcium, magnesium and zinc can also help to relieve stress and sleep more soundly, these include foods like avocados, salmon, green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Healthy fats are also important in regulation of hormones.
If you are anemic: there is a problem with blood cells making haemoglobin. You may also be experiencing low b12 and folate levels. This can be caused by loss of blood or diet. Incorporate liver from beef and chicken, black strap molasses, green leafy vegetables, brewers yeast and foods high in vitamin c like oranges.
In Coeliac disease, as long as you are eating pleanty of fruits, vegetables, meats, you will be getting adequate nutrition.
In what ways does poor mental health/stress affect energy and tiredness?
Emotional stress can take a huge toll on your energy levels. It can affect sleep and mood and lead to depressive states. Stress affects cortisol and adrenaline and can lead to hormonal imbalances. When a person is chronically anxious it keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body and fatigue sets in.
How does restless leg syndrome affect tiredness?
Restless legs can be so painful it can keep you up at night because you cant get comfortable and the legs can become stiff.
In what ways does chronic fatigue affect energy? And how can someone tell if they have it?
Chronic fatigue is similar to adrenal fatigue.Chronic fatigue is usually diagnosed by a doctor.They look for a low count of natural killer cells, hormone deficiencies, frequent infections, yeast overgrowth, hypothalamic tests and pituitary dysfunction can also be present.
What’s the take home message for women over 50 who may be experiencing prolonged tiredness?
I would strongly recommend that they don’t ignore it. Why live a tired life when we can live an energetic quality life. Go to the Dr get your bloods or any testing that may be required done.
Book a time with Karina and bring a balance to your nutrition, sleep, exercise, mindset. Put away your computers at night.
Disclaimer: This article was featured in "Yours Magazine" 13th October 2016 Issue - Grab a copy of this informative magazine CLICK HERE