Are you dragging yourself out of bed each morning dreading the day ahead because you are so exhausted, but have a ‘to do’ list as long as your arm?
Do you often ask yourself: “Why am I so tired?”
Sometimes it’s a combination of factors making you feel so tired.
Tired and exhausted mums overanalyse things, often when they are trying to get to sleep! (I’m guilty of this too!) We often like to find a solution, so that we can get onto fixing the problem right away! It’s a part of our mumsy DNA, we are faced with daily problems that we are expected to fix, like “Where are my shoes?” or “I can’t find my sports uniform”.
You have thought of many reasons why you might be so tired, your days are busy and hectic but other mums’ days are too and they don’t seem to be as tired as you. You have tried a daily vitamin pill, you are in bed by 10.30pm, you drink lots of water, but none of it seems to work. The time soon comes around to 3.30pm and you either need toothpicks to keep your eyes open or you grab the closest sugar hit for an energy boost.
I have detailed “9 reasons why you might be so tired” which, during my nine years in clinical practice I have found contribute to fatigue.
Over the next few months, I will post in more detail how each point may be bringing your energy down. But here is a quick review for now.
- Underactive thyroid – your thyroid gland is responsible for metabolism and general energy production. There are many factors that can cause thyroid problems. Gluten, inflammation, genetics, environmental toxins, selenium and iodine deficiency and stress are all possible factors of fatigue. In 90% of underactive thyroid problems the cause is an auto-immune condition known as Hasimoto’s disease.
- Nutrient deficiencies – a classic symptom of iron deficiency is fatigue. Many factors can contribute to low iron levels; the most accurate way to find out your iron levels is to go for a blood test. Please do not self diagnose and self prescribe as excess iron can be toxic. Vitamin B12 deficiency may also be a factor in low energy.
- Food intolerance – this can present in many ways, and may occur at the time of eating or anywhere up to 24 hours later. The food that is causing it might not be obvious as some days you are ok with a suspect food but other days you may not be. These intolerances may cause inflammation within your digestive tract, also known as leaky gut. This allows larger proteins to ‘leak’ into the bloodstream, these can directly affect your immune system, making it over sensitive. Leaky gut can also reduce the absorption of some nutrients.
- Digestive problems – food intolerance may be a cause but digestive problems can affect the upper and lower digestive tract. You may find that after you eat, food feels as though it just sits in your stomach making you feel extremely full, you may notice that by the end of your day, your stomach is bloated and tender, not to mention making your clothes feel very tight! Your bowels might be very sluggish and not moving as frequently as they should be.
- Depression – a constant sleepiness/exhausted feeling can present with depression. Other feelings such as sadness, emptiness and hopelessness may also be expirenced. You may feel like sleeping all the time or find that it’s impossible to switch off, spending many hours awake.
- Stress and anxiety – a little bit of stress is actually good for the body! But when stress becomes the only thing that keeps you going, you know that once you stop you will crash and unfortunately, one day you will definitely crash. Are you falling asleep on the couch at night but once you go to bed – ping – you are wide awake, thinking, worrying, thinking, stressing? Stress and anxiety can be quite consuming on your energy.
- Adrenal fatigue – your adrenal glands secrete the number one stress hormone – cortisol. If you are under constant stress for many months or even years, your body can no longer keep up with demand and you begin to head into a burnout stage. You are sleeping long hours but still have no energy, you either have a constant cold or you always feel that you are about to get one. You just feel exhausted.
- Poor sleep – do you find that once you have dragged your tired body to bed, your mind decides that it is ready to analyse a few things – over and over and over again? An hour passes and you are still exhausted but not asleep! Or is it the 3am-5am wake- up that really gets the mind ticking, when all you can think about is how tired you are going to be and how difficult it will be to get through your hectic day?
- Poor diet – remember the old saying “You are what you eat”? – Well, put simply, if you eat crap, you will feel like crap! We all know this, you have a little binge on some chocolate or sweet biscuits and then half an hour later, your energy is back to rock bottom and you feel crap! Sometimes just ensuring that you have some protein and good fats in your meal can go a long way towards balancing your energy.
Have you been nodding along while reading this, identifying yourself with some of the reasons? Suffering from just one of these is exhausting but when there are a few reasons how on earth do you even work out how to start getting better?
I would love to help you feel better again. My thirteen years’ experience working with mums with all of these conditions has enabled me to put this list together. I would like to help you find the cause of your tiredness and help you feel energised, happy and healthy again.
If you are ready to get your health back on track, I offer a FREE 20 minute health chat, were we discuss your health concerns and talk about easy, practical and family friendly ways to get you feeling better again.