Even if you live a healthy life, it may not be enough. Doctors share the signs your body might need better nutrition, less stress, or more sleep.
Try to make your health a priority
If you don’t have any medical issues you’re in luck, but there could still be room for improvement when it comes to your wellbeing. In fact, things you brush off on a daily basis could be signs that you’re actually not taking such great care of yourself. Read on to see if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms—and how to avoid their causes.
You’re having major brain fog
After what you considered a good night’s rest, you wake up feeling spacey, and you walk out the door without your wallet. Don’t just chalk up forgetfulness to aging, says Martin G. Bloom, MD, a cardiologist and functional medicine expert. Brain fog can be linked to things like poor sleep and stress but Dr. Bloom says brain fog can also be indicative of something more serious, like a hormone imbalance that impacts cognitive issues, for example. For women especially, mind lapses may indicate a dysfunctional thyroid. “Consider a comprehensive blood test that measures all of your hormones and biomarkers, and a complete thyroid test that not only measures your thyroid hormones but also possible thyroid antibodies, to determine the root causes of your brain fog,” he says.
Because your intestinal microbiome can impact the rest of your body, healthy eating may bring greater clarity and ability to concentrate. “Most patients are amazed by the difference a healthy gut can make in their cognitive function. They report feeling sharper, smarter, and quicker with an improved ability to focus, remember things and complete mental tasks,” Dr. Bloom says. Eating more probiotic foods could help balance your microbiome.
You’re super stressed out
Whether it’s work, family, relationship, or general concern with the world we live in, constant stress can affect your health. The stress hormone cortisol can stay elevated, says Dr. Bloom: “When cortisol levels are unbalanced or spiked, this can cause us to feel moody, anxious, depressed, or suffer from poor cognitive function–all equating to lower libido and self-worth. High cortisol can also cause an increase of body fat and inflammation, which can lead to less self-confidence, frustration, and reduced energy and overall well-being,” he says.
As with brain fog, Dr. Bloom encourages patients to start the road to relaxation via their gut. “Stress is something that can be managed and fixed with the right support, and reduced stress can be a major player in improving your overall health and quality of life,” he adds.
You feel sleepy all the time
Apart from carving out time to exercise and taking care to follow a good diet, your nightly slumber is a key component to your health. So when you’re struggling to fall and stay asleep or you just feel like you can never get enough snooze-time, talk to your doctor ASAP, advises Dr. Bloom. You might be fighting sleep apnea—a sleep disorder in which your airway collapses and disrupt your sleep cycle throughout the night. The condition is linked to high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease. Sleep is also crucial for resetting your internal clock, says Dr. Bloom: “In the perfect scenario, your body will have an amazing regenerative sleeping pattern,” he explains. “As we age and some of these internal hormone levels become unbalanced, and this can cause a domino effect of imbalances and deficiencies, thus causing poor sleep.” A simple chat with your doctor can alert him or her to the tests you may need to discover what’s not cycling correctly in your body, helping them to change the pattern and give you the Zzz’s you need.