When you constantly feel tired your life can be negatively impacted. It may: render you unable to concentrate for any length of time, make the thought of any form of exercise the stuff of nightmares, be the cause of bad moods, anger and possibly even trigger anxiety.
If you are suffering from fatigue your diet could be a contributing factor and is the easiest place to make changes to put you on the road to feeling more energised.
Last weekend I said goodbye to my sister and her fiancé for another year and headed home feeling completely lost. The feeling was more than missing my sibling it was an all-encompassing state that I couldn’t escape.
Once home I felt so extremely exhausted I didn’t know where to put myself. It was difficult to raise myself from the couch which is not like me at all. As the day progressed I felt as if my body was going into shut-down. My joints ached and for some reason, my sinus was worse than ever.
That night I slept like a rooster at dawn and the next day I wandered around like something out of Zombie Dawn Of The Dead with 50 shades of dark circles under my eyes.
Those of you who follow my blog will know I live a reasonably healthy lifestyle and have a good diet.
To feel tired and this washed out as well as achy in what seemed like every part of my body is foreign to me. Even my stomach was getting in on the act by being bloated and gassy.
Lying around doing nothing, I had time to contemplate what could be wrong.
Over the last few weeks with my sister visiting, I consumed alcohol every day. Sometimes only a glass of red at night but sometimes a glass of Rose at lunch and a couple of glasses of red at night and maybe even a liqueur too.
Not in any great quantity. A small piece of chocolate here, a couple of Maltesers there and some disgusting popcorn that called itself salted caramel but was the devil in disguise on account of the way it upset my stomach every time I went near it. My obvious inability to keep from going back for more is possibly down to hope that the next sneaky handful would miraculously be okay.
The situation wasn’t completely dire but it could have easily escalated into something I couldn’t back out of due to the addictive nature of sugar.
Who doesn’t love a good bit of ripe camembert on that protein-rich platter for lunch and a couple of chunks to go with that red wine at night?
My dairy consumption went up so much while we were away the local cheesemakers were rubbing their hands in glee.
Among the less serious side effects of drinking alcohol regularly are:
Also, as there are carbohydrates involved we must contend with higher blood sugar levels.
Whoa! So, the increased alcohol intake can probably account for half the way I am feeling but what about the other half.
The premise that alcohol, particularly red wine, in small amounts is good for you is not based on solid evidence. I am very sorry to say that no amount of alcohol can be called safe.
In its various forms, is delicious.
But and it’s a big BUT. It’s highly inflammatory. Second only to gluten.
It causes inflammation in a big percentage of the population which can lead to digestive issues, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation. Hmm, do you see what I see?
Sugar is also highly inflammatory and will lead to increased insulin levels which will result in a ‘sugar crash’ leaving you fatigued and without energy.
These same elevated insulin levels will also lead to increased inflammation which will cause the aches and pains.
When you eat sugar, you get that lovely high immediately after eating it, this is the insulin coursing through your body on its way to cause inflammation anywhere there is a weak point. Oh, my achy back!
After a while, as the insulin is distributed to the cells the resultant dip in your blood sugar makes you (drum roll please) feel tired. Off to bed, you go feeling nicely sleepy and looking forward to a great night’s rest.
Not to be, the lower blood sugar causes a stress response in your body, and both cortisol and adrenaline levels will increase, which could wake you or at the very least cause restlessness.
For help with cutting back on sugar and dairy in your diet check out this free PDF below.
Which results in more cortisol, and insulin as well as less dopamine and serotonin so sleep becomes even more difficult.
It is a vicious cycle which becomes difficult to free yourself from.
Thanks to my pre-holiday foundation of healthy eating I will come out of this easily.
I can expect to be ravenously hungry for the next few days. Lack of sleep and stress can increase the production of Ghrelin in the body which is an appetite stimulant. That can be difficult to get through but in the words of my wise daughter. “If you only just ate something an hour ago you are probably not hungry. Try having a glass of water instead.”
Another piece of advice given to me by a Health Coach friend was that I don’t need to eat and drink outside of my normal diet to enjoy the company of others. In fact, if I was more mindful of my diet I could possibly enjoy the time with my family more. I think she will make a great health coach.
If you feel tired or constantly fatigued and the symptoms persist it is important that you seek medical advice as there may be other underlying problems.
For more on fatigue check out this article here.