I feel tired a lot and not sure why. I am married, have four children (14, 13, 10 and 7) and I’m a full time housewife. My husband is a doctor with long hours and lots of pressure from his work; therefore, I am on 24 hour family house call. I feel “brain fog” after eating a heavy starch meal. I have a sensitive stomach and various foods don’t always agree with me, so I am not sure. Do you think this “tiredness” may be related to gluten, a vitamin deficiency, or something else?
Full Time Housewife
Dear Full Time Housewife,
A homemaker’s position is often underappreciated. Cleaning-up after everyone, making sure the household is in order and all needs are met, can be exhausting. There are no salary increases, pay raises or bonuses. No one praises you for a job well done but, on the other hand, no one is rebuking you to get rid of the “tude”! ☺ Feeling tired can be an indicator of many things. Let’s explore…
Sleep Glorious Sleep
It‘s refreshing to get a wonderful and restful night’s sleep. Waking up feeling full of energy and life is nice. Some people do not give themselves enough time to sleep. TV, computers and second jobs, can keep the sleep hours below the essential 7-8 hours per night. Worry and anxiety can also affect sleep patterns. Full Time Housewife, are you allowing yourself enough sleep time? Do you sleep well?
Exercise helps with tiredness. When one exercises regularly, the body becomes “conditioned.” When the body is strong, housework tasks are easier. Lifting, scrubbing, vacuuming etc…isn’t as exhausting. In addition, exercise helps weight management, improves sleep and has a positive effect on mental / emotional status. Full Time Housewife, are you exercising?
One negative reaction to gluten is feeling “Brain Fog”. There are other symptoms such as; feeling bloated, gassy, belching, diarrhea and /or constipation.
1. Try avoiding gluten for a few weeks and see if you feel a difference.
2. Have a doctor (Allergist) test your blood to determine if you are gluten sensitive.
3. Purchase a home gluten testing kit and test your gluten status.
If you suspect “gluten” is the culprit, try one of these options. By the way, some individuals can consume small amounts of gluten without negative effects, while others’ must completely avoid gluten. Luckily, there are many gluten- free kosher products on the market.
Inadequate nourishment can lead to deficiencies. A common symptom of a deficiency is tiredness. Consuming adequate” Carbohydrates” for energy is important. If you restrict carbohydrates because of gluten concerns, you may be under-nourished. Inadequate “Vitamin and mineral” intake can also cause fatigue. For example, “Iron Deficiency Anemia” causes fatigue. If you do not consume adequate foods high in Iron, and menstruate heavily, it may lead to deficiency. A healthy balanced diet with variety is the key to good health and feeling energized. If you want to explore the adequacy of your diet, “Nutrition Transformations” can help you with our experienced Registered Dietician.
Hormones and Balances
Hormone imbalances can cause tiredness. Other side effects include; feeling bloated, gassy and hungry. Body temperature fluctuations and fatigue can also happen. Hormones are chemical ”messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function.
It is normal for hormonal levels to shift at different times in life for example; menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. Some medications and health issues can affect levels of hormones shifts too. During menopause, estrogen levels “drop” and appetite is stimulated. Weight gain is due to excessive eating and the hormone Leptin converting the excess calories into fat. Progesterone is a hormone released by the ovaries that encourages sleep. During menstruation, progesterone drops and it may be harder to sleep. A drop in Estrogen can cause hot flashes, making it difficult to sleep. Full Time Housewife, do you have any of these symptoms? If yes, it may be wise to see your doctor or gynecologist.
The Thyroid Connection
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that makes thyroid hormone. Too little production of thyroid hormone can sap your energy and make you feel tired. A thyroid panel blood test will determine if your levels are abnormal. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are; feeling cold, hair loss or dryness, brittle nails, constipation, dry skin, enlarged thyroid, high cholesterol, irritability, sexual dysfunction, slow heart rate, sluggishness, weight gain or irregular uterine bleeding. Full Time Housewife, do you have any of these symptoms? If yes or you are not sure, see an endocrinologist.
Tiredness and Feeling Low
Depression can mimic feelings of tiredness. “Lifestyle” affects how one feels. Full Time Housewife, perhaps, you are not being challenged and feeling bored with life’s routines? Do you have too much “alone time”? Are you “feeling down”? Could your tiredness be camouflaging depression? You may have a wonderful husband, beautiful children and a lovely home, but are you happy? Perhaps adjusting some aspects of your life may make you feel better? Less tired?
Full Time Housewife; there can be many reasons you feel tired. I discussed some ideas- diet, hormones, depression or simply not getting enough sleep. What’s important is that you explore the reason for this tiredness in order to feel better.
Thank you for sharing. I hope I gave you some leads and wish you a quick recovery.
Yours with good health,