Feeling tired after a long day or busy week is normal. But what about an insidious tiredness that never truly goes away? If you have ever experienced the kind of tiredness that persists even after a night’s sleep or after just doing ‘the normal stuff of everday life’ you will know that it can feel akin to wading through treacle. People visiting their GP complaining of tiredness usually undergo the usual blood tests investigations only to be confounded when results are clear. GP surgeries have a term for these patients ‘TATT’s’ [Tired All the Time], not helpful for a person struggling to drag themselves through each day with no real answers.
So what might be causing such persistent tiredness? The answers may surprise you!
1. Are you spiking your blood sugar?
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With so much conflicting advice on nutrition it is very easy to think you are choosing a healthy diet. What we know is, there is so much hidden sugar in foods like soup, bread and ready meals, let alone fizzy drinks! Worryingly supposedly healthy snack alternatives like cereal bars and yoghurts and even raw fruit and fruit juice can cause your blood sugar levels to rise sharply, which will be followed by a dramatic fall in blood sugar levels. This will cause your energy to slump and you will crave more sugar. Over time, loading your system with sugar will impact energy production and can lead on to create long term problems like diabetes. The secret is to ensure you know which slow release carbohydrates and protein to have with each meal. For example, an oatcake with peanut butter will keep blood sugar levels balanced and are a great healthy snack.
2. Adrenal stress
There are those among us, who live life at a pretty fast pace. Some are adopting a new phenomenon called ‘sleep hacking’, a term for cutting out hours of sleep just to keep up with their highly pressurised lifestyle. Traits like perfectionism, needing to be in control and a drive to push yourself harder and harder to achieve and complete an ever growing to do list, without sufficient rest or downtime can trigger the adrenal response of fight or flight. This switch was designed to kick in occasionally and only when we are in danger of being eaten by a predator. In today’s 24/7 society, this switch gets stuck and can lead to adrenal exhaustion. A fatigue that persists can result in a complete health crash or chronic fatigue syndrome. If you suspect this consider a visit to a nutritional therapist or Chrysalis Effect practitioner, who will enable you to take an adrenal stress test, so you can get the right guidance and support.
3. Underactive Thyroid
A common cause of persistent tiredness is an undiagnosed thyroid problem.
This can be linked to adrenal fatigue or may be as a knock on effect of glandular fever in the past. The thing to remember here is that your GP can arrange a simple blood test to check this; however, their hands are tied and some tests are limited due to cost. So should you have this test and continue to feel tired? Do not leave it and seek out suitable practitioner who would want to test thyroid function including Free T3, FreeT4 and RT3 as well as B12 and Vitamin D.
4. Doing the wrong job
Once the physical stuff has been checked out it’s time to take a good look at what else may be causing tiredness. Review your career or business. Ask a simple question. Do I love what I do? If the answer is yes, that is great news because without doubt one of the major causes of tiredness is due to unhappiness with your job. If the answer is No ask yourself if there was nothing in my way, what would I absolutely love to do?
5. Relationship issue
Have you noticed how you can feel energised when you are around some people and drained around others? Check this out. Tap into how your body feels when you are with people both at home and at work. Is there something they are doing that you are putting up with or is there an honest conversation you need to have with someone? Stay well away from people who rob you of your energy.
Some of us were born to live on a farm; some of us would rather stick pins in our eyes and crave the buzz and noise of the bustling city. What is it for you, a modern high rise or old stone cottage? Notice how you feel in your own home or in your work space. Are you happy and at peace or drained and restless? Do you need to rethink your space or even move house to balance your energy?
7. Lack of creativity
Do you remember being a kid and spending hours colouring, painting, moulding plasticine or making things out of old cardboard boxes? How about singing in a choir, writing poetry or stories? As adults all too often we stop doing simple things that inspire our creativity and bring us joy. Remember what you used to love doing and start again!
8. Movement is life
We need to move our bodies! Computers, TV’s and cars are fantastic, but are sedentary activities and have a lot to answer for in reducing the flow of energy in our bodies. Even the weekly food shop is often delivered, people drive to a gym to walk on a machine even when the sun is shining outside! Choose regular and varied exercise that you enjoy and notice your energy levels rise.
9. Disconnection from nature
Everything in the natural world is energy. We need to plug into source energy as often as possible to recharge and replenish our reserves. Notice how you feel just spending time with animals, walking in the countryside, being close to a lake or the sea. These are all ways to re-connect.
10. Supressed painful emotions
When unexplained tiredness persists it can often be traced to the suppression of a loss, trauma or bereavement. In many cases these events may have happened many years ago, so the sufferer does not make the link; once the pain is processed and released the tiredness will subside.