'Tired all the time?
Are you feeling completely exhausted? It's so common in today's world that it's now known as "TATT" (tired all the time)
In over fifteen years of practicing as a Nutritional Therapist, tiredness is one of the most common complaints I see in Clinic. So many people report feeling exhausted, even though they may think that they are sleeping well, often this has been going on for months, sometimes even years.
At any given time, one in five people feels unusually tired, and one in 10 have prolonged fatigue, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Women tend to feel tired more often than men. Unfortunately, women can tend to ignore their increasing fatigue until it leads to other symptoms. By that time, the side effects of fatigue may become nearly constant. They include:
Feeling exhausted (mentally and physically)
Being tired even after sleep
Inability to bounce back from illness
Decreased sex drive
Poor short-term memory, confusion, irritability
Food cravings (particularly for sweets/carbs)
Getting a "second wind" after 6:00 PM that interferes with your ability to sleep later on
It is not usual to find anything physically wrong; however I encourage everyone to see their G.P and take a blood test to rule out medical causes such as anaemia, an underactive thyroid gland, or Diabetes.
Other possible causes contributing to constant fatigue can be chronic inflammation, food allergies and chemical sensitivities.
Tiredness can often be attributed to lifestyle factors, such as drinking too much alcohol, or having a bad diet. If you drink alcohol in the evening, it can tend to wake you in the middle of the night. If you drink a lot regularly, it can make you depressed and affect your sleep
Eating too little or eating the wrong foods can be a major cause of fatigue. If you start your day with sugary pastries your blood sugar will peak and crash, leaving you sluggish. So always eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein and complex carbohydrates, like eggs and wholemeal toast, to keep your energy levels stable.
If your tiredness gets worse after eating certain things you may have food intolerance. This is something that can be investigated in clinic, or you may want to try cutting out certain trigger foods and see if you feel better. In the case of coeliac disease, your body reacts badly when you have gluten, which is a substance found in foods like bread, cakes and cereals. According to the NHS around one in 100 people have coeliac disease. However, research suggests up to 90% of sufferers don't know they have it. Tiredness is a symptom of coeliac disease, as is diarrhoea and anaemia. Your GP can check if you have coeliac disease although you will need to eat gluten in your diet for at least six weeks before being tested.
In my experience one of the most common reasons for tiredness is an endocrine imbalance caused by over stressed adrenal glands. Known as adrenal fatigue, this occurs when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level, and is mainly associated with intense or prolonged stress. In the early stages you may or may not experience obvious signs of physical illness and yet you feel a general sense of being unwell, tired and worn out. People with this condition will often use coffee, highly caffeinated fizzy drinks and other stimulants in the morning to get themselves to function. As our stress response "fight or flight" is activated as part of our survival mechanism, it will override all other messages in the body. People who suffer with adrenal fatigue often have problems losing weight, falling pregnant, or digesting their food properly.
If you suspect that this could be an issue you may want to look at the work of Dr James Wilson. Dr Wilson not only holds 3 doctorate degrees and 2 master's in subjects ranging from microbiology, immunology and pharmacology, he also has a Ph.D. in Human Nutrition and is one of the founding members of the Canadian College of Naturopathic medicine. I have used his protocol many times with excellent results. If you would like to complete his adrenal Fatigue questionnaire it can be found at http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-theadrenal-fatigue-quiz
It's so common in today's world that it's now known as "TATT" (tired all the time)