Sleepiness and Lack of Energy – Regaining Your Youth
Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
How many times have you said to yourself “I just can’t move, I feel like my legs are full of lead,” or at the end of the day, you are so tired you can barely stand up.
Excessive fatigue during menopause is usually caused by poor sleep due to hot flashes. Once the hormones stabilize, sleep typically returns to normal, and energy returns.
Energy levels depend on a number of factors some psychological and others are physiological. Some functional causes of fatigue are: low blood sugar, anemia, underactive thyroid, and adrenal glands that are not functioning optimally. Each condition can be the result of several factors, but nutrition is sometimes the one that is most frequently overlooked. Our bodies can no longer process toxic foods as efficiently.
So here are some tips:
- Low blood sugar – If you have not eaten in several hours you will most likely feel tired, lethargic, weak, have a headache, lack clarity, and crave sweets. Be sure to eat on a regular basis good, healthy, nutritious food. Simple carbohydrates and sugars, such as white flours and candy, are only going to make the problem worse. Other factors that influence blood sugar levels are stress, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes.
- Anemia – This relates to the amount of hemoglobin in the blood which is essential for many processes in the body. It can lead to dizziness, faintness, loss of memory, nervousness, drowsiness, irritability, ringing in the ears, black spots in front of the eyes, rapid heartbeat, numbness, and cravings for things such as ice and dirt. It is imperative that women get enough iron on a daily basis. Sources of iron include: liver, ground beef, dried apricots, blackstrap molasses, beans, cooked spinach, and chicken. In most cases, iron is poorly absorbed in the body, and vitamin C is recommended for better absorption. A variety of ironsupplements are available. Look for heme iron which is absorbed more easily by the body. Take this supplement with meals. Other factors that may contribute to anemia are folic acid and B12 deficiency.
- Underactive thyroid – This indicates that your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone for the body. It can lead to not only fatigue, but also weight gain, sensitivity to cold, constipation, loss of hair, dry skin, puffy eyes, and cold hands and feet. All of these symptoms may be indicative of other medical problems also. It may result in elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. All women should be tested for a thyroid condition. Be sure to be tested for TSH, free and total T4 and T3. Many physicians do not test T3. Other causes of underactive thyroid are iodine deficiencies, a low level of tyrosine, which is an amino acid, and selenium and zinc.
- Sluggish adrenals – This is caused by constant stress on a daily basis. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, inability to concentrate, heart irregularities, difficulty getting out of bed, tender spots in the muscles, throat irritation, and low blood pressure. Some ways to get your adrenals back in check are to increase your DHEA levels, which will protect against the overproduction of cortisol, take time to relax, and void highs and lows in blood sugars by eating a well balanced diet full of nutrients.
There are also herbs available to increase energy. It is recommended that you consult a professional prior to using anything.
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