Always Tired? Here Are A Few Tips On How To Fix Your Fatigue
Always tired? Here's a list of tips to make sure you fix your fatigue effectively.
Tired. Tired. Tired. Always tired? If that is the state you find yourself in, very often these days, then something is obviously not quite right with you.
I see a lot of people living like this - complaining but not taking it seriously enough to do something about it.
It is very important to figure out what is actually sapping your energy and exhausting you, to figure out how you can reverse it.
Feeling Tired Is Not A Serious Problem
This is a myth as constant, unexplained tiredness could be indicating a hidden issue, a not yet detected disorder like anaemia (due to low haemoglobin levels), thyroid, liver or kidney problem etc, a deep set deficiency of vitamin D or vitamin B12 (as these are crucial nutrients for the energy transfer process from the food to the cells), or an hormonal imbalance that needs to be looked into.
Often a traumatic event (like a divorce or death of a close one), too much stress, or an emotional trauma could have a say too.
Do this: If your tiredness is chronic, lasting more than six months, and is so severe that you can't manage your daily activities, then you need to see your doctor.
You Feel More Tired During The Monsoon Season
This is a fact as when it is hot and humid outside, more blood flows near the skin to help cool the body down and keep the body’s temperature normal.
As a result less blood reaches the muscles – and this could lead to lethargy. Plus not drinking enough water during this season can lead to dehydration and even mild dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells and organs, resulting in fatigue.
Do this: In the July-August months (the wettest months), drink plenty of fluids and eat water logged foods (fruits and vegetables).
Cutting Off Fat Totally From The Diet Will Keep You More Active.
This is a myth as both eating excessive fat (makes you sluggish) as well as completely cutting it off are terrible ideas.
The truth is that including good fats in diet is essential to fight fatigue as they help reduce fluctuations in blood sugar levels and absorb essential for energy fat soluble vitamins in the body.
Do this: It helps to stick to the right kind – MUFA (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acids) from plant based oils and nuts and seeds.
Poor Digestion Can Lead To Tiredness
This is a fact as healthy energy production begins with healthy digestion. Poor gut is a number one case for poor absorption of nutrients that are essential for feeling energetic.
Do this: Your gut batteries will charge up better if you eat small meals at right times of the day and load up on good fibre (switch to whole grains, have oats for breakfast and enough vegetables and fruits).
Also include probiotics (fermented foods like kanji, kimchi, sprouts, curd, idli, dhokla, miso soup etc) daily in your diet to help your good gut bacteria thrive.
Exercising Tires a Person More
This is a myth as actually the best prescription for combatting tiredness is regular exercise as that (or any physical activity) helps get the heart rate up, the blood flowing and release endorphins, all of which help to raise the energy level.
Do this: Begin some form of moderate exercise (daily walks or gymming etc), and see your fatigue magically dissolve. 30 minutes, five times a week is great!
Eating Breakfast Is Important
This is a fact as skipping breakfast (or in fact any meal) is a sure fire recipe for fatigue.
Food is fuel. It keeps your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents the sluggish feeling that a drop in blood sugar causes.
Do this: Never skip breakfast and make sure you plate right foods.
Try to include one protein, some good fats (seeds, nuts) and one complex carbohydrates (whole wheat, oats, quinoa, millets) source in your breakfast.
Being Sleep Deprived Can Make You Feel Tired.
This is a fact as getting too little sleep not just negatively affects your concentration, but sleep debt build up can lead to fatigue too.
Do this: Stick to regular sleep timings as far as possible and try to unwind and relax a bit after switching off the laptop for the night.
Make a rule: no TV watching or net surfing from at least half an hour before going to sleep; these stimulate your mind and interfere with sleep.
It is better to read a bit or listen to some soothing music at bed time.
Coffee Can Help Beat the Afternoon Slump
This is a myth as too much coffee does more harm than help; the caffeine in it gives you a temporary lift but a slump follows soon enough.
Plus caffeine is a diuretic and dehydrates the body, which can stress the energy reserves in the body, besides aggravating adrenal exhaustion, which may lead to low blood sugar and amplify fatigue further.
Do this: Go easy on the number of coffee cups in a day. And no caffeine after 4pm in the evening.
It Could Be A Sign Of A Food Allergy
This is a fact as after meals fatigue could be a sign of a mild intolerance or allergy to a particular food.
Red meat, eggs, soya products, wheat and dairy products are common food allergens.
Do this: Try eliminating suspect foods one at a time to see if your fatigue improves, and get a food allergy test.
Diet That Looks More White Than Brown Can Be A Culprit
This is a fact as refined foods zap energy levels and are major dietary contributors to fatigue. On the other hand whole foods do the opposite.
Do this: Add some bran in your atta and pick up the whole wheat pasta, ans ban junk foods.
Also go easy on sugar and refined foods as they suppress the immune system, increase inflammation, lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar, followed by a crash (hypoglycaemia), that can cause fatigue and anxiety.
Continued Stress Can Make You Tired
This is a fact as mental strain - stress, sadness, anger - can completely wear you out. An overworked adrenal gland (due to stress) leads to over secretion of the fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline – and this may lead to sluggishness.
Do this: Beginning today snap out of these debilitating emotions (vent your feelings, let go of grudges, meditate) to stop fatigue from homing in. Also take technology breaks.
A few times during the day, close your e-mail, get off the social media and power off your phone.
Lunch hour is a good opportunity to do this, or settle for a 1hour distraction-free window in the evening.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and Fix it with foods.)
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