Exhaustion, also known as fatigue, can leave us feeling absolutely dreadful. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Read on to learn more.
Exhaustion is used as a catch-all phrase but there are actually different types of exhaustion. Some common types that people experience include:
• Liver Exhaustion
• Kidney/Adrenal Exhaustion
• Stress Exhaustion
• Exhaustion as a Result of Poor Diet
The liver is the main organ for breaking down hormones after they have served their messenger function. If the insulin is not broken down quickly enough, hypoglycemia occurs as the insulin is still lowering the blood sugar levels in the body. If estrogen is not correctly metabolised, PMS results. Exhaustion of the liver results in fatigue, depression, dark circles under the eyes, nausea, and hypersensitivity to foods and chemicals.
Liver exhaustion leads to a buildup of toxins in the body. Therefore it is important to ease the burden on your liver and this is best done through a cleansing or detoxification. This can be done through diet or by the use of liver cleansing and supporting herbs.
Kidney exhaustion can also be called adrenal exhaustion as the kidneys are responsible for supporting the adrenals in the body. Bags underneath the eyes and swollen red eyelids mean that the kidneys are very congested. If the kidneys are weak, fluids can be accumulated and retained. Foods that support the kidneys include watermelon, buckwheat, onions, beans, grapes, berries, seaweed, watercress, and barley. Beta carotene, B complex vitamins and vitamin E all help. Warming herbs for the kidneys reduce mucus, revive the kidney yang and boost the immune system.
Stress is a natural part of life but too much stress is extremely detrimental towards our health. An excess of stress causes negative emotions such as frustration, anger, and depression, and these disrupt sleep, alter eating habits, reduce the motivation to exercise and distract from clear thinking. The stress also activates various hormones in the body which cause a physical toll on the system, contributing to fatigue. For example, heart rate and blood pressure levels increase.
For this reason, it is important to learn how to respond to stress. Use relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathwork, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. Look for stress management techniques to help you deal with stressful situations as they arise. Also take control of the issues that you are able to. For example, if you have pressure at work, look for ways to alleviate it. Try delegating, or simply saying that you don’t have time to take on that extra project. Learn to say no to people that are making demands of you that you don’t feel can be met.
When it comes to exhaustion, the foods we eat make a major difference. This makes sense considering that food is the fuel for the body. Firstly, always make the time to eat breakfast. Studies have shown that people that eat breakfast are in a better mood and have more energy throughout the day. It is interesting to note that thirst can disguise itself as fatigue. Even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you feel fatigued after a good night’s sleep, try cutting down on alcohol during the evening.
You also need to keep your blood sugar levels balanced so that the flow of energy to the body is constant. If you eat foods that are high in sugar, the blood sugar level will spike, giving you a short term energy boost but leave you feeling fatigued later. Wholegrains are a good choice of food as they provide a slow, steady release of fuel, normalising blood sugar levels and keeping energy levels consistent.
Food intolerances or allergies are one of the most common causes of fatigue in the body. In fact, you may be fatigued and not suffer from any other symptoms. If you do suffer from a food allergy, every time you eat the offending food, you are introducing something foreign into the body, resulting in the immune system attacking the food. The immune system expends a lot of energy doing this and the end result is fatigue. To find out which foods may be causing trouble for you, an elimination diet may be recommended. This is where certain foods are taken out of the diet and then gradually reintroduced until the culprit is found. Once the culprit is identified, it is generally a matter of eliminating it from the diet as much as possible.
Ensure that there is sufficient magnesium in your diet. It plays a critical role in the reactions that generate energy within the body and good dietary sources include nuts and green vegetables. Low iron levels can cause fatigue and a low mood so ensure that you get plenty of iron in your diet through red meat sources and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron into the body. Avoid caffeine as while it provides an energy spike, the fatigue is worse as it wears off.
Being sedentary for too long a period of time can actually cause exhaustion within the body. This is because the body is designed to move, and when it is not moving, all of the systems in the body slow down. A more active lifestyle can improve your energy levels. This is not necessarily regular trips to the gym – you can simply go for a walk, ride your bike, garden, or even stretch. It is recommended that you get 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. If you are time poor, the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can break the 30 minutes into 10 minute blocks and still feel the beneficial effects.
Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation in your life. They are repeated many times in order to drive the statement into the subconscious mind and bring about a positive action. Using positive affirmations can help you to feel more alive and less exhausted as they help you to change things in your life that impact upon you negatively.
For example, you may believe that you are incapable of finding the time to exercise or feel like you don’t deserve to exercise. By repeating an affirmation such as “My body is strong, because I make it strong”, you begin to change negative thought patterns and actually want to find the time to include a new exercise regime in your day.
Exhaustion can cause a person to give up on things, things that may actually help to bring you out of exhaustion. You may feel like that there’s no point in eating a healthy diet because you feel bad anyway, so you may as well have that takeaway. A positive affirmation such as “I can do this” helps to break self-defeating behaviours, and puts you on the path to more positive living.