Fatigued, Stressed, Depressed, Anxious?
One of the most common complaints I hear from my clients is that they are exhausted, stressed and depressed; and when I hear what they eat and how they live their live, it’s not surprising.
Many people are pushing their minds and body beyond their capability, and when their body says “enough”, they ignore it and push harder using caffeine, sugar and alcohol to keep going or relax. There is only so long this can go on without health problems.
Stress – Initially stress is dealt with by the release of Adrenaline which gives you extra energy to cope. It does this by raising your blood sugar, shutting down your digestion, releasing sugar stores and preparing your body for fight or flight. However the body can be under stress from stimulants or lack of nutrition.
Anxiety – If this extra adrenaline isn’t used in a physical way, you can feel anxious and wired and unable to sleep. This is why exercise can ease stress. If the stress continues, Adrenaline is replaced by a hormone called Cortisol which suppresses your immune system and increases blood sugar. If Cortisol secretion is prolonged, it can cause increased gastric acid (ulcers, heartburn and reflux, decreased bone formation and insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes). There are many foods and supplements which are calming.
Fatigue – This is usually due to poor diet (too much junk and sugar, business lunches, alcohol and lack of regular meals) and adrenal exhaustion. When the adrenal glands have been over-stimulated, they tire and in addition, Cortisol levels may fall. It is at this stage people often turn to caffeine, energy drinks and sugar to give themselves a boost, but these force the body to keep going. Our natural equilibrium of health will try and repair and recoup by demanding rest, causing us to feel fatigue. When the body is this tired, trying to go the gym or run will only cause more damage.
Depression – Eventually when the body is at exhaustion, the person feels tired, lethargic, irritable and unable to function and cope properly. They may struggle to meet the demands of work and family and feel they are failing. This can cause depression and anxiety.
What’s the answer ………..?
Diet – food high in wholegrains, protein and fat to balance blood sugar and provide energy. Foods low in sugar to prevent sugar crashes. Regular meal times. Reduced caffeine and energy drinks to allow the body to rest when it needs to. Reduced alcohol which destroys valuable nutrients and affects quality of sleep.
Supplements – to increase nutrients and relax the body
Adrenal Stress Tests to measure the amount of cortisol in the body
Exercise – Vigorous exercise occasionally for someone who is wired and hyped, but gentle yoga and walking for someone who is exhausted.
Sleep – placing importance on winding down, going to bed early and getting enough sleep, and increased sleep if adrenally exhausted
Lifestyle – Reducing working hours / travel time / or taking too much on. Building in relaxation time to watch films, listen to music or meditate.
Social – Enjoying a social life that doesn’t leave you more tired or hungover!
Contact Sam Silvester at Sam@whatseatingyou.co.uk or on 07767260374 for an Adrenal Stress Test or to find out how you can overcome Fatigue, Depression and Anxiety