There seems to be never enough hours in the day to get things done. Well, this is especially true if you have to take a nap mid-day. Or if you don’t have the privilege to lie down, you may be experiencing symptoms like difficulty concentrating, lack of interest, moodiness, irritability, weight gain, or even depression. So, you hit the coffee bar and order an espresso drink thinking it will help “get you through the day”. This paints a picture for many. But the days we have are precious and should never be taken for granted. Whether it is affecting you at work, or just getting things done around the house, it can get severe if underlying conditions are not managed. Usually, this doesn’t happen overnight. There may have been signs along the way that were missed. Troubleshooting your lack of energy can help make the most out of your day.
It is very easy to test Vitamin D levels in the blood. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin D and daily multivitamins don’t provide enough. Compelling research has demonstrated that vitamin D blood levels in the range of 50 to 80 ng/mL are associated with reduced mortality and a lower risk of common diseases.1 Also, if your vitamin D value is low, it is likely that your hormones are affected. Adults, can safely take 5,000 IU per day of a vitamin D supplement.
For many people, especially if they are gaining weight, they think that their thyroid is to blame for lack of energy. Dry skin, hair loss, and feeling cold all the time are other symptoms of low thyroid.
Often, small variations in thyroid levels that are within the medically normal range can create severe symptoms. Thyroid function should never be based on just testing the TSH and T4 in the blood. Levels vary day to day, even hour to hour, and often stabilize on their own.2 Other thyroid tests that should be included are T4 and T3. Since 80% of the most active T3 is produced outside the thyroid, environmental factors should be considered.
Altered thyroid function can be influenced by factors such as increased iodine intake, selenium, and vitamin D deficiency, exposure to radiation, exposure to pesticides, cigarette smoking, and even viral infections such as HPV or hepatitis C.3 It is necessary to comprehend the association between environmental agents and thyroid dysfunction to make sure you are correctly addressing the causes.
One specific endocrine disruptor that you are probably being exposed to is Bromide. If you are exposed to a lot of bromine, your body will not hold on to the iodine that it needs because iodine is important for the thyroid as well as other organs in your body.
- Check your bakery and bread labels for potassium bromate.
- Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is still used in Mountain Dew, Sun Drop, and AMP energy drinks even though PepsiCo announced in 2014 that they would discontinue the use of BVO.4 BVO is banned in Europe, India, and Japan.4
- Bromide can also be discovered in swimming pool treatments, plastics, and pesticides.
There are natural alternatives to manage and correct thyroid disease that may include vitamins, enzymes, homeopathic remedies and diet modification. However, in order to not waste time by guessing, it is recommended to get tested first.
B VITAMIN LEVELS
“B vitamins help provide energy by helping convert carbohydrates to glucose, and also are important in fat and protein metabolism.” Says Elson Hass, MD, and integrative physician and author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition. He also adds that “They’re important for the normal functioning of the nervous system and help bring relaxation to individuals who are stressed or fatigued.”
A balanced diet can be a helpful way to make sure you are getting all of your B vitamins. There are currently 8 essential B vitamins. Not all types of vitamin B do the same thing. Additionally, the different types of vitamin B all come from different types of foods. Vitamin B12, for example, is found primarily in meat and dairy products. Many vegans become deficient in B12 because of their dietary restrictions. B vitamins are also found in fruits and vegetables.
Many medications also cause depletion of B vitamins. These include but are not limited to: heartburn medications, diabetic medications, antibiotics, diuretics for high blood pressure, birth control, hormone replacement therapy.
The best way to determine your levels of anemia is to test a complete blood count (CBC) in the blood. Testing the serum Iron and Ferritin is also advised to determine the levels of available iron and your back-up supply. Supplements can help to prevent or correct B vitamin depletions in just a short period of time when correct dosing recommendation and serial testing is done.
Eating frequent smaller meals throughout the day versus few large meals can help maintain steady sugar levels and avoid the mid-afternoon slump. These meals and snacks should consist of protein, vegetables, healthy fats, some fruit, and high-quality carbohydrates such as whole grains.
The best way to use food as energy is to pay attention to the glycemic index, which measures how quickly sugar from food is absorbed into your bloodstream. Foods with a high glycemic index, like simple carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, and cereal, increase blood sugar levels right away, but this leads to an insulin spike which usually ends in a “sugar crash”. However, eating foods with a low glycemic index are absorbed more slowly and can provide steady energy levels.
Common foods with lower glycemic index:
- All peppers
Also, be sure you are eating enough protein throughout the day. Try to have a protein source with every meal and/or snack. Protein takes longer than carbohydrates to break down, which means longer lasting energy. Healthy snacking options include: celery with peanut butter or almond butter, a hard-boiled egg, raw vegetables with hummus dip, nuts and seeds (raw and unsalted is preferred). Note: If your Iron or Ferritin levels are high, you may have to limit or avoid beef. This can be determined by testing these levels in the blood.
Exercise can change the body at a cellular level. The more you exercise, the better your metabolic rate is, at which you burn food and obtain energy.
Studies on treating fibromyalgia say that exercise was the only treatment that has strong evidence of being effective. Another one calls exercise a first-line treatment.5 For most people who are chronically fatigued or diagnosed with fibromyalgia, exercising is easier said than done. With that in mind, the most important thing to consider is how you approach exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym and put in an hour of time. You can reap the benefits of physical movement by just going on a walk, or doing a stretching routine. Everyone starts at different fitness levels. Being realistic and staying within your limits can help build tolerance and keep a positive mindset to exercise more frequently.
If you are confused about where to start, or if you feel like you have tried everything and nothing is working, a comprehensive blood analysis and hair tissue mineral analysis will test the foundation as a whole. This will take the guesswork out and get you on the right track. What has worked for someone you know, may be completely different than what will work for you. Contact us today to get started and improve your body safely and naturally.
1. Available at: https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/1/startling-findings-about-vitamin-d-levels-in-life-extension-members/page-01. Accessed March 15, 2016
2. Span, Paula. “Could Be the Thyroid; Could Be Ennui. Either Way, the Drug Isn’t Helping.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Apr. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/health/could-be-the-thyroid-could-be-ennui-either-way-the-drug-isnt-helping.html
3. Ferrari, Silvia Martina, et al. “Environmental Issues in Thyroid Diseases.” Frontiers in Endocrinology, Frontiers Media S.A., 20 Mar. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357628/
5. Dellwo, Adrienne. “Exercise for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” Verywell Health, https://www.verywellhealth.com/exercise-for-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-716045.