Are you Always Tired? Vitamin D Can Help
Feeling tired on a regular basis is a normal part of everyone’s life but it is something you can control with lifestyle modifications. Fatigue can be a common symptom of a more serious condition and we will discuss what blood work to get to rule out any serious diseases, but in most cases, it can be resolved with simple lifestyle adjustments.
1 Poor Diet- Diet plays a bigger role than what is just on your plate. Eating properly won’t just effect your waistline but it will affect the way you feel from the inside out. Eating a diet rich in protein, complex carbs, and good fats will keep your energy levels up and fatigue at bay. If you recall our previous blog posts, you know when you eat refined carbs throughout the day, your blood sugar spikes and in turn insulin is released from the pancreas which causes your blood sugar to drop and you start to crash and feel tired. These simple carbs are causing you to feel tired throughout the day. What you should do instead is eat complex carbs, such as whole grains and vegetables, which take longer to digest and won’t cause sudden blood sugar rises and insulin spikes. This translates into steady energy levels all day.
2 Not Eating Enough- Harvard Health Publishing issued a warning stating eating too few calories and not meeting the minimum calorie requirement our bodies need to sustain itself will lead to calorie deficit tiredness. Going on crash diets deprive you of vital vitamins and nutrients and don’t supply your body the calories it needs to meet energy requirements. We all need energy to fuel our bodies basic functions and when we don’t have enough calories to obtain that fuel, our bodies will compensate by slowing down our internal workings. Your heart rate will start to slow down, breathing will become slower, metabolism starts to decrease, amongst others. All of these processes leads to fatigue and weakness. If you are trying to lose weight the best thing you can do is to calculate your macronutrients and then see how many calories you need to eat to reach your goals. Be sure to incorporate strength training into your exercise regimen to gain muscle and to keep the weight off.
3 Inadequate Sleep- Lack of sleep leads to poor cognitive function, bad mood, loss of focus, emotional distress, and fatigue. Each person is different but on average most people need between 6-8 hours of sleep to get restful sleep. As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the next day waiting for a nap, you’re not getting enough sleep. You can get by with lack of sleep for a few days but overtime the loss of sleep will start to affect your overall health. To combat this, go to bed early, plan ahead, and put yourself on a sleep schedule to stay well rested and energized.
4 Lack of Water- Dehydration is common amongst athletes and non-athletes alike. It is estimated that almost 75% of Americans are not drinking enough water. By the time you are thirsty, your body has already lost 2-3% of body fluids. When this occurs, the fluid loss causes a drop-in blood volume making the heart have to work harder to push oxygen and other nutrients into your cells and muscles. This leads to weakness and fatigue as your body is not getting the adequate blood flow it needs for nutrients. To combat this is to ensure you drink at least eight, eight ounces of water daily. Your total intake of course depends on your age, size, and medical condition so drink what is safe for you but be sure to stay hydrated.
5 Stressed out – Stress causes fatigue and is an energy drainer. Whether its emotional or physical stress there is nothing more frustrating than being under attack inside your own body and feeling trapped. Feelings of helplessness, anger, fear, and anxiety cripple our minds and bodies and drain our energy for days or even weeks on end. Until you get to the root cause of your stress you will likely feel the weight of the burden inside of you slowly start to manifest itself outwardly. You feel tired, fatigued, and exhausted at all times and the only way to cure yourself is to eliminate the source of your stress from the cause as much as possible. Pause and take time for yourself, enjoy your leisure activities, spend time with friends and family who truly care about you, eat your favorite dessert, but most importantly do what makes you happy. There is nothing more liberating than putting yourself first and taking care of your wellbeing. Once you do this, you will start to feel your energy levels rise and your health back on track.
If you already tried some of these life style factors and you are still feeling exhausted, then it’s time to see your physician and get some blood work done. Two tests you should consider getting is your thyroid level and Vitamin D levels.
Thyroid Blood Test- Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland that sits below your larynx that belongs to the endocrine system. Your thyroid gland is responsible for hormone and metabolism regulation. Fatigue is common symptom of hypothyroidism [an underactive thyroid], which occurs because there is a decrease in thyroid hormone production. It’s important to get your levels checked to ensure your thyroid is what’s actually causing you to feel exhausted. A simple blood test will tell you how well your thyroid is functioning, if it is imbalanced your physician will start you on a thyroid hormone replacement medication which will regulate your levels and help relieve your symptoms. In addition to feeling fatigued you should get your levels checked if you are experiencing unexplained weight gain, are anemic, have cold intolerance, hair fall, or dry skin. These ailments can possibly be treated with a simple blood test to find the root cause of these issues.
Vitamin D Blood Test- The symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency are subtle and usually non-specific which is why this blood test often gets over looked. If you have constant fatigue, poor immune function, muscle pain, lower back pain, or mood fluctuations then it could be a sign that you are low on Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not only important for bones but is important to prevent and regulate common diseases such as depression, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and other autoimmune conditions. The first thing you should do if you think you are low on Vitamin D is get at least 15 minutes of uncovered sun exposure a day, this does not include tanning beds! Our bodies are sophisticated enough to convert sunlight into Vitamin D naturally.
A simple blood test will determine if you are Vitamin D deficient. If you are severely deficient than you will need to take a weekly prescription dosage until your levels are normal than continue on a maintenance dose to stay in the favorable range of 25-45 ng/ml. A good maintenance dosage is 2,000 IU a day. An ideal Vitamin D supplement will be made from D3. D3 is the form of the Vitamin produced in the skin when its exposed to sunlight and it’s a more potent form of the Vitamin then D2. When compared to D2, D3 has a longer half-life, is more readily available to be converted to D3 in the body, and it increases Vitamin D blood levels quicker than D2.
Our Salaam Nutritionals Halal and Kosher Vitamin D3 gummies are made from the active form of D3 and contain 2,000 IU, the ideal combination for an effective yet tasty gummy vitamin.
Lifestyle changes in combination with blood tests can help you identify and effectively treat and manage any fatigue you are experiencing.