Fatigue and You

Fatigue and You

fatigueIt’s 3pm Tuesday and you’re feeling tired. You’d love to lay down and close your eyes for a bit but it’s another busy day, full of demands on your time. You head to the kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee. And perhaps have a biscuit to pick you up.   You sip the drink and start to feel the pick-me-up take effect as you focus yourself to finish the current task and get onto the next one.

It’s 6pm and you’re too tired to cook. Perhaps you’ll skip dinner tonight or maybe you’ll go for takeaway, after all it is half-price Tuesday.

It’s 9:30pm and you’re in bed, wanting to sleep, but you lay there awake. Mind churning going over the day’s events and planning tomorrow, body restless. An hour passes. You fall asleep. 2am you awaken, suddenly alert. You head for the loo to empty your suddenly full bladder. Back to bed, you lay awake for another hour or two before falling into a deep sleep. Awoken with a jolt by the alarm the new day begins. You wonder how on earth you’re going to get through yet another day but you force yourself to get up and get going, kick starting the day with a hit of caffeine and no time for breakfast.

Sound familiar?

What’s really going on here is the cycle of uppers (caffeine and sugar) followed by energy slumps that is actually making your body more fatigued and less capable of dealing with everyday situations. You have been exhausting your adrenals, depleting your nervous and immune system and compromising proper digestive function.

Caffeine (in coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola drinks) lifts our energy briefly because it signals the pituitary to tell the adrenals to release adrenalin and cortisol into our system. Adrenalin makes us feel alert and ready to act with speed and power, cortisol signals liver to release extra glucose into the system giving us the extra oomph to run away from a raging bull or fight off an opponent with our bare fists. The biscuit / chocolate / lolly floods our system with sugar but the cortisol has already initiated an increase of glucose in the blood. Sugar overload! Pancreas releases insulin so the body can process all that extra sugar. Not really the kind of body response we need to get through another busy day sitting on our office chair! OK maybe there are times when that caffeine comes in handy, but if we are having 2 or 3 or 4 cups every day over time, what we are really doing to our system is exhausting our adrenals and depleting the feel good chemicals in our brains. This affects our ability to sleep, it affects our moods, it affects our metabolism and before we know it we are gaining weight, feeling tired all the time and not coping with our life.

How better to cope with fatigue?

Eat a balanced diet with adequate proteins, lots of quality mixed vegetables and salads, minimal starches and sugars, and adequate supply of healthy fats. Reduce caffeine, increase fresh water to 2L per day, herbal teas make a great addition to your diet and have health benefits for all body systems.

If you have that afternoon energy slump, take a 10minute break – short walk and deep breathing, or stretching and rhythmic breathing. Drink a glass of water.

If you would like guidance on how to improve your health and energy levels, make an appointment with Michele Ph: 0448 287 621.