STRESS MANAGEMENT

Are you tired of feeling tired?
By Dr Leah Murray on May 15, 2024
Fatigue is such a common symptom these days and one that needs to be addressed holistically.
A systems-based approach is always a good way to consider possible contributing factors:

1. GUT

Always my favourite thing to sort out first.
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Are you absorbing nutrients well? Get your IRON, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D checked with your doctor.
Are you particularly tired and sluggish after eating a meal? Try a low inflammatory diet (no sugar, cow’s dairy, gluten and alcohol for a month) and check your stomach acid with this simple Bicarb Test - put 1/2 tsp Bicarb of Soda in 1/4 cup of water and see if you burp within 5minutes or not. Sounds silly but its just physics - you should burp because you should have acid in the stomach. If you DONT BURP then try adding apple cider vinegar to meals (1tsp per meal either as a dressing or in a little water and sipped throughout the meal) to stimulate stomach acid and aid digestion.
TIRED with frequent heartburn? check your iron levels and consider sending stool sample to the lab to check for blood if stools are black or very dark (chat to your GP.) Try the 25 Day Gut Reset – Heartburn Relief first.
25 Day Gut Reset – Heartburn Relief
TIRED and frequently feel bloated? Do the 25 Day Gut Reset – Bloating Relief to address why this might be and to help resolve it.
25 Day Gut Reset –Bloating Relief

2. SLEEP

Poor quality and not enough sleep is an obvious cause of fatigue.
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Best sleep practices involve:

Be in bed ready for sleep by 10pm latest (it’s the hours before 1am that count!)
No screen time at all for at least an hour before bed.
Hot shower or bath, with lavender/Epsom salts, before bed.
Cool room, dim the lights for an hour before bed.
No caffeine after 12:00AM
Address sleep apnoea if present
Exposure to morning light and exercise in the day also help
Magnesium (threonate / glycinate) can help too
Cut out alcohol for a month and reassess sleep quality
“Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body for health”
ANDREW HUBERMAN

3. STRESS

Stress is a tricky bugger.
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So many of us can’t do much about the circumstances that are causing us stress, the only thing we CAN do is adjust our STRESS RESPONSE and make sure that when we can, we stimulate the PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS system – which is the opposite to the FIGHT or FLIGHT nervous system.
  • Breathwork techniques: check out Alternate Nostril breathing, the ‘Square breath’ and others
  • Daily brisk walks in nature
  • Lots of time spent in nature
  • Keeping the bigger picture in mind – prioritising how much mental and emotional energy you give to the small stuff.
  • Cut back on strenuous exercise if you’re constantly tired, gentler exercises like walking and yoga might be more attuned to what you need right now, and remember that strenuous exercise and fasting (skipping meals) when we’re stressed places more stress on the body and might be contributing to your fatigue.
  • Adaptogens – there are a multitude of great adaptogens available at health shops – best discussed with your Functional doctor which would be the best choice for you.

4. HORMONES

Consider checking thyroid, testosterone and screen for insulin resistance

4. FULL WORK UP

If you have tried all above and your fatigue persists then check in with an Integrative / Functional doctor for a full work up to delve deeper, especially if your fatigue is post-COVID / post-viral fatigue.

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