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Health And Wellness

Why Am I So Tired? – Part II

Last week, I covered the main physical reasons why you are so tired. This week, we will focus on your mind and how it affects your energy levels. If you haven’t read last week’s blog post yet, catch up by reading it here first, then come back for part II.

You’re Focusing on the Negative

When you’re feeling like you can hardly function even after lying in bed for 10 to 12 hours, it can be really hard to focus on the positive aspects of your health — especially if you feel like you’ve tried everything and can’t find the help you need to feel better. Believe me, I can relate: I was literally given no help and support. I was told that this was my new normal, and I was just supposed to deal with it. This made it difficult to stay positive and caused me to focus on the negatives.

If you feel this way, I encourage you to focus on what you can do: What is one quick win you can achieve? This is how my programs are designed; we work on a few little things, and little by little, people feel motivated to keep going forward.

Your Nervous System Is Not Working Properly

Do you have anxiety? Are you overstimulated? Are you not getting the breaks you need throughout the day? Is your mind tired? If you’re just plugging away at things all the time, you’re going to stay in fight or flight mode. And if you’re constantly running from that proverbial saber-tooth tiger, you won’t be able to calm down and shut your brain off.

What you want is to get into that rest and digest state where your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in to help you achieve a state of calm. The way you do that is by stimulating the vagus nerve, which runs right behind the back of your ear, kind of at the base of your ear lobe on the mastoid bone right underneath on the back of your skull.

This is a whole other topic on its own, so if you’re curious to learn more, Google “stimulation of vagus nerve” to learn ways to calm yourself down. A few methods I recommend:

  • Use clove and lime oil on the mastoid bone
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Incorporate meditation and mindfulness
  • Walk in nature
  • Focus on restorative movement

You’re Not Getting the Support You Need

A running theme with the issues above is that they come about when people don’t have the resources and support, they need to find the right solutions for their fatigue. Ultimately, getting expert insights into your particular situation will help to identify the underlying causes of your fatigue.

My programs are designed to help people resolve their symptoms much faster than if they were to try addressing them on their own. With my new Health Reset Membership, people are able to reset their bodies in a short period of time while getting the support they need to stick with the program and make lasting changes to optimize their health.

If you’re looking for a program that’s tailored to your needs to overcome your fatigue, thyroid issues, or other health problems, this program could be exactly what you need to get on track. Right now, you can take advantage of founding membership pricing of $2,000 for a limited time. To learn more and get started, message me at hello@tiffanyflaten.com or visit https://tiffanyflaten.com/.

Why Am I So Tired? – Part I

In this two-part series, I am going to share the 7 main reasons why you are feeling so tired right now and provide you with information to help you tackle these issues so that you can start getting your body and your mind ready to fight fatigue. This week, I am going to share the top physical reasons why you may be feeling so tired right now and next week I’ll conclude the series by sharing with you the top mental blocks that are contributing to your fatigue.

The pressure of everyday life is starting to get to you. You feel tired all day, tired before bed, and tired the next morning. As time goes on, you’re feeling more and more fatigued. But does your fatigue have a physical cause?

Here are the top physical reasons why your fatigue isn’t getting any better, no matter what you’ve been doing.

You’re Eating the Wrong Foods

Oftentimes, people tend to eat for reasons other than fueling their bodies, focusing on things like calories, macros, or a certain way of eating, like keto, intermittent fasting, paleo, or vegan, for example. The problem is, we don’t know if those foods are actually healthy for you.

And it’s a little bit of a guessing game, because there’s no shortage of information about diets and nutrition out there. People will Google everything and look at all the information to try to find the best diet, not realizing that if they have other underlying conditions, symptoms, or medications they are taking, a particular way of eating could be causing things to get worse. And when they don’t get the results they want for their fatigue, weight loss, or other issues, then they quit doing anything altogether.

You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

If you’re not drinking enough water, you’re going to be more fatigued. But what if you’re also running yourself ragged and consuming a ton of caffeinated beverages? You may wind up drinking more of the things that are actually dehydrating and not compensating with enough water.

A good starting point is to take your weight in pounds by half and drink that in ounces daily. So, if you weigh, for example, 100 pounds, then you should drink 50 ounces of water. You may need to up your intake even more based on other factors like your exercise routine, the climate where you live, and the number of caffeinated drinks you’re drinking throughout the day.

Your Exercise Routine Is Working Against You

As humans, we are meant to move and not be sedentary. Some people make the mistake of thinking if they exercise more, they’ll build up endorphins, lose weight, and have more energy. However, in reality, certain kinds of exercises could actually be making your fatigue worse.

For example, if you’re doing CrossFit regularly, this is very hard on your body and causes more inflammation, more oxidative stress, and greater nutrient and hydration demands — going back to reasons #1 and #2 about proper nutrition and water intake, along with about being reactive versus proactive. Not to knock CrossFit and the like, but if you’ve had ongoing fatigue for many years, then this is probably not the workout for you.

Instead, I recommend moving your body in a way that’s more restorative and functional. If you’re fatigued, start with just walking every day and adding in some stretches for your body. Get your body moving in the morning and drink a glass of water before you even think about coffee.

You Are Reacting Rather Than Responding

I tell clients all the time: If you actually listen to your body and just get out of its way and let it do what it needs to do, then you’re going to be much better for it. Instead, many people will go into reactive mode — they’ll start Googling symptoms, listening to someone who has similar symptoms, and self-diagnosing the best treatment plan for themselves. Generally, this means loading up on a bunch of supplements or trying a certain diet plan that someone said worked for them.

What I advise instead is to take a proactive approach: Respond to what your body is telling you versus being reactive. That’s the premise of all the programs and services I offer. Using fatigue as an example, we’ll look at the underlying causes of that fatigue. If you’re not sleeping well through the night, why is that happening? We’ll look at the hormones, deficiencies, and nutrients that might be at play to get to the root of issues so you’re not just taking an Advil PM or a sleeping pill as a quick fix to get to sleep.

Don’t forget to check back next week for the conclusion of the 7 main reasons why you are so tired.

If you need more help creating a plan for your specific needs, book a free 30-minute call with me so we can talk through your goals, one step at a time.

What are Supplements and How Do I Know Which Ones to Take?

I was sick and sensitive to every kind of food when battling thyroid cancer. And, until I found the right combination of supplements, I wanted to throw up. I spent $80 to $100 on different quality supplements. But every time I took them, I was sick. No matter how much food I ate with them.

People who suffer from chronic conditions are out of balance. They have unbalanced blood sugar and hormones. As a result, they’re super fatigued and are in chronic pain. But they’re not getting any help from their doctor, so they take supplements.

Supplements are nutrients that people use to replace what they are lacking in their diet. They can either be sourced from food or are synthetic. However, some are marketed as essential but contain no substances that impact our bodies.

Yet, people buy these supplements because they were recommended on Instagram. They think it will make them feel amazing, but in reality, they feel no change and actually get sicker. Or maybe you bought a specific brand because it worked for your grandma, and you were surprised when it didn’t work for you. That’s why you need someone who has the expertise and understanding of how nutrients work together.

Here’s a look at how supplements can help with chronic illness and which ones to take.

What are the supplements I should take?

High quality

Many supplements don’t have an active effect when entered the body. One example is magnesium. There are many forms of magnesium, like Magnesium Threonate, which helps cross the blood-brain barrier to help people with anxiety. However, it’s not easy to find that form. So, people often buy magnesium oxide, thinking it’s the magnesium they need for their bodies. And then, suddenly, they have diarrhea, and that’s because the milk of magnesia is for constipation.

Maybe you’ve taken high-quality supplements before and then quickly needed to replace them, so you opt for a cheaper version over the counter. But unfortunately, you could be wasting your money because the lower-quality supplements won’t always have the same ingredients or worse.

Natural combinations

A problem in the last couple of years is that everybody is taking high doses of supplements. It’s good for zinc, for example, as it’s good for the immune system, thyroid health, and blood sugar. However, it drives the level of our copper stores down, and copper is important for joint health connective tissue.

You could be taking 10 different supplements and have no idea they are making you deficient in certain nutrients. So, you need a natural combination of supplements that produce a combined effect greater than their separate effects.

Regulate medication

It can be hard to find balance when you have a thyroid condition and do not have enough thyroid hormone. So, you need to be extra cautious when taking multivitamins and minerals. What happens is that your thyroid meds ad certain minerals like calcium will compete for absorption. So, you could be blocking the absorption of your thyroid medication, which will make you still feel like garbage.

I started taking a supplement and later had my thyroid numbers checked, and everything was up. My tumor markers increased, and I just flatlined. So, you must be super careful if you have a condition. You need to work with someone that can help you figure it out.

If you need help with a chronic condition, please see your healthcare provider for specific health care concerns. I can also help you find the supplements and vitamins you need for your body. Book a free 30-minute call with me so we can talk through your goals, one step at a time.

 

How Do I Help My Thyroid Work Its Best?

When people get diagnosed with a thyroid condition, their practitioner will often put them on Synthroid or some other T4 medication. Theoretically, everything should be good to go at this point — the pills should fix everything, and you should start feeling amazing again, right?

In reality, that’s not always the case, as medication alone does not necessarily fix the symptoms of thyroid disease. In the article below, I offer five things you need to have in check to help your thyroid work its best, but first, let’s look at some of the symptoms you might be having if your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally.

What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction?

If you have a thyroid condition, there could be several symptoms that you might be feeling, even if you’re taking medication. These are the top complaints I hear from people I work with and that I have encountered myself, too:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair thinning or falling out
  • Often feeling cold
  • Irregular female hormone cycles
  • Low libido
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Anemia
  • Food sensitivities
  • Allergies
  • Tendency to get sick
  • Inability to handle stress

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to find a practitioner who is willing to conduct a full thyroid panel to check for thyroid dysfunction. This includes testing TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and certain antibodies. Oftentimes, people go undiagnosed because their practitioner told them their labs were “normal,” even though they feel anything but. If you’re struggling to find a practitioner who can help you dig deeper into your symptoms, reach out to me and I can help you find someone.

In addition to checking thyroid hormones, you’ll want to check other hormones, too — including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and adrenal hormones. Together, these hormones need to be working in harmony for you to feel your best.

Optimizing Thyroid Hormones

Getting your hormones to work optimally may be easier said than done, and I can personally attest to how difficult that process can be. Coming off of thyroid cancer treatment, when we were working to optimize my thyroid hormones, my practitioner recommended I go on birth control pills to balance my female hormones. Desperate for a solution, I decided to give it a shot, despite the associated risk of having my cancer come back. Within just a couple months, my tumor markers went up — the very thing I was trying to avoid.

I know so many women who, like me, are desperate for answers and might resort to medication. And I totally get it — no judgments from me. However, it’s important to understand that even if you’re taking medication, you can support your thyroid with certain dietary and lifestyle changes and help your body feel its best. Here are five strategies I recommend:

  1. Eliminate processed foods as much as possible. Eating junk food can have a huge impact on proper thyroid function.
  2. Consider getting a micronutrient panel. This will tell you whether you have any nutrient deficiencies, down to the cellular level.
  3. Other things to check include levels of iron, iodine, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. Vitamin D is especially important for proper immune system function, and a vitamin D deficiency can show up as anxiety, depression, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions.
  4. Manage your stress. It sounds cliche but working on stress management can have a big impact on getting your thyroid functioning properly. Remember, you can’t control everything that happens in life, but you can control how you choose to respond to daily challenges. Even five minutes a day of mindfulness work or meditation is a great starting point. Also, you might want to add a B complex supplement and eat more citrus as well as good animal protein, as stress depletes the body of B and C vitamins.
  5. Manage your blood sugar. To keep your blood sugar stable, make sure you’re eating high-quality proteins, fats, and carbs every time you eat. (As for carbs, think complex carbohydrates that are unprocessed, low-glycemic fruits, and a variety of vegetables, not chips and crackers!)

If you can focus on these five areas, it’ll have a domino effect in your body — allowing not only your thyroid but also all your systems to work optimally both together and individually for greater health. If you need more help creating a plan for your specific needs, book a free 30-minute call with me so we can talk through your goals, one step at a time.

What exercise should I do if I suffer from a chronic health condition?

It can be difficult to exercise when you have a chronic health condition. For example, I’ve talked to so many people who have a thyroid diagnosis or an auto-immune disorder, and they can’t lose weight or keep gaining weight. And when they do exercise, they tend to overdo it as their bodies need the extra energy to fight their condition.

Those with a chronic health condition suffer from fatigue, depression, anxiety, joint pain, poor gut health, chronic headaches, numbness, or inflammation. So, when they do exercise, they are putting more stress on their body and end up feeling worse.

As someone who has recovered from thyroid cancer, I struggled to lose weight. I thought if I exercised more and took intense classes, it would help me lose weight. However, because of my thyroid condition, I only felt worse. So instead, I had to find different workouts that benefited my body.

Here’s a look at different exercises you can do if you suffer from a chronic health condition:

 

Stretching

Before you put your body through an intense workout, you should first do simple and easy movements. Focus on stretching at night before you get into bed. Create a mini yoga routine or use a foam roller to relax your body for a nice restorative night’s sleep.

Walking

Another option is to take a good nature walk. You don’t have to go to the woods or hike a mountain. I mean just getting outside and taking in that fresh air. Walk around the block, even if it’s just for five minutes. Walking helps us be more mindful and calms our brains, which calms our bodies.

Strength Training

Next, you should strengthen your muscles with a specific regimen of yoga or Pilates. Yoga can help build endurance and help restore our bodies. Then, once your body feels less stressed, I suggest full body, upper or lower body strength training to keep your muscle mass and composition in check.

Interval Training

Finally, I would introduce interval training into your workout when your body is ready. Short bursts of intense exercise will get your heart rate up and then bring it back down again. It will change your body’s ability to handle stress and helps normalize your symptoms.

Go Back to the Basics

Learn from my mistakes. Don’t push your body with intense workouts to lose weight. Instead, take baby steps to strengthen your muscles and build your tolerance. Then, when you start to get a little bit better, and your body feels more restored, I would increase the intensity or duration of your exercise.

Change your daily walk into a jog or exercise for 30 minutes longer. If you follow these exercises, you should notice a big difference in your body and your weight in no time. Make sure you pay attention to your body. If you begin to feel sore or exhausted, it’s a sign that you’re doing too much.