Feeling tired? As though you just don’t seem to have the energy to get through your normal daily activities? There are many different causes of fatigue, including your mental health, physical health conditions and lifestyle.
Our energy level reflects our adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. ATP is a molecule produced by our cell structures that helps us store and save energy and deliver it to our cells as needed. When we lack energy, chances are we are not producing enough ATP. A cause may be as simple as our lifestyle. For instance, fatigue can result from being overweight, getting too much exercise or not enough, sleep deprivation, our diet, or emotional stress. At the same time, physical and mental health conditions such as anemia, an under or overactive thyroid, diabetes, cancer, MS, COPD, depression and anxiety can also cause fatigue. Sometimes, as is the case with cancer, people feel tired because their energy is being used by the immune system to fight disease or infection.
Fatigue can also lead a host of symptoms including headache, slow responses or reflexes, impaired judgment, moodiness and irritability as well as short term memory problems.
Try the following to help reduce your fatigue and fuel your energy level and quality of life:
Eat healthy. Avoid processed foods. Turkey, salmon, tuna, chicken, nuts are all good energy foods. Eat eggs, spinach, squash, yogurt, quinoa, and chickpeas…( and yes, hummus counts!) It also may help to have small meals and snacks every few hours instead of three larger meals a day. Eating more frequently helps supply a flow of nutrients to your body whereas large meals can increase your insulin and cause your blood sugar to drop, leading to a feeling of tiredness.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Eliminate or reduce your caffeine, as well as your alcohol intake, especially in the evening before bedtime.
Get more sleep. Sleep can increase your ATP levels. For some people, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day is helpful.
Keep moving. Exercise 4-5 days a week for at least 30 minutes per day. Exercise raises energy promoters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Stress consumes a lot of energy. Take time to relax and connect with friends, listen to music, meditate and avoid stressful situations. How about trying a restorative yoga class?
Consider B vitamins. Try Vitamin B-Complex to improve your mood and mental well-being and reduce stress and tiredness. Iron supplements and multivitamins may also help.
Be sure to see your doctor if your fatigue lasts a week or two…or if you continually wake up in the morning feeling tired. It is important to rule out an underlying illness or issues with medication you may be taking.
Many of us feel fatigued at times and for most, the feeling of tiredness will get better on its own over time. (It’s quite likely that double espresso or sweets are not going to help!) Chances are simple lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, a dose of daily exercise, taking time to relax and a good night of sleep will make a big difference.
As always, join us on the Health-E³ website blog page. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Feel free to ask questions about anything on the website or suggest ideas for additional helpful information. And remember, it's up to you to Take Charge of Your Health.