By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
When we do not look after ourselves adequately our bodies will start displaying symptoms such as fatigue, poor mood, poor memory, sluggish bowels, indigestion, poor sleep patterns and other health concerns. Often these go ignored or when treated, we rely on over-the-counter medications that act as a quick Band-Aid solution. Band-Aid solutions often don’t address the underlying cause and small health issues may then manifest into greater disease states.
Your body is its own best expert and it’s important NOT to let important issues go untreated or ignored. If you’re unsure and/or your symptoms persist then it’s important to see your doctor or health care practitioner — this will ensure that appropriate steps are taken if there is more to the picture and further investigation is required.
All too often it can be too easy NOT to:
Symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore:
Particularly very specific ones can indicate nutritional deficiencies along with emotional upsets and stress. Often people accept this while there may be an underlying health issue or emotional issue that needs addressing.
What to do: Learn more about what your cravings really mean and tips on how to work towards reducing those unhealthy cravings.
When you wake up in the mornings feeling like you need to go back to bed, you’re likely fatigued. This is often an indication that you are not sleeping soundly or enough. If you are sleeping extra hours and you feel that you sleep soundly and you are still NOT waking refresh then it may be time to see your doctor or health care practitioner to ensure there isn’t another important health issue such as anaemia, thyroid condition, immune dysfunction or a possible underlying chronic infection. Often people use caffeine and sugar to keep them going but this will aggravate the issue.
What to do: Make sure you are consuming enough magnesium, calcium, B vitamins and are incorporating stress management techniques and performing adequate exercise, will help ensure healthy sleep cycles. Get more tips on sleeping well and foods to improve sleep.
Dehydration (darker urine is a clear indication) can certainly cause headaches and often people reach for pain killers before a glass of water. Other causes can include: poor blood sugar control, chronic infections, hormonal dysfunction, eye strain, and nutritional deficiencies such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin B2 & B6, inadequate rest, excess stress and many other health concerns.
What to do: Being adequately hydrated is the first step towards reducing those pesky headaches, rest, healthier food choices and if they continue past a few days it may be indicated to see your doctor. Find out what foods we recommend for headaches and migraines.
Constipation is certainly something that should be addressed and corrected as a slow bowel may affect the health of the colon on a long-term basis thus increasing the risk of bowel cancer and may also contribute to fatigue and poor mood. Not feeling empty after a motion, the stools are dry and/or you are not emptying daily may indicate that you are constipated.
On the other hand, chronic diarrhoea may affect long-term nutrient absorption further increasing the risk of many health conditions such as osteoporosis. It always surprises me how people may become accustom to unhealthy motions and accept it as normal for them while a simple solution is just round the corner. It’s really important to know what’s normal.
Holding on too long can also increase constipated issues, if you got to go you got to go! Ignoring the need to urinate can also pose a possible risk for increasing urinary tract infections. Keep those kidneys flushed, hydrated and healthy. Learn more on how much water do I need to drink!
What to do: Supporting good bowel health with the consumption of adequate fibre in all forms such as insoluble, soluble and resistant starch, supporting a healthy gut flora, adequate movement of the body (exercise) and adequate hydration. Food intolerances can also play an important role in cases of IBS and irregular bowel patterns and may need to be investigated by your doctor.
This often indicates lack of well-balanced meals, snacks and regular healthy eating patterns. Often people when having an energy flag and experiencing a blood sugar slump will reach for refined snacks that will give them an energy hit but will further aggravate the issue causing continued poor eating habits and weight control.
What to do: Here are some great tips for improving your blood sugar levels.
You find yourself catching what everyone has all too often – we are constantly surrounded by bugs so it’s important that you take the time to look after yourself. Getting sick too often can be a sign of a poor immune system that may be a more serious issue, if you find that you are sick too often it can be a good idea to have some blood tests with your doctor.
What to do: Make sure you are sleeping well, eating well and managing any stress to support a healthy immune system.
This indicates that the person is receiving a reduced level of oxygen to the body and brain. There are some studies that indicate that snoring contributes to heart disease and dementia over a longer term. This can also cause excess fatigue due to reduced oxygen and healthy sleep cycles.
What to do: See your doctor to investigate possible sleep apnoea. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight may help reduce snoring and improve oxygen intake.
These vague symptoms are particularly common for people to ignore. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. This can unfortunately indicate heart problems and you may need medical attention ASAP. It’s always important to be safe rather than sorry.
What to do: Seek medical assistance.
Pain should always be addressed as it is an indication that that something is wrong. It’s the body defence mechanism to ensure that you do not further injure the tissue.
What to do: It’s important to find the source of the pain and address accordingly along with rest, icing and natural dietary anti-inflammatories.
Once you start paying attention and learning to be kind to yourself and your body, you will be onto a fantastic healthy new track!