Updated: Jun 9
Towards the end of winter a lot of us find it hard to drum up the energy to do much. New Year's Resolutions are a distant memory and didn't take into account how dark, wet and cold it would be. We crave warm, sweet comforting food for quick energy and it is hard to get out of bed when it's still cold out there.
But is it too much winter or is something in your body out of balance?
Here are 10 reasons which might solve the mystery of your lack of energy.
Hungry - are you eating enough? People can set some ambitious weight loss goals on December 31st and reducing your food intake too much can leave you feeling depleted and very tired while your body adjusts - especially if you have increased your exercise output.
Look at how much "white" food is in your diet. Rice, potatoes, bread, cereal, pasta, biscuits and cake all break down easily to sugar. This can have you on an energy roller-coaster, feeling great after a meal but so tired you're ready for bed an hour later. Replacing them with things that are slower to metabolise can mean you have more balanced energy. Switch your morning bowl of cereal for a slice of whole-grain sourdough and a boiled egg and see how much longer you last before you are hungry and the effect that has on your energy levels.
One of the common signs of an under or overactive thyroid is tiredness. An overactive thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone, accelerating metabolism and heart rate leading to fatigue. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, slowing metabolism down causing ongoing low energy and excessive sleepiness which is more severe than that caused by lack of sleep or over-exertion.
Fatigue is one of the indications you may have anaemia. This might be accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, difficulty breathing, poor endurance, difficulty concentrating, intolerance to cold, restless legs, alopecia in females, pica (eating things like earth, chalk, soap), looking for quick energy foods. Classic signs are: Pale skin/gums/inside of eye (pull down eyelid) or fingernails indicating the blood flow isn't as good as it should be. You can also experience chest pain, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath - often noticed after walking upstairs, cold hands and feet, nails splitting and tongue swollen. Other more severe symptoms are weight loss, numbness /tingling in hands and feet, muscle weakness, personality changes, unsteady movements, mental confusion and forgetfulness - can be useful when there are signs of dementia.
Some women find in the run up to and start of their monthly period they are more tired than usual. This can be worse for women experiencing menorrhagia - heavy periods and often lengthy periods where there is a lot of blood loss. In my practice I have treated many women from the beginning to the end of their reproductive life who have been incapacitated by their periods experiencing unbearable cramps, migraines, unmanageable mood swings and terrible fatigue. Many women tell me about having one good week out of four. Others can be bleeding for weeks on end. Homeopathy has given these women their lives back with everyone I've ever treated for this reporting radical improvement within one month and completely normal periods within three cycles. Most women don't experience these excessively bad menses but the fatigue, mood swings and cramps are common - and easily addressed using homeopathy.
In the early stages of peri-menopause one of the first symptoms women notice is exhaustion. The desire is there but the will to get anything done or even to exercise can seem too much. This is addressed in more detail in my blog Homeopathy and the Menopause. Night sweats can seriously affect sleep and women report being exhausted after more vigorous flushes. This often passes after periods have ceased and energy levels return to normal but with peri-menopause lasting sometimes as long as 10 years finding a way to manage symptoms is vital.
Pregnancy is a famously exhausting time - growing another human being takes up a lot of our body's resources. The tissue salt schedule for pregnancy can help enormously in reducing common symptoms such as restless legs, heartburn, excessive urination and fatigue. Check out my blog on Homeopathy in Pregnancy for more information.
If you've ever experienced serious pain you will probably have been surprised at how tired you can be. Part of this is your body needing to rest to repair itself and it is vital to give it the time to do that. Another major part however is how utterly exhausting pain itself is for the body. Every nerve in the body is firing, shouting at you that something is wrong and the volume of information rushing about reporting the pain to the brain is overwhelming.
The same is true of stress. When the mind is preoccupied with information - either from too much on your plate or experiencing too much at the outer edges of excitement - either good or bad
I dream of the days when I'd collapse into bed at 5am with sore feet and music still pounding in my head and climb out again at 7am for work. I thought that was what tiredness was. Entirely self-inflicted and a total waste of the few precious years I had before the relentless pitter patter of responsibility came into my life. The most obvious and probably most common cause of tiredness is lifestyle. So many of us try to cram too much into the end of the day, with early starts and relentless schedules. We end up living off adrenaline which drives us to make up the energy deficit with sugar pushing us into a loop that's very hard on the kidneys and adrenal glands.
What's great about a good homeopathic remedy is it will put your body where it needs to be in order to be the best version of you. This often means people making decisions about their lifestyle and diet which they didn't have the energy to make or stick to on their own. It all feels effortless but increasing energy is the number one thing homeopathy will help you achieve.